• Professional football clubs’ involvement in health promotion in Spain: an audit of current practices

      Lozano-Sufrategui, Lorena; Pringle, Andy; Zwolinsky, Stephen; Drew, Kevin J; Leeds Beckett University (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-09-20)
      The implementation of effective community-based health interventions within Spanish football clubs has the potential to positively influence the public health agenda and enable the health care system in Spain to be more successful and sustainable. This paper aims to explore the involvement of Spanish football clubs in health promotion activities, their potential for future involvement and what that would require. A mixed methods explanatory sequential design, with a purposive sample of La Liga clubs. Data collection included online questionnaires and phone interviews. Quantitative methods enabled us to describe the number and types of programmes the clubs are currently involved in. Qualitative data was useful to further unpick the processes followed by the clubs in planning and developing health promotion programmes, while identifying any determinants to change. Seventeen clubs completed questionnaires and 11 participated in interviews. Clubs generally support inclusive programmes that target disadvantaged groups. Health-related programmes focus on healthy eating, physical activity and blood donation. Thematic analysis of interviews with 11 representatives of La Liga clubs resulted in three key themes. These related to: (1) Diversity of programmes; (2) (Lack of) evidence-based approaches to intervention design and evaluation; and (3) Contrasting views about a club’s role in health promotion interventions. Spanish football clubs have potential to reach into communities that are currently underserved. However, there is limited infrastructure and understanding within the clubs to do this. Nevertheless, there is huge opportunity for organisations with public health responsibility in Spain to implement translational approaches within football-based settings.