streetfootballworld network member Football United recently launched its Playing for Change report, a study on the social impact of the organisation since its founding in 2006. The report shows overwhelmingly positive results from a study conducted by the Australian Research Council (ARC), and outlines the benefits of the organisation as it prepares to expand nationwide.
Football United aims to support young refugees and migrants, both male and female, as they transition into Australian society. They use football activities to strengthen cross- cultural relationships, to build social and leadership skills, and to foster educational engagement, often running their programmes out of local schools.
After six years of programming, Football United has announced a new partnership with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth to introduce a national up-scaling programme over the next five years. This will enable the organisation to work in any state in Australia and to eventually spread its programming nationwide.
Playing for change
The Football United research report, entitled ‘Playing for Change: Improving People’s Lives Through Football’ was based on an ARC study that compares two schools using Football United programmes with two similar schools that have no relation to the organisation. The impact report, which can be found on their website, divides the results into four sections of football, school and educational opportunities, appreciating cultural differences, and overcoming barriers to participation in sport.
Overall, the study was very positive and verified that Football United has improved the confidence and skills of its participants. In interviews with the ARC, 84% of young people said they felt a bit or much better since coming to Football United, and 85% said that Football United had helped in other ways than football.
The report also demonstrates the organisation’s ability to strengthen cross-cultural relations, as participants reported significantly better other-group orientation than those not involved with the programmes. “This is what we’ve been waiting for,” said Founder and Director of Football United, Anne Bunde-Birouste, in an interview with The World Game. “This is the time that we get to show with hard, concrete proof that this programme is effective, not just in football, but in a whole range of areas.”
Read the online version of the Playing for Change impact report:
Monitoring and evaluation in Development through Sport
Football United’s impact report demonstrates the increasing desire among organisations in the field of Development through Sport to document the impact of their work. Recognising this, streetfootballworld and its partners the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Aqumen Social Technologies launched inFocus, an effective tool for monitoring and evaluating an organisation’s work. Using inFocus, network members can better assess and communicate the results of their programmes.
To read about the launch of inFocus last August, click here