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Dr Dan Parnell

FOOTBALL, SPORT, SOCIAL CHANGE, POLICY, MANAGEMENT

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Partnerships

Sustainability vs Accessibility

Very pleased to be invited by Jack Zuckerman to discuss the impact of funding cuts to sport and leisure services on the BBC Look North programme aired on 16 April 2017. The programme focuses on cuts to a sport and leisure facility in Lincoln, but is an example of a national trend. A trend that has seen public services (i) re-organised, (ii) reduced or (iii) cut. One of the main issues for me is the narrative around sustainability. Not all public services are meant to be profit making or to break even. Some are just to support the health and well-being of our local communities. Often when sustainability is the focus, it comes at the cost of accessibility.

Sustainability vs Accessibility

This might just be a sports hall, but for those that use it, this will be so much more. Beyond the physical activity, it is the networks, the friendships, the social support and sense of community that adds true value to such communities of people who engage in activities together in these places.  In this case, and across the country, breaking even or being sustainable, creates further barriers, both financial and time, to the accessibility of such important sport/social/community places, for those who need it most, from our most deprived communities.

 

Some of our research that might be of interest:

Parnell, D., Spracklen, K., & Millward, P. (2016). Special Issue Introduction: Sport management issues in an era of austerity. European Sport Management Quarterly. DOI:10.1080/16184742.2016.1257552

Parnell, D., Cope, E., Bailey, R., & Widdop, P. (2016). Sport Policy and English Primary Physical Education: The role of professional football clubs in outsourcing. Sport in Society, DOI:10.1080/17430437.2016.1173911

Parnell, D., Millward, P., & Spracklen, K. (2015). Sport and austerity in the UK: An insight into Liverpool 2014. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 7(2): 200-203. DOI: 10.1080/19407963.2014.968309

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Sport management issues in an era of austerity

Very pleased to present a recent research article, which introduces our special issue for the European Sport Management Quarterly. Together, with Karl Spracklen and Peter Millward we offer an insight to sport management issues in an era of austerity and an introduction to our special issue.

Read the article here and access it on academiaedu here.

presentation1

THE NEW SPORTS STRATEGY AND THE OUTSOURCING OF PRIMARY PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The new sports strategy and the outsourcing of Primary Physical Education

The new sport strategy ensures that outsourcing of Primary Physical Education (PE) will continue until 2020, meaning that external providers will access the PE and Sport Premium funding for the duration of the this period. As this context is set to continue It is now more important than ever to take a moment, reflect and in football terms, ‘get our heads up’ and see what is in front of us.

Originally posted on the Sports Think Tank.

In recent research by Parnell, Cope, Bailey and Widdop (2016) published in the peer-reviewed journal Sport in Society, a number of challenges for external providers and primary schools, have been highlighted. Ultimately, we do not know what the real impact of PE and Sport Premium funding is – we do not know whether it works and at present, we are making policy based on weak evidence. This runs contrary to the government’s position of basing policy on a strong evidence base. This needs to stop.

At best, we can continue to retweet, like and share those impressive (and growing) participation figures that are distributed widely, providing little more than some breathing space for under pressure commissioners and managers whom are ill-equipped or unwilling to evaluate the impact of their work. At worst, we can continue to blindly accept the glossy reports, press releases, and annual reports that provide the most convincing narrative around the impact of Primary PE – such as improved concentration, behaviour, educational attainment and overall physical health – all of which lack evidence (Zwolinsky, McKenna, Parnell and Pringle, 2016).

Our research explores the role of sport/football coaches involved in the delivery of Primary PE, specifically professional football clubs. This is because professional football clubs are leading the way in this work; partly a result of experience and credibility of working in primary schools settings and partly a result of funding from the Premier League to develop and enhance this practice. Indeed, it could be argued this is more as a result of the scope of this work nationally by professional football clubs than a substantial amount of evidence.

The new sports strategy provides further context for the continued outsourcing of Primary PE. Moreover, the increased funding allocation for the PE and Sport Premium will be welcomed by many. Despite this, we argue that this increased funding should not be confused with increased impact and suggest the following urgent actions:

– Enhanced professional education and training is required to equip those sport/football coaches delivering Primary PE with the necessary skills;

– Enhanced education and training needs to be delivered and evaluated to analyse its effectiveness;

– Sport/football coaches and generalists need to work in partnership, to shared practice, skills and support their shared professional development (Parnell, Cope, Bailey, Widdop 2016; Parnell et al., 2016);

– We need to evaluate the current practice of those delivering Primary PE;

– This evaluation must go beyond asking people about their perceptions and must include children, capturing their experiences, and generate evidence (both qualitative and quantitative) of this provision and measurable outcomes.

