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Dr Dan Parnell

FOOTBALL, SPORT, SOCIAL CHANGE, POLICY, MANAGEMENT

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Healthy Stadia

Hitting the bar: How can we promote healthy drinking in sporting settings

I am delighted to be invited to speak at Alcohol Concern Cymru’s Annual Conference 2017, Hitting the bar: How can we promote healthy drinking in sporting settings? on Tuesday, 26 September 2017, at Cardiff City Stadium.

This is a great opportunity to share insight from our understanding around healthy stadia and health promotion through sport. My presentation is on How can sport organisations promote health? The programme is outlined in full below and you can participate/get involved here.
09.30 – 10.00 Registration
10.00 – 10.10 Welcome – Andrew Misell, Director of Alcohol Concern Cymru

10.10 – 10.20 Keynote address – Rebecca Evans AM

10.20 – 10.50 Alcohol sports sponsorships and their impact on consumption – Dr Pat Kenny, Dublin Institute of Technology

10.50 – 11.20 Alcohol marketing during Euro 2016 – Dr Richard Purves, University of Stirling

11.20 – 11.40 BREAK

11.40 – 12.10 Alcohol consumption: a core part of the sporting ethos – Dr Carwyn Jones, Professor in Sport Ethics, Cardiff Metropolitan University

12.10 – 12.40 Does participating in sport mean higher consumption? A mixed methods study of British young people – Dr Britt Hallingberg, Cardiff University

12.40 – 13.30 LUNCH

13.30 – 14.00 A personal reflection – Christian Roberts (ex-professional footballer)

14.00 – 14.30 The role of sport in the development of substance addiction – Dr Camilla Knight, Swansea University

14.30 – 15.00 BREAK (with mocktails)

15.00 – 15.30 How can sport organisations promote health? – Dr Dan Parnell, Manchester Metropolitan University

15.30 – 16.00 A community mobilisation intervention to reduce alcohol consumption amongst sports players – Prof Shane Allwright, Trinity College Dublin

16:00 – 16:30 The ‘Good Sports’ project – Melanie Kingsland, Newcastle University (Australia)

16.30 CLOSE

THE POTENTIAL LEGACY OF THE 2016 FIFA FUTSAL WORLD CUP COLOMBIA

This article was published on the site Futsal Focus here.

The article to download is here: 2016-fifa-futsal-world-cup-legacy-112196259_739999556131762_7308753463433976654_n

 

Heads up! How small-sided football can help the nation’s health

This article was originally published here.

Dr Dan Parnell, of the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University, offers some thoughts on recently-published research which highlights how small-sided football training can contribute to the health of the nation.

In England, we have observed the growth of professional football clubs as deliverers of Primary Physical Education (PE) (Parnell et al., 2016). Whilst Primary PE has been outsourced to a range of willing providers, recent research suggests that football could offer some real answers to tackling the health of the nation.

In June 2016, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published an editorial by Peter Krustrup, Juri Dvorak and Jens Bangsbo, which discusses the role of small-sided football training in schools and leisure-time sports clubs, and how it improves physical fitness, health profile, well-being and learning in children (Krustrup, Dvorak and Bansgo, 2016).

How can small-sided football training help children?

The editorial highlighted that of the research on Football for Health (about 100 scientific articles from 2009 to present), approximately one third have investigated football training in schools and in sports clubs.

The conclusions are encouraging:

  • small-sided football training induces high heart rates, a large number of intense actions along with high involvement, technical success rates and training effects for boys and girls irrespective of body mass index, fitness level or prior experience with football;
  • 98% of children who are members of football clubs live up to the physical activity recommendation of health authorities and they have stronger bones, less fat and greater aerobic fitness than non-sport club members, and
  • small-sided school-based football interventions with just 2×30, 3×40 and 2×45-minute weekly games improve bone health, heart health, physical capacity and learning in children aged eight to 12 years old.

This provides a clear message for all stakeholders from policy-makers to headteachers: Football has the potential to get children fit and healthy! 

What can we do?

We have already highlighted the lack of research and understanding of the role of professional football clubs in the delivery of Primary Physical Education (Parnell et al., 2016). But that aside, those involved in (and genuinely interested in) getting our children fit and health need to, in football terms, ‘get their heads up’.

We need to deliver high-quality, focused programmes which use small-sided football training to deliver health targets. And this needs to be supported with clear research and evaluation, to make sure we are getting this right in practice (Lansley and Parnell, 2016). The evidence is there – we just need to make this happen.

