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Keon Richardson 15-16 Department of Health template A3 size 260215

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Keon Richardson 15-16 Department of Health template A3 size 260215

  1. 1. QPR in the Community Trust: Using the badge of a professional football club to “create opportunities, inspire change and help people fulfil their potential” Keon Richardson 2015/2016 Department of Health kr376@bath.ac.uk QPR in the Community Trust is the charitable arm of Queen Park Rangers Football Club, who uses the appeal of sport and the QPR badge to empower adults and young people from the West London community. I was responsible for coaching football sessions within the Youth and Communities Department. The department utilises football as a social development tool to empower young people who are at risk to: anti-social behaviour, gang participation and unemployment. The three key football intervention programs to tackle these social issues are: Kicks - Organised football sessions for hard to access young people aged 12-19 from disadvantaged communities. Pupil Referral Units - Football sessions delivered in specialist units for students aged 11-16 who have been expelled from school. Sport and Thought - Football as “therapy” for school students aged 11-16 with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Beyond coaching football on council estates, my biggest challenge was empowering these young people. I had to create opportunities to improve their attitude, confidence and self-esteem, and reduce their risk to the social issues within their area. In order to create opportunities, I had to develop my capital. Bourdieu’s (1986, p.114) concept of capital is a set of “usable resources and powers” one owns, which may allow an individual to improve their social mobility. Capital exists in three forms: economic, social and cultural. Economic capital relates to the amount of money someone possesses. Social capital is a group of established social contacts an individual develops through time and effort. Cultural capital refers to a person’s knowledge, experience, qualifications and skills. I had to particularly develop my social and cultural capital (contacts, experiences, knowledge, qualifications) to understand how to tackle the social issues the young people were at risk to. This involved attending coaching courses, workshops and networking at meetings, to become more resourceful in signposting young people to opportunities they’re interested in, and divert them away from crime and gang participation. This takes a pro active approach which can be exhausting. However, seeing young people socially develop through my efforts was personally rewarding. How do football intervention programs impact young people from disadvantaged communities’ life decisions and opportunities? Pupil Referral Unit Football Session Stadium Tour for a Community Group from Northern Ireland Premier League Kicks Cup

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