Leeds Beckett University extends partnership with UEFA

Leeds Beckett University has extended its partnership with European football governing body UEFA.

(L-R), Frank Ludolph (UEFA), Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial (Leeds Beckett) and Kris Van Der Haegen (UEFA).
(L-R), Frank Ludolph (UEFA), Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial (Leeds Beckett) and Kris Van Der Haegen (UEFA).

The extension will see experts from the university’s Carnegie School of Sport conduct comprehensive evaluations of two of UEFA’s junior football programmes, Football in Schools and PlayMakers.

Football in Schools aims to enhance the quality and quantity of school-based football activities. PlayMakers works to increase the number of girls taking up the game through innovative approaches, including a partnership with Disney.

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The university will work with UEFA and its 55 member national football associations to co-ordinate and conduct the evaluations.

The initial two-year project will be led by Leeds Beckett’s Dr Sergio Lara-Bercial and a newly-appointed post-doctoral research fellow. The university is currently recruiting for the post and the successful candidate will start in January. The role may be extended for a further two years, depending on the initial outcomes of the two review projects.

Dr Lara-Bercial, a Reader in Sport Coaching at Leeds Beckett, said findings from the two studies would be used to propose modifications and improvements to the delivery of both projects.

He said: “This extension comes after Leeds Beckett completed two literature reviews to inform the development of UEFA’s Football in Schools and PlayMakers Projects in 2019.

“We are proud to be continuing to shape the future of football and wider sport and helping to change lives and communities for the better through improved practice, policy and performance.”