This article is based on the following research article:

Krustrup, P., Dvorak, J., and Bangsbo, J. (2016). Small-sided football in schools and leisure-time sport clubs improves physical fitness, health profile, well-being and learning in children. British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096266 (open access here).

Dr Dan Parnell is an active researcher and senior lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests cover the sport and leisure sectors within the UK and he works globally on a number of projects, in particular the social role of sport. Contactd.parnell@mmu.ac.uk or follow @parnell_daniel on Twitter or access his research here.

Football: the new drug in the fight against lifestyle diseases

England’s poor performance at Euro 2016, declining grassroots football participation and The FA under pressure to reform; it all paints a sorry state of affairs for the national game. Despite this, football remains high on the agenda for development agencies.

In recent months Dr Dan Parnell, Research Director at ConnectSport, travelled to Denmark to meet Professor Peter Krustrup of the University of Copenhagen to discuss the role of team sports in health promotion. A key part of the conversation was the role of (i) professional football clubs and (ii) football as an activity in tackling lifestyle diseases.

Football and team sports are becoming a key interest for policy-makers and health professionals aiming to influence physical activity levels and tackle lifestyle diseases. This is a result of the growing amount of research on football and health.

This short article seeks to highlight the body of work undertaken by Peter and his colleagues. Peter’s research has shown that football is an effective weapon against lifestyle diseases. Their research establishes the health effects of football for children, adult men and women, the elderly, and people with diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Peter provides an insight into his work in the video below which champions football as “an alternative to drugs in the fight against lifestyle diseases”.

 

Other related research:

Bangsbo, J., A. Junge, J, Dvorák, and P. Krustrup. 2014. “Executive Summary: Football for Health–Prevention and Treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases across the Lifespan through Football.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 24 (S1): 147–150.

Hunt, K., S. Wyke, C.M. Gray, A.S. Anderson, A. Brady, C. Bunn, P.T. Donnon et al. 2014. “A Gender-sensitised Weight Loss and Healthy Living Programme for Overweight and Obese Men Delivered by Scottish Premier League Football Clubs (FFIT): A Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial.” The Lancet 383: 1211–21. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62420-4.

Krustrup, P., P. Aagaard, L. Nybo, J. Petersen, M. Mohr, J. Bangsbo. 2010. “Recreational football as a health promoting activity: a topical review.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science Sports 20 (1): 1–13.

May, A. and D. Parnell. 2016. “The community impact of football pitches: a case study of Maidstone United FC. Sport in Society DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2016.1173921

Mckenna, J., T. Quarmby, N. Kime, D. Parnell, and S. Zwolinsky. 2016. “Lessons from the field for working in Healthy Stadia: physical activity practitioners reflect on ‘sport’.” Sport in Society doi: 10.1080/17430437.2016.1173913

Milanović, Z., S. Pantelić, N. Čović, G. Sporiš, and P. Krustrup. 2015. “Is Recreational Soccer Effective for Improving VO2max A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Sports Medicine45 (9): 1339-53.

Oja, P., S. Titze, S. Kokko, U.M. Kujala, A. Heinonen, P. Kelly, P. Koski, and C. Foster. 2015.“Health benefits of different sport disciplines for adults: systematic review of observational and intervention studies with meta-analysis.” British Journal of Sports Medicine49: 434–40.

Other related special editions

Bangsbo, J., P. Krustrup., and J. Dvorak. 2014. “Special Issue: Football for Health – Prevention and Treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases across the Lifespan through Football.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 24 (S1): 1.

Parnell, D., K. Curran, and M. Philpott. 2016. “Healthy stadia: an insight from policy to practice.” Sport in Society doi:10.1080/17430437.2016.1173914

Parnell, D., and A. Pringle. 2016. “Football and Health Improvement: An Emerging Field.”Soccer & Society 17 (2): 171–174.

Parnell, D., and D. Richardson. 2014. “Introduction: Football and Inclusivity.” Soccer & Society 15 (6): 823–7.

Dr Dan Parnell is Research Director at @ConnectSport and an active researcher and senior lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests cover the sport and leisure sectors within the UK and he works globally on a number of projects, in particular the social role of sport. Contact d.parnell@mmu.ac.uk or follow @parnell_daniel on Twitter or access his research here.

This article was originally published on Connect Sport, here.

Heads up! How small-sided football can help the nation’s health

Dr Dan Parnell, of the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University, offers some thoughts on recently-published research which highlights how small-sided football training can contribute to the health of the nation.

In England, we have observed the growth of professional football clubs as deliverers of Primary Physical Education (PE) (Parnell et al., 2016). Whilst Primary PE has been outsourced to a range of willing providers, recent research suggests that football could offer some real answers to tackling the health of the nation.

