Tuesday, 22 July 2014

SSTO Historian in big demand

With 2014 marking the 100th anniversary of World War One, Dr Iain Adams continues to be a much-wanted man.

Based in the SSTO's International Football Institute, Dr Adams' knowledge of sport during WW1 has seen him called upon by a number of high-profile organisations to offer expert insights into the subject.

In early June he travelled to the USA to present a paper on 'Football and The 1914 Christmas Truce' at the North American Society for Sports History at Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Later the same month Dr Adams was a guest on BBC Radio Lancashire’s 'Drive Time' show, talking about Women's Football and WW1.

He followed up with two slots on the BBC for their roadshow in Blackpool entitled 'BBC World War One: The Home Front', where he presented to a combined audience of 1,500 people on sport on the home front during WW1. Dr Adams ended the month at the North West British Society for Sport History's symposium on sport in Britain on the eve of the war.

His final stop for now was at the beginning of July, conducting a workshop on Football at the Front for the staff of the National Football Museum, in preparation for their new exhibition 'The Greater Game' which opens in December.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Homophobia in football debate gathers pace

Louisa with Stephen Williams MP
Homophobia is one of Football's hot topics at the moment, and the SSTO's Louisa Jones has been in much demand as the game strives to tackle this taboo subject.

Louisa recently spoke on BBC Radio Merseyside on behalf of the school's International Football Institute about homophobia in the sport, ahead of taking part in an event designed to explore the issue in greater depth.

Hosted by Everton FC in the Community, in partnership with the Unity Theatre and Homotopia in Liverpool, the theme of the event was brought to life through the staging of a fantastic play entitled 'Gaffer' by acclaimed writer Chris Chibnall.

The play was followed by a top-level panel debate, encouraging members of the audience to discuss the issues broached with leading players from the world of sport, equalities and academia.

Members of the panel and audience were subsequently invited to Goodison Park to join a round-table discussion with Stephen Williams MP. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was on Merseyside to discuss the challenges faced eradicating homophobia and other forms of discrimination from sport and the positive actions being taken by key organisations.

Louisa said the belief that homophobia is an accepted part of football culture, with the commonly held view in the game that it is not discrimination but merely 'banter', is a major problem.

She commented: "It can be hugely destructive when a person hears the same abuse over and over again, and it is for this reason why many gay football teams and leagues have formed away from mainstream provision, offering an environment that is much more accepting and welcoming."

Louisa also called for a coordinated approach across the game in the form of mass education and awareness raising for clubs, fans, coaches, teachers, young people and community groups.

"Professional clubs should be encouraged to build a greater bond with LGBT supporters' groups and football clubs/leagues, by way of formerly affiliating with them, supporting and promoting their work through their various communications channels and helping them have a say in guiding the clubs' equalities work."

To hear Louisa's Radio Merseyside interview please click below.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

SSTO leads showpiece football conference

SSTO academics are set to lead a prestigious International Football Conference at the University of Oxford.

The event, partly sponsored by UCLan, has been organised by the SSTO's Professor Boria Majumdar (left) in conjunction with academic publishers Taylor and Francis.

Entitled 'FIFA World Cup and the Nation: Culture, Politics, Identity', Professor John Hughson, Director of the school's International Football Institute, will lead a plenary session on day two of the event, which also features a number of leading figures from the world of Football Culture.

Keynote speakers include award winning journalist and author Mihir Bose. In addition to writing a weekly "Big Sports Interview" for the London Evening Standard, he also writes and broadcasts on social and historical issues as well as sport for a range of outlets including the BBC, the Financial Times and the Independent.

Dr John Minten, Dean of UCLan’s School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors commented: "Following on from what has been called the ‘Best World Cup Ever’ there are a host of important issues that have emerged, in just about all aspects of football culture, politics and identity. This event will bring together highly renowned academics and practitioners in what will be an extremely interesting conference."

The event takes place at the The University Club, Oxford, on 23-24 July. For further information please click here.