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Public lecture: Levelling the field?

A football in a goal net
Date and Time
20th October 2022, 17:30 - 18:30
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Identifying and challenging racialised inequities in men’s professional football coaching in England


This public lecture was delivered by Dr Steven Bradbury, Senior Lecturer in Sport, Equality and Diversity at Loughborough University, on Thursday 20th October at 5:30pm. The talk discussed identifying and challenging racialised inequities in men’s professional football coaching in England.

Despite the longstanding racial diversity of the playing workforce in (men’s) elite level football in England, there has been a minimal throughput of racially minoritised players into senior coaching positions at professional clubs. This lecture drew on research undertaken by Dr Bradbury (and other scholars working in the field) to identify the key factors which have limited the realisation of equitable opportunities, experiences and outcomes for racially minoritised coaches. It also evaluated the scope, implementation and effectiveness of new targeted ‘positive action’ measures designed to diversify the professional football coaching workforce.

The lecture concluded by suggesting that such measures should be more strongly interventionist and transformational in their policy intentions and ideological scope, and that key stakeholder bodies should work collaboratively to adopt a more holistic legislative and pedagogical approach to tackling racialised inequities in football coaching.

Finally, the talk  outlined some potential prospective priorities for broadening the multi-levelled and intersectional focus of future research in this important scholarly field.

Dr Steven Bradbury is a Senior Lecturer in Sport, Equality and Diversity at the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University. He is also a member of the Sociology and Sport Management learning and teaching group and the Sport, Business and Society research theme within the School. Over the last 25 years, Dr Bradbury has conducted high quality and impactful research for a range of regional, national and international sports bodies and development agencies.

The findings from his research have been published as reports, book chapters, and articles in peer reviewed journals and presented to a range of academic, practitioner and governmental audiences in the UK and Europe. In particular, in relation to research examining the under-representation and experiences of ethnically diverse players, coaches and governance staff and the effectiveness of measures to address racialised inequities in football and other sports. He is also the co-editor of a new book entitled ‘‘Race’, Ethnicity and Racism in Sports Coaching’ as part of the Routledge Critical Perspectives on Equality and Social Justice in Sport and Leisure series.

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