Best Poster at Football, Politics and Popular Culture Conference, University of Limerick, 2017

Since the conception of The Football Collective in 2016 we have been fortunate to have the support of Taylor and Francis / Routledge. In particularly, Simon Whitmore has been an incredible source of encouragement throughout this period. In keeping with this relatively new tradition, Taylor and Francis / Routledge sponsored our recent conference Football, Politics and Popular Culture at the University of Limerick (2017).

We were delighted to announce that this years winner was Zora Saskova. Zora picked up a voucher for £200 worth of Routledge books alongside a further complimentary of Hughson et al Handbook of Football Studies.

Zora is a first year PhD researcher in the School of Sport at Ulster University working on an ethnographic research project investigating an emerging football migration network between Sierra Leone and Denmark. The study will explore the ways in which the myriad, complex issues emanating from post-conflict Sierra Leone might impact on the extent to which footballers from the country have sought out a career abroad. The project is supervised by Dr Paul Darby and Dr Katie Liston.

Zora Saskova (Best post winner) with Dr Katie Liston

In the conference poster, the results of Zora’s Master’s research, completed at the University of Chester, were presented. The study adopted a processual or figurational approach to explore the mid-range mechanisms intended to lead towards behavioural change among adult participants of a sport-for-development programme implemented by a Danish NGO in Sierra Leone. The NGO aims to develop local communities and tackle various social issues through establishing football associations, together with integrating a ‘democratic and responsible’ mentality among the ‘future leaders’ of Sierra Leone. However, through the study it became evident that sport was not what mattered to the participants. The interviewees were often describing more general procedures, frequently connected to the broader issues in their society. Despite the fact that participants acknowledged and had positive perceptions about changes in their behaviour, whether this programme can be considered a successful intervention or another example of neo-colonialism or cultural imperialism is conditional upon further investigation.

Zora Saskova: @ZoraSaskova

Taylor and Francis / Routledge: @tandfsport

Football, Politics and Popular Culture write-ups:

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