Mapping the provision and evaluation practices of local community health and wellbeing programmes delivered by professional sports clubs in England: A practice-based targeted review

ANDY SMITH, Jack Brazier*, Charlie Foster, Joey Murphy, Nick Townsend, Matthew Northcote

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Professional sports clubs (PSCs) are potentially effective settings for health promotion, however, their role within policy is unclear. Potential reasons include lack of awareness about existing provision of health and wellbeing (H&W) programmes and adequacy of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practices. This review aimed to: (i) map the provision of H&W programmes delivered by PSCs in the United Kingdom (UK); and (ii) explore current M&E practices of PSCs and consider the policy implications of this. Websites from eight professional sport leagues were hand-searched for programmes and impact reports. Suitable programmes were quantified, whilst impact reports were analysed via inductive documentary content analysis. Results identified 127 H&W programmes and 36 impact reports, as well as 43 H&W impact statements, but only 14 of these were aligned to specific H&W outcomes. The H&W aims of programmes were typically vague, measurement tools were rarely used, and evaluations were usually anecdotal case studies and based on engagement figures, which may not only limit the potential uptake of these programmes, but also the relevance of PSCs to public policy. Further research is thus needed to build a stronger evidence base for the use of PSCs as vehicles of public health promotion and policy, and to better address the challenges faced when seeking to monitor and evaluate PSC programmes effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Volume15
Issue number3
Early online date24 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Professional sports clubs
  • communities
  • evaluation
  • physical activity
  • health promotion

Research Centres

  • Sport and Mental Health Research Centre

Research Groups

  • Sport, Work and Health Research Group

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