In June 2016, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published an editorial by Peter Krustrup, Juri Dvorak and Jens Bangsbo, which discusses the role of small-sided football training in schools and leisure-time sports clubs, and how it improves physical fitness, health profile, well-being and learning in children (Krustrup, Dvorak and Bansgo, 2016).

How can small-sided football training help children?

The editorial highlighted that of the research on Football for Health (about 100 scientific articles from 2009 to present), approximately one third have investigated football training in schools and in sports clubs.

The conclusions are encouraging:

  • small-sided football training induces high heart rates, a large number of intense actions along with high involvement, technical success rates and training effects for boys and girls irrespective of body mass index, fitness level or prior experience with football;
  • 98% of children who are members of football clubs live up to the physical activity recommendation of health authorities and they have stronger bones, less fat and greater aerobic fitness than non-sport club members, and
  • small-sided school-based football interventions with just 2×30, 3×40 and 2×45-minute weekly games improve bone health, heart health, physical capacity and learning in children aged eight to 12 years old.

This provides a clear message for all stakeholders from policy-makers to headteachers: Football has the potential to get children fit and healthy! 

What can we do?

We have already highlighted the lack of research and understanding of the role of professional football clubs in the delivery of Primary Physical Education (Parnell et al., 2016). But that aside, those involved in (and genuinely interested in) getting our children fit and health need to, in football terms, ‘get their heads up’.

We need to deliver high-quality, focused programmes which use small-sided football training to deliver health targets. And this needs to be supported with clear research and evaluation, to make sure we are getting this right in practice (Lansley and Parnell, 2016). The evidence is there – we just need to make this happen.

This article is based on the following research article:

Krustrup, P., Dvorak, J., and Bangsbo, J. (2016). Small-sided football in schools and leisure-time sport clubs improves physical fitness, health profile, well-being and learning in children. British Journal of Sports Medicine, doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096266 (open access here).

Dr Dan Parnell is an active researcher and senior lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests cover the sport and leisure sectors within the UK and he works globally on a number of projects, in particular the social role of sport. Contactd.parnell@mmu.ac.uk or follow @parnell_daniel on Twitter or access his research here.

This article was original published on Connect Sport, here. 

How can sport organisations promote health?

This post was original published on Connect Sport here.

Dr Dan Parnell, of the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University, reflects on how interventions implemented through sporting organisations can help to promote healthy behaviour and/or improve health outcomes.

It has been recently announced within the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews that a new review will be undertaken to determine the effectiveness of interventions implemented through sporting organisations to promote physical activity, healthy diet, and reductions in both alcohol and tobacco consumption.

This systematic review will focus on interventions promoting one or several healthy behaviours, in particular, those addressing physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, tobacco use and alcohol consumption. These are the four health behaviours among the most relevant for morbidity and mortality worldwide (WHO 2009).

What have past reviews told us?

The 2008 Cochrane reviews of i) ‘interventions implemented through sporting organisations for increasing people’s participation in sport’ and ii) ‘policy interventions implemented through sporting organisations for promoting healthy behaviour change’, both concluded that there is an absence of high-quality evidence to support interventions designed and delivered by sporting organisations to increase participation in sport and/or healthy behaviour. The authors of the reviews recommend that rigorous evaluation techniques are employed more commonly in this field to illuminate the impact of interventions and/or health promoting policy on outcomes, and the contexts and processes which are likely to be effective in reducing harmful behaviours.

In light of this, and the announcement of a new review, it is worthwhile exploring some of the underlying principles associated with the settings-based approach to health promotion and why this review is both important and relevant for the community sport industry in the UK.

Sport: settings-based approach

Sporting organisations are a setting which interacts with other settings, whether multi-use games areas, sports stadia, residential communities and/or the natural environment. Sport-based interventions have the potential to influence at different structural levels, such as the community, family and the individual, whilst allowing for interactions to occur between groups.

For many people involved in community sport in the UK, they will be able to relate to the role sport can play in influencing healthy behaviour by intra- and interpersonal factors. Furthermore they will have observed the important contribution of systems such as organisational settings, communities, environment and policies play in facilitating healthy lifestyles. Figure 1 outlines the logic model for this principle.

fig1

Figure 1: Logic model: interventions implemented through sporting organisations for promoting healthy behaviour (from Flatz, Pfeifer, Radtke, Kriemler, Klerings, Wolfenden and von Elm, 2016)

In sporting organisations, infrastructure often focuses heavily on the delivery of, or practice of sports, to get people engaged in sports activity, which in itself can determine healthy behaviour. However, it should also be noted that participation in sports has a dark side, with a correlation between sport and alcohol/smoking consumption.