This research was prepared with Dr Ed Cope (University of Hull), Dr Richard Bailey (International Council of Sport Science and PE) and Dr Paul Widdop (LeedsBeckettUniversity). The research can be cited using the following reference and be found here:

Parnell, D., Cope, E., Bailey, R., & Widdop, P. (2016). Sport Policy and English Primary Physical Education: The role of professional football clubs in outsourcing. Sport in Society, DOI:10.1080/17430437.2016.1173911

Dr Daniel Parnell, Senior Lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University and Research Director at Connect Sport. 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 and football.You can read more about his research here and contact him on d.parnell@mmu.ac.uk or on Twitter @parnell_daniel

Dr Ed Cope is a lecturer in Sports Coaching and Performance at the University of Hull. He has extensive experience in coach education and pedagogy. Ed’s research centres on understanding how children perceive and experience sport. He is leading a novel research project for the International Olympic Committee and has worked within the team for the School Offer Review for the English Premier League. Contact ed.cope@hull.ac.uk or follow @EdCope1 on Twitter.

Dr Richard Bailey is an international recognised authority on sport, physical activity and human development. He has directed studies which have influence policy and practice both nationally and internationally. He is a former Primary and Secondary schoolteacher, teacher trainer, coach and coach education. He works with agencies such as sportcoachUK, UNESCO, the World Health Organisation, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee. He was also lead consultant for the influential ‘Designed to Move’ agenda and directed the School Offer Review for the English Premier League. Contact baileyrichard1@me.com or follow @DrDickB on Twitter.

Dr Paul Widdop is a senior research fellow at Leeds Beckett University. His research interests are in the consumption and participation of sport, especially in relation to social networks, geography, and neighbourhood effects. Contact P.Widdop@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or follow @Fire_and_Skill on Twitter.

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. 

Outsourcing in PE and School Sport

Pleased to finally have this article published with Dr Ed Cope and Dr Richard Bailey.

Cope, E., Bailey, R., & Parnell, D. (2015). Outsourcing physical education: A critical discussion. International Journal of Physical Education, 52(4): 2-11.

Click here for the full article.

 

Football and health improvement: an emergent field

I am very pleased to present the latest published issue of Soccer & Society, Football and health improvement: an emergent field. This issue was edited by my colleague Dr Andy Pringle and I. 

Volume 17, Issue 2, 2016.

The issue includes contributions from across the UK, Europe and the middle-East and includes special contributions from the English Premier League, Football League, Football Foundation and European Healthy Stadia Network.

This eclectic mix of contributions discusses and challenges the role of football as a vehicle for health improvement, whilst celebration developments in the field. The below section outlines the contributions from the authors, however if you require access to any articles please do not hesitate to contact me on d.parnell@mmu.ac.uk (Twitter @parnell_daniel) or the corresponding author directly:

Football and health improvement: an emerging field Daniel Parnell , Andy Pringle Soccer & Society Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

A perspective from key stakeholders on football and health improvement Angus Martin , Simon Morgan , Daniel Parnell , Matthew Philpott , Andy Pringle, Michael Rigby , Andy Taylor , Jon Topham Soccer & Society  Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

Supporting lifestyle risk reduction: promoting men’s health through professional football

S. Zwolinsky , J. McKenna , A. Pringle , A. Daly-Smith , S. Robertson , A. White Soccer & Society Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

Effectiveness of a community football programme on improving physiological markers of health in a hard-to-reach male population: the role of exercise intensity Andrew Thomas Hulton , David Flower , Rebecca Murphy , Dave Richardson , Barry Drust , Kathryn Curran Soccer & Society Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

Evaluating conflict mitigation and health improvement through soccer: a two-year study of Mifalot’s ‘United Soccer for Peace’ programme Tal Litvak-Hirsch , Yair Galily , Michael Leitner Soccer & Society Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

The pursuit of lifelong participation: the role of professional football clubs in the delivery of physical education and school sport in England Daniel Parnell , Sarah Buxton , Des Hewitt , Matthew J. Reeves , Ed Cope , Richard Bailey Soccer & Society Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

Can ‘English Premier League’ funding for PE and school sport achieve its aims? Stephen Zwolinsky , Jim McKenna , Daniel Parnell , Andy Pringle Soccer & Society Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

The influence of club football on children’s daily physical activity Glen Nielsen , Anna Bugge , Lars Bo Andersen Soccer & Society Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

Football for health: getting strategic Simon Lansley , Daniel Parnell Soccer & Society Vol. 17, Iss. 2, 2016

Football and Health Improvement: an emergent field

The Editorial for our special issue on: Football and Health Improvement: an emergent field. The full and original article can be found here.

