CACT joins University of Greenwich and Premier League in funding PhD

Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT), the University of Greenwich (UoG) and the Premier League are co-funding a PhD looking into the effectiveness of activities delivered by football community trusts to support young women.

Vanessa Fortune is working on a thesis which will investigate the impact of community trusts on the aspirations and behaviour of 11 to 19-year-old females.

With a specific focus on the provision of professional football clubs’ charities in relation to young women, the study seeks to expand knowledge in an area where little previous research exists.

Dr Alan Sanders, CACT’s Director of Education, Sport and Health, said:

“At CACT, we are committed to ensuring that we have the maximum social impact within our community from our wide range of provision.

“It is essential that this provision is not just male-dominated and so a PhD thesis which looks to examine the engagement of young women through football community schemes where we can share and learn from best practice will be of major importance.”

Dr Sanders will be supervising the PhD along with Professor Pam Maras, Director of Research & Enterprise, and Dr Jo Fiore, Lecturer for Physical Education and Sport, both of whom are part of the University’s Faculty of Education and Health.

The PhD fits in with CACT’s wider education strategy, which also involves a range of traineeships and a Foundation Degree in Community Sport at UoG, a unique opportunity for those keen to gain experience of working in community sport as part of a degree programme.

Professor Maras said:

“The University of Greenwich is delighted to be working in partnership with CACT and the Premier League to support this PhD, which reflects the university’s commitments to partnership, raising aspirations and achievement and to the impact of excellent research.

“The PhD is located in the Faculty of Education and Health and will use a strong international base of findings on factors underlying young people’s wellbeing and success”, she added.

Nick Perchard, the Premier League’s Head of Community, said:

“The Premier League is committed to equality of opportunity and we work closely with the professional clubs’ community organisations to ensure that the community work that we fund is accessible to all.

“This research will enhance our understanding of the impact that professional club community organisations like CACT can have on female sports participation.

“This research will be shared across the network of organisations that we work with allowing us to build upon the already positive contribution that clubs have in their local areas.”

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