Example: The Euro 2016 football tournament in France offers a good perspective to consider UEFA’s policy driven approach and commitment to a tobacco-free tournament (http://www.healthystadia.eu/). Despite this, the tournament also offers challenges related to policy surrounding alcohol consumption, as observed by several media outlets.

Sport and healthy stadia

Besides providing interactions for participants on different levels, many sporting organisations are gatekeepers to a larger part of the population, especially the hard-to-reach groups, and as such are typically accessed by health promotion advocates.

In a study, across 10 European countries, the implementation of healthy policies in sports stadia was found to be relatively low. This was explained by the conflicting interests of sponsors and health promotion activities (Drygas 2013). Furthermore, while policies were found to frequently focus on anti-discrimination or fair-play, topics such as the promotion of healthy food or beverages seem to be underrepresented (Kelly 2010).

However, a recent special issues draws on applied policy work and the growing research in this area to provide a timely update and insight (Parnell, Curran and Philpott 2016). The collection includes applied perspectives; articles which consider sport stadia for public health promotion; research on the outcomes of physical activity and health promotion programmes in football clubs; the role of Physical Education and the implication of current sport policy; contributions on the lessons learned from sport, PA and health promotion interventions, and findings from an older men’s community-based, football-led weight management intervention (for further details please contact D.Parnell@mmu.ac.uk) .

Why is this important to the community sport industry in the UK?

Across our communities, sporting organisations are being considered as a setting which is suitable to promote health and to help tackle the big four health issues experienced by communities and populations. As a consequence government agencies and other bodies are investing in sport organisations with the assumption that they can contribute to health promotion (and then improve health).

Whilst the evidence on the role of sport organisations being used to promote health is limited, we at ConnectSport welcome this new Cochrane Review as it not only recognises the role of sport organisations in health promotion, it will also help uncover whether there is new evidence to help those delivering in this field, and evidence the impact of our work to key deliverers and policy makers in sport and health.

We also encourage those in community sport to invest in research-oriented partnerships with organisations (including academia/universities) to support their working practice, effectiveness and monitoring and evaluation – especially those organisations working towards a health agenda (Lansley and Parnell 2016).

Dr Dan Parnell is an active researcher and senior lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests cover the sport and leisure sectors within the UK and he works globally on a number of projects, in particular the social role of sport. Contact d.parnell@mmu.ac.uk or follow @parnell_daniel on Twitter or access hisresearch here.

His latest research:

Parnell, D., Curran, K. and Philpott, M. (2016) Healthy stadia: an insight from policy to practice. Sport in Society, DOI:10.1080/17430437.2016.1173914 Available online here.

European Association for Sociology of Sport, Copenhagen

img_2104Just spent a great couple of days at EASS, meeting with colleagues from Play the Game, IDAN and the University of Copenhagen to progress collaborations on sport policy, research and an edited book on sport and health with Professor Peter Krustrup. A big cheers to Simon Whitmore and Jonathan Manley from Routledge for their ongoing support and to Mark Turner from Southampton Solent University who is doing some fascinating research on safe standing in football. My colleague Dr Kathryn Curran also presented our recent article on the role of professional football clubs delivering on the mental health agenda. To top things off, we also managed to make the Aarhus vs Copenhagen Dutch Cup Final, which was a top experience. Great people, great event and great city. 

Healthy Stadia: an insight from policy to practice

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This article was originally published on Connect Sport, found here.

Public health is a major priority for the governments of developed and developing nations. In a bid to develop methods to engage with populations of people rather than individuals, a settings-based approach to promoting public health has been applied. One such approach has been around sport clubs and their stadia under the banner of ‘healthy stadia’. This article presents a collection of articles edited by Dr Daniel Parnell (Manchester Metropolitan University), Dr Kathryn Curran (Leeds Beckett University) and Dr Matthew Philpott (European Healthy Stadia Network CiC) in the peer-reviewed journal Sport in Society, titled ‘Healthy Stadia: an insight from policy to practice’.

The healthy stadia initiatives were developed in the mid 2000s and they emphasised the potential of health promotion in sports venues, across three themes: (i) healthier stadium environments for fans and non-match day visitors (eg smoke-free environments); (ii) healthier club workforces (eg bike to work schemes); and (iii) healthier populations in local communities (eg child obesity interventions). The working definition of a healthy stadium is:

“those which promote the health of visitors, fans, players, employees and the surrounding community … places where people can go to have a positive healthy experience playing or watching sport.”

