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Mike Rayner and Tom Webb

In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in three patients from the city of Wuhan, China. By January 2020, COVID-19 was declared a widespread pandemic creating a global health crisis, resulting in millions of people contracting the virus and thousands losing their lives. Alongside the wide-reaching health crisis, the impact of COVID-19 had significant economic and societal effects leaving a historical legacy, which will affect countries throughout the world for a considerable period of time. As COVID-19 spread around the globe, the way people socialize, work, and study essentially changed forever. Therefore, this essay provides an insight into the rapid process that universities across the globe undertook to transition their teaching operations online. Projects and pedagogic reviews that traditionally would have taken months or years to devise were compressed into days, as the pandemic necessitated that traditional concerns about online teaching were cast aside. Consequently, this essay discusses these new educational platforms in sport management education and their future role in developing professionals who will be at the forefront of an unprecedented industry growth in the years and decades after COVID-19.

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Tom Webb, Paul Gorczynski, Shakiba Oftadeh-Moghadam, and Laura Grubb

Research into the mental health of female sport match officials is scarce, despite verbal and physical abuse being commonplace. Twelve female match officials officiating male and female matches took part in semistructured interviews, investigating their experiences and understanding of their mental health. Deductive thematic analysis identified four overarching themes: male and female football environments; abuse, sexism, and homophobia in football; formal and informal support networks; and mental health knowledge and experience—accessing services. The results revealed toxic, abusive, male-dominated environments that included sexist and derogatory language, negatively affecting their mental health. The female match officials struggled to ascertain mechanisms for support and identified that the educational courses and local organizations did not provide mental health information or training, and match officials often experienced poor mental health during and after matches. Increased engagement with mental health literacy and policy change from governing bodies is required, given the unique challenges female match officials face.