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Sunday 31 May 2015

Solent hosts international football conference

University hosts international football conference

Solent University, in conjunction with the Lawrie McMenemy Centre for Football Research and the Leisure Studies Association, hosted a one-day international conference entitled: Football as Inclusive Leisure, this week. The conference brought together leading scholars and practitioners to discuss a range of different aspects of inclusion, exclusion, equality and diversity in football. Keynote speakers included Roisin Wood, the Director of Kick It Out, Professor Ben Carrington from the University of Texas at Austin, USA, and academic and filmmaker, Ian McDonald from Newcastle University. A conference dinner followed the day's proceedings. Held at Southampton FC's St Mary's stadium, it included tours of the stadium and after-dinner entertainment in the form of a Q&A with FA Cup winning former Southampton manager and LMCFR President, Lawrie McMenemy.

Football students helping city's homeless

Integration and inclusivity are prominent goals for the football community, and Solent football studies students are playing their part, working with homeless people from across the city. As part of a work-based community project, set up in partnership with Hampshire Football Association and Chapter 1, a charity that specialises in providing accommodation and support for vulnerable people, Football Studies students designed opportunities for disadvantaged groups to get involved in the game. The activities included students running weekly football sessions and culminated with a football tournament. The tournament was the result of months of hard work by first and second-year students, who refereed the project as part of their studies. In a bid to encourage and build participation in football among disadvantaged people, students worked to live briefs set by Hampshire FA in the first year of their course, then planned and developed them through to delivery in year two. LMCFR member, Dr Stefan Lawrence, said: "The students’ implementation of a 'development through football’ approach within a real-world context extends their commitment to social justice beyond the classroom." This is the second, successive group of students to contribute to a community project, with many students now working as voluntary or part-time staff for Hampshire FA. The project also contributes to the Football Association’s national targets, helping to increase football provision. Kim Wilcox from Hampshire FA commented: "Through this project, with the support and guidance of Chapter 1, the students have engaged with a group of participants that otherwise would have slipped through the net. They have approached the project with tenacity and determination, providing informal but regular playing opportunities resulting in an extremely well organised competitive offer. In partnership with the University and Chapter 1, we hope to develop the project further to provide a regular, competitive offer of affiliated football."