At present there is a limited amount of research surrounding the healthy stadia agenda, which you can read more about in the special collection’s editorial. There is an abundance of applied activity, under the support of the European Healthy Stadia Network. The role of the network is to capture good practice and to disseminate these case studies across its membership which comprises decision-makers within governing bodies of sport. The applied impact of policy and practice of healthy stadia is impressive, most notably the achievement of implementing tobacco controlpolicies at sports stadia. Indeed, the forthcoming European Football Championships in 2016 will be tobacco-free thanks to collaborative work between the Healthy Stadia Network, the World Heart Federation and UEFA.

As a result of the impressive applied work, accompanied by a lack of peer-reviewed research, the editors [Parnell, Curran and Philpott] developed a special collection proposal. Now published, the collection includes applied perspectives; articles which consider sport stadia for public health promotion; research on the outcomes of physical activity and health promotion programmes in football clubs; the role of Physical Education and the implication of current sport policy; contributions on the lessons learned from sport, PA and health promotion interventions, and findings from an older men’s community-based, football-led weight management intervention.

A list of the contributions is detailed below and we would encourage readers to explore the collection and articles which offer practical implications, which can assist those who commission, manage or deliver physical activity and public health-related interventions through amateur and professional sports clubs. The link to the latest articles on the journal website is here, where you will find these articles appearing. If you would like to access the articles please contact Dr Dan Parnell on email or the corresponding authors directly.

– Editorial: Healthy Stadia: An insight from policy to practice. Daniel Parnell, Kathryn Curran, Matthew Philpott.

– An insight from those involved in Healthy Stadia. Daniel Cade, Kathryn Curran, Andy Fuller, Jenny Hacker, Clive Knight, Simon Lansley, Daniel Parnell, Matthew Philpott.

– Who ate all the pies? The importance of food in the Australian sporting experience. Keith D. Parry, Timothy Hall, Alastair Baxter.

– Sport Heritage and the Healthy Stadia agenda: An overview. Gregory Ramshaw.

– An evaluation of opportunistic health checks at cricket matches: The Boundaries for Life initiative. Chet Trivedy, Ivo Vlaev, Russell Seymour, Matthew Philpott.

– Health promotion orientation of GAA sports clubs in Ireland. Aoife Lane, Niamh Murphy, Alex Donohoe & Colin Regan.

– The community impact of football pitches: A case study of Maidstone United FC. Anthony May, Daniel Parnell.

– Improving the physical and mental wellbeing of typically hard-to-reach men: an investigation of the impact of the Active Rovers project. Colin J. Lewis, Matthew J. Reeves, Simon J. Roberts.

– Success of a sports-club led community X-PERT Diabetes Education. Programme Angela Morgan, Dee Drew, Angela Clifford, Katarine Hull.

– Tackling mental health: the role of professional football clubs. Kathryn Curran, Simon Rosenbaum, Daniel Parnell, Brendon Stubbs, Andy Pringle, Jackie Hargreaves.

– Sport Policy and English primary Physical Education: The role of professional football clubs in outsourcing. Daniel Parnell, Ed Cope, Richard Bailey, Paul Widdop.

– ‘It brings the lads together’: A critical exploration of older men’s experiences of a weight management programme delivered through a Healthy Stadia project. Lorena Lozano-Sufrategui, Andy Pringle, David Carless, Jim McKenna.

– Lessons from the field for working in Healthy Stadia: Physical activity practitioners reflect on ‘sport’. Jim McKenna, Thomas Quarmby, Nicky Kime, Daniel Parnell, Stephen Zwolinsky.

Editorial to cite:

Parnell, D., Curran, K. and Philpott, M. (2016) Healthy stadia: an insight from policy to practice.Sport in Society, DOI:10.1080/17430437.2016.1173914 Available online here.

Dr Dan Parnell is an active researcher and senior lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests cover the sport and leisure sectors within the UK and he works globally on a number of projects, in particular the social role of sport. Contact d.parnell@mmu.ac.uk or follow @parnell_daniel on Twitter or access his research here.

Dr Kathryn Curran is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity, Exercise and Health at Leeds Beckett University. Kathryn’s research focuses on investigating the effectiveness of community physical activity and health interventions primarily with socially disadvantaged groups. Contactk.m.curran@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or follow @kathryn_curran on Twitter.

Dr Matthew Philpott is Executive Director of European Healthy Stadia Network which he helped to set up as a social enterprise in 2012. He is responsible for the overall operations and growth of Healthy Stadia, including the co-ordination of numerous EU-funded sport projects and health interventions for UEFA. Contact: matthew.philpott@healthystadia.eu or follow @healthystadia

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