Evaluating the FA Coach Inclusion and Diversity programme

Dr Steven Bradbury
Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences

Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches are under-represented in English professional football.

Dr Steven Bradbury’s research – dating back ten years – has found that BAME coaches experience racialized micro-aggressions, stereotypes and institutional forms of discrimination across a range of professional football coaching contexts.

As a result, few BAME coaches complete High-Level Coach Education (HLCE) awards or gain employment as coaches at professional clubs.

These findings led the FA – as part of its In Pursuit of Progress plan – to launch its five-year (2016-21) Coach Inclusion and Diversity programme.

The £1.4 million initiative provides financial and resource support to 100 BAME coaches every year, equipping them with the relevant technical and experiential skills to complete HLCE awards.

In 2016, the FA commissioned Dr Bradbury to conduct a comprehensive three-year evaluation of the programme which included interviews with participants, delivery staff and stakeholders.

Dr Bradbury’s final report includes good practice recommendations which have been incorporated by the FA to enhance the delivery and effectiveness of the programme.

A key feature of the recommendations is the proposed implementation of measures to enable accessibility, enhance learning opportunities, support career development, and facilitate transitions into employment in football coaching.

Work in this area is ongoing and includes evaluations on behalf of Sporting Chance and Sport England, a Leverhulme Trust funded PhD study, and the publication of peer reviewed articles and book chapters. Later this year, Routledge publish a book, co-edited by Dr Bradbury - Race, Ethnicity and Racism in Sports Coaching.