All of my other articles can be found here.

 

Parnell Pringle

Football clubs and school sport: The badge is not enough

school sport edit1

Original article found here.

New research has examined the role of football clubs in the delivery of physical education and school sport across England, and questioned the need for greater evaluation.

Football clubs lie at the heart of many communities and, as such, they can have an important and distinctive role to play in introducing young people to sport and other physical activities.

This role has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. The advent of a new ‘PESS’ (Physical Education and School Sport) strategy in England in 2013, accompanied by a £450million investment into school sport, brought the role of clubs into sharp focus.

The challenges outlined by academics in recent research, developed as part of a special edition focused on Football and Health Improvement, became even more pertinent given the recent joint funding committed by both the English Premier League and Government.

Previously changes led by the Conservative Secretary of State, Michael Gove, in 2010 had seen the first attempts to dismantle the established School Sports Partnerships. However now headteachers have control of the budget to fund external provision of their activities, meaning that decision-making has been decentralised. This change has seen the emergence of external providers, including football clubs.

As the clubs and their respective community programmes have stepped forward to answer the call, it is important to ask how they are faring.

This new research by Parnell and colleagues (2015), published in the peer review Journal Soccer and Society, uses semi-structured interviews with community managers from football community programmes and headteachers to reveal key themes. The research points towards greater partnership working between football clubs and schools, in a bid to need to raise the quality of coaching.

With stakeholders such as the Premier League making a major investment into PE and School Sport, this current research shows the need for more action from all stakeholders involved. The three most important actions include:

1 Developing the scope of partnerships between clubs and school.

2 Developing the roles and skill-set of the community coaches working in school to achieve greater impact for PE and School Sport.

3 Tackling the deficit of high-quality, rigorous research and evaluation.

In simple terms the badge of the local football club, whilst appealing to many, is not in itself a guarantee of effectiveness. Acting on the call from this research, those involved must begin to develop more effective practice. Moreover, the research warns that without proper monitoring and evaluation “we can only speculate on how PESS can contribute to lifelong participation in children and young people”.

Read more 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. This includes the Football League Trust, the English Premier League, the Football Foundation and Barclays Spaces for Sports. Contact d.parnell@mmu.ac.uk or follow @parnell_daniel on Twitter.

Dr Ed Cope is a lecturer in Sports Coaching and Performance at the University of Hull. He has extensive experience in coach education and pedagogy. Ed’s research centres on understanding how children perceive and experience sport. He is leading a novel research project for the International Olympic Committee and has worked within the team for the School Offer Review for the English Premier League. Contact ed.cope@hull.ac.uk or follow @EdCope1 on Twitter.

Dr Richard Bailey is an international recognised authority on sport, physical activity and human development. He has directed studies which have influence policy and practice both nationally and internationally. He is a former Primary and Secondary schoolteacher, teacher trainer, coach and coach education. He works with agencies such as sportcoachUK, UNESCO, the World Health Organisation, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee. He was also lead consultant for the influential ‘Designed to Move’ agenda and directed the School Offer Review for the English Premier League. Contact baileyrichard1@me.com or follow @DrDickB on Twitter.

OLYMPIC LEGACY FAILURE, SPORT AND LEISURE CUTS, DWINDLING PARTICIPATION FIGURES: CAN UNIVERSITIES HELP?

BurtonThis is an article I wrote with my colleague Dr Paul Widdop for the Sports Think Tank, which can be found here. 

Participation in sport once a week is down to 35.5% of adults (The Guardian, 2015), local authority spending on sport and leisure has been cut from £1.4bn in 2009-10 to £1bn in 2013 (The Guardian, 2015). There is no wonder that the UK media are beginning to challenge the value, impact and legacy of the £9.3bn London Olympics.

