Based in Ireland (Republic)

Football Coop CLG t/a Football Cooperative

A Non-profit

How This Works

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Organization Details

Football Cooperative places recreational football as ‘a hook’ to bring men together to improve health. Our approach focuses on removing-barriers, building-community and making-organising-easy. Through a placebased model, we incorporate a network of sites that each deliver weekly games year round. Our community based volunteer Game Coordinators lead out activities that are a) accessible i.e. local amenities are used; b) flexible regarding attendance (games played 2-3 nights/week), c) affordable to ensure financial barrier is removed and d) inclusive - offered to all levels of fitness and football capacity. 

In addition to game delivery, our intervention promotes increased participant social connection and belonging, mental wellbeing and health literacy through added-value-activities such as our ‘goalpost chats’ to engagements to help participants think about their health and understand early signs of health issues that affect men i.e mental-health/testicular/prostate-cancer.

Impact Story

Football Cooperative FC is currently an enterprise research partner with South East Technological University that is following the principles of Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluation to measure FC games to assess the feasibility for scale up. It is evident that the FC games are reaching men who are at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).  Some 71 registered members participated in the study; the mean age of the players was 39.3 ± 7.0 years. Mean body mass index (BMI) was 27.2 ± 3.5 Kg/m2, with 60% classed as overweight and a further 13.9% as obese. A large majority [83.1%] had three or more CVD risk factors. 

Some participants 68.9% failed to meet the recommended PA levels, and 66.1% met the threshold for an at-risk waist circumference of ≥94cm. Almost half [49.3%] were considered at risk by reporting their sleep quality as fair or poor. Notably, very poor or poor aerobic fitness was the next most common risk factor [31.7%]. In short, this data suggests that despite being from an affluent area and being well educated, a large number of FC members are at risk of CVD.  Notably, despite their health risk, 90.1% of participants described their general health as good, very good or excellent and this lack of awareness of health risk among men has been well established in men’s health research.  

 

It is evident that FC games are achieving health outcomes for participants; 50% achieved the physical health benefit, 31% achieved the mental health benefit, and 37% achieved the social health benefit.  The SROI of the FC games was calculated and found to be €17.60 for every €1 invested. It is evident that the social value returned from this volunteer-led, community based initiative is substantial. As a result of these findings, plans are underway to scale the delivery of the FC initiative across multiple sites for the benefit of population health.

Diverse Social Enterprise

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Ethnic & Racial Minority
Owned & Led