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Sport policy and English primary physical education: the role of professional football clubs in outsourcing

Parnell, D and Cope, E and Bailey, R and Widdop, P (2017) Sport policy and English primary physical education: the role of professional football clubs in outsourcing. Sport in Society, 20 (2). pp. 292-302. ISSN 1743-0445

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Abstract

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Sports policy in England has led to considerable recent investment in Primary Physical Education (PE) via the ‘PE and Sport Premium’. An outcome of this has been growth in the outsourcing–handing over control of services to external agencies–of PE, including sport coaches from professional football clubs’ community programmes. Despite the growing research on healthy stadia, we know very little about the work performed by community arms of professional clubs in relation to delivering Primary PE. This article discusses the challenges of outsourcing PE to coaches who work for professional football clubs, while offering some evidence related to the employment and development of sports coaches. Given that the evidence of sport coaches’ involvement in Primary PE is limited and that funding and outsourcing it likely to continue England until (at least) 2020, it is important and timely to discuss critically the role of professional football clubs within the current sport policy.

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