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Football in the community schemes: Exploring the effectiveness of an intervention in promoting healthful behaviour change

Parnell, D and Stratton, G and Drust, B and Richardson, D (2013) Football in the community schemes: Exploring the effectiveness of an intervention in promoting healthful behaviour change. Soccer and Society, 14 (1). pp. 35-51. ISSN 1466-0970

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Abstract

This study aims to examine the effectiveness of a Premier League football club's Football in the Community (FitC) schemes intervention in promoting positive healthful behaviour change in children. Specifically, exploring the effectiveness of this intervention from the perspectives of the participants involved (i.e. the researcher, teachers, children and coaches). A range of data collection techniques were utilized including the principles of ethnography (i.e. immersion, engagement and observations), alongside conducting focus groups with the children. The results allude to the intervention merely 'keeping active children active' via (mostly) fun, football sessions. Results highlight the important contribution the 'coach' plays in the effectiveness of the intervention. Results relating to working practice (i.e. coaching practice and coach recruitment) are discussed and highlighted as areas to be addressed. FitC schemes appear to require a process of positive organizational change to increase their effectiveness in strategically attending to the health agenda. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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