We’ve got World Cup fever this week at the Good Sports Podcast; as the men’s football World Cup rolls into its final week we’re looking at both the use of football for good and how, or indeed if, mega international sporting events can be leveraged to secure a positive social legacy.
First up we have a series of interviews with a variety of organisations that are using football to change people’s lives. Dave spoke with community organisations, journalists and a programme leader to help bring together a picture of the power of “the beautiful game”.
A Girls Game
Irene Caselli is a pioneering journalist from A Girls Game; the group use inspiring and at time harrowing stories from women’s football to explore and expose wider themes of gender inequality.
You can read more about the project and watch a short teaser trailer here.
And follow them on Twitter: @agirlsgame
Newcastle United Foundation
Laura Wilson from the Newcastle United Foundation outlines what the Foundation is doing to use football to tackle antisocial behaviour and help promote physical activity, and highlights the benefits of association with a professional football club.
Find out more about the foundation here.
And follow them on Twitter: @NU_foundation
Step Out Stay Out
We hear from Pete Bell, ex-offender and founder of Step Out Stay Out, a project where he uses his experiences of life in and after prison to coach and mentor inmates and help them take steps towards a positive life afterwards.
Read more about his story here.
And follow Step Out Stay Out on Twitter: @stepoutstayout
The Big Debate
We then had our first on-air debate, with Dave and Lee arguing for and against the capacity for mega international sporting events to leave a positive social legacy.
Dave, arguing that these events do leave a social legacy, drew heavily on the London 2012 Olympics and highlighted positive stories from these games:
Do big sporting events make us do more sport?
Brazil World Cup stadiums symbol of tournament’s dubious legacy
A Cup Half Full: The Social Impact of the World Cup
Lee refuted these claims, again drawing on London 2012 and highlighting how many of the widely touted benefits were superficial at best, and non-existent at worst. He also drew on quotes from FIFA that emphasised that a social legacy was not even on the radar of many of these organisations and events.
In summing up, Sara recognised the importance of institutional values in driving the quest for social legacies from these events, contrasting the Olympics with the FIFA World Cup, but also how relatively recent this move towards seeking a social legacy has been. Listen in to find out the final result, and make sure you have your say on our Twitter poll! @goodsportscast
Finally, we enjoyed another classic quiz from Dave, marrying statistics from countries participating in the World Cup, a bit of geography, and team nicknames!
If you’re interested in finding out a little bit more about football for development you should check out Episode 2 of the podcast, where we speak with Charlie Gamble, CEO of Tackle Africa, about how they are using football to tackle HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.