Having travelled to watch some friends of mine play football by Dundee United FC ground, I realised (on my way between the two stadiums, surrounded by housing estates – like most traditional stadia) that my mind had started wandering off onto football clubs responsibility and community engagement. With a fullsided 3G pitch and allotment in the heart of the community they seemed alot of potential work that could be done by the clubs.

What was I thinking this for? Well, its because I love football and I have a belief that football can make a positive difference to people and communities. Like a a friend of mine said in one of his regular Leadersezine articles on Sport and Society, with things you love and believe in – you want to make them better! This ‘power of football’ (and sport) is definitely an overused statement, but I am not one of these people who overestimates the potential football – I know good practice & bad practice when I see it and I am always looking to do things better.

a belief that football can make a positive difference to people and communities

The big question is where do you go for support? There are some good steering groups and platforms which I will talk about. However, the resources on offer typically fail to go into enough depth and/or are clouded by ‘feel good’, ‘PR’ perspectives OR they go into too much depth, failing to translate the evidence for us in a language we can understand. Even fewer don’t bother to give some practical guidance on what to do with this information in the real world. This is an important point, which I have heard more the past 12 months than ever.  Firstly, at the ECSS pre-conference symposium at LJMU (an event prior to a big European sport science conference), then when presenting at BHFNC (a conference about physical activity/health) and more recently when reading Atul Gawande’s book the Checklist Manifesto (so surely there is a mesage here!!).

translate the evidence…in a language we can understand!!

This blog will draw on academic and applied experiences, aiming to translate the evidence and gather best practice from myself, existing and new friends – in our language with practical tips and guidance. So hopefully the content will overtime provide a place for you to come for advice, guidance or to share your project to help others – please feel free to leave your thoughts.

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