Assessing the impact of football-based health improvement programmes: stay onside, avoid own goals and score with the evaluation!
AffiliationLeeds Beckett University
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AbstractHealth improvement is an important strand of the Premier League’s ‘Creating Chances’ strategy. Through community programmes, professional football clubs offer health enhancing interventions for a number of different priority groups at risk from a range of lifestyle-related health conditions. However, while national guidance recommends evaluating health improvement interventions, concerns remain about how to do this most effectively. This study aims to investigate the popularity of football-based health improvement schemes and assess the challenges associated with their evaluation. Adapted from existing methodologies, a semi-structured questionnaire was administered to an ‘expert’ sample (n=3) of football-led health evaluators. The sample was selected because of their experience and knowledge of performing evaluations of football-led health improvement programmes. Our ‘experts’ offered reasons for the popularity of football settings as channels for health improvement (including the reach of the club badge and the popularity of football); the justification for evaluating such schemes (including confirming effectiveness and efficiency) and the challenges of implementing evaluations (capacity, commitment and capability). Finally, a selection of key considerations for the evaluating the impact of football-led health improvement programmes (obtaining expert guidance, building capacity and planning for evaluations) are discussed.
CitationPringle, A., Zwolinsky, S., Lozano, L., Hargreaves, J., and McKenna, J. (2015). 'Assessing the impact of football-based health improvement programmes: stay onside, avoid own goals and score with the evaluation! In Parnell, D., and Richardson, D. 'Football, Community and Social Inclusion'. Abingdon: Routledge.