The dismantling of the structures concerned with community sport, spearheaded by austerity-driven policy measures, have without doubt contributed to this demise in participation. This includes the obliteration of the School Sport Partnerships (Sports Think Tank, 2015) and the decline in community sport facilities and activities (Parnell et al., 2014). Even those that do survive, such as those supporting our national game, football, are in need of greater care and investment (Parnell and Widdop, 2015).

As noted, by King (2012) (who has written extensively on local authority sport and recreation), the financial cut-backs on services delivered by local authorities has left a gap in delivery across key areas of sport and leisure. As further financial cuts are made, and as the gap widens, community sport organisations, both private and voluntary, have emerged in support of service needs.

Despite this, community sport organisations have also felt the pinch of austerity. Whilst many community sport and local authorities appear proactive to the Big Society agenda, there remains concerns of the capacity of organizations to genuinely deliver tangible outcomes (King, 2012).

These community sports organisations are no longer operating in the cozy environments (and support) of a New Labour Government. Amidst the ongoing economic austerity, many of these organisations have faced greater scrutiny from funders and grant-givers (Parnell et al., 2015).

As such, community sports organisations have began to reach out, to establish greater links with Universities and academic institutions to access support beyond traditional work placement students and align closer to strategic research and evaluation support (Parnell et al., 2015).

At the same time, universities across the higher education sector are facing their own challenges. The national economic climate has resulted in less financial support for universities who are experiencing reduced access to research council funding (Larkin, Richardson and Tabreman, 2012).

Moreover, many within higher education have felt a growing need to develop “impact” via their research activity (Parnell et al., 2015) and at the same time ensure such work reaches the right people through exchanges, platforms and networks (Fieldhouse, Widdop and Bunglawala, 2015).

There appears to be an opportunity for those within universities seeking to make a genuine impact. Through the development of real world, civically responsible research partnerships, universities and community sports organisations may be able to find common ground. This could be particularly important for community sports organisations within the third sector and those in need of support with research and evaluation.

In a recent study, Parnell and colleagues (2015) described a current example of a university and community sports organisation partnership. Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT), the community arm and registered charity of Burton Albion Football Club deliver a range of community-based sport initiatives where themes include: women and girls, health, social inclusion and disability (BACT, 2014). BACT is a community sports organisation that is growing, despite the current economic climate, through the development of key partnerships that support the urgently needed and impactful programmes that deliver value for money (BACT Annual Review, 2015).

The development of the research and evaluation partnership whereby BACT enacted the support of a local university concerned the evaluation of BACTs football/sport-based, youth social inclusion project, “Albion 2 Engage” (Parnell et al., 2015).

The evaluation utilises an intervention mapping framework that works across three key areas: Evaluation Needs, Evaluation Planning, and Evaluation Implementation. The partnership seeks to support BACT, commissioners and funders to develop a better understanding of the impact and social value of the Albion 2 Engage project (Parnell et al., 2015).

At present, policy-makers need more evidence to understand what works for sport if we are ever going to convince them to invest more seriously and strategically. Both universities and community sports organisations have complementary and potentially overlapping needs (i.e., research “impact” and research and evaluation skills).

In order to counter the financial decline in investment for sport and leisure (alongside the participation decline and increasing ill-health), universities and community sports organisations have a real opportunity to collaborate, to gather evidence, make a difference and make an impact.

Without this, and multiple extended research partnerships of this ilk, we cannot expect to see much real, articulated, measured return on the £9.3bn Olympic investment.

This post is based on a recent open access published article for the peer reviewed journal Social Inclusion:

Understanding Football as a Vehicle for Enhancing Social Inclusion: Using an Intervention Mapping Framework

Dr Daniel Parnell, Dr Andy Pringle, Dr Paul Widdop, Dr Stephen Zwolinsky

The link to the article is here: http://www.cogitatiopress.com/ojs/index.php/socialinclusion/article/view/187

Dr Dan Parnell is a senior lecturer in Business Management at Manchester Metropolitan University and is an active researcher across the sport and leisure sectors in the UK and Europe. These opinions are expressly his and not those of his employer. Twitter: @parnell_daniel

e: d.parnell@mmu.ac.uk

Dr Paul Widdop is a research fellow at Leeds Beckett University. His research interests are in the consumption and production of sport, especially in relation to social networks, geography, and neighbourhood effects. These opinions are expressly his and not those of his employer. Twitter: @Fire_and_Skill

e: p.widdop@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

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