Promoting Healthy Physical Activity and Nutrition in a Low Socioeconomic Status Community: A University-Australian Rules Football Collaborative Model

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The Flinders-Panthers Be Your Best project was developed as a result of a successful and effective union between Flinders University and the South Adelaide Football Club, colloquially known as ‘the Panthers’. The aim of the project was to implement and evaluate, in an area of high social deprivation, an in-school health promotion programme for primary school children—based on evidence and established good practice, and capitalising on the potential of the football club as a vehicle for community engagement—for the purpose of achieving positive dietary and physical activity behaviour change. The project engaged with participating schools on a weekly basis for an entire 9-week term and accessed every child for at least 40–50 min each week, alternating between physical activity 1 week and nutrition the next. There was a project officer from Flinders University onsite throughout, together with a range of third and fourth year undergraduate physical education students to assist each session. Additionally there were a number of senior Panthers footballers in attendance to provide football skills development and engage with the students on issues associated with fitness and training. Evaluation indicated that positive benefits achieved resulted from the following specific features of the project: Sustained intervention over a full term and close engagement with schools. Involvement of Panthers footballers as positive role models. Contribution of university undergraduates delivering sessions alongside Panthers players (it was recognised that professional players can often struggle to deliver effective health education when asked to engage with children in a school setting, and the involvement and support of the physical education students proved to be significant in ensuring quality sessions). Presence of university students as models of aspiration (countering the effects of disadvantage and de-motivation in some of the children and encouraging them to feel that they too could aspire to higher levels of achievement).

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSports-Based Health Interventions
    Subtitle of host publicationCase Studies from Around the World
    EditorsDavid Conrad, Alan White
    Place of PublicationNew York, U.S.A.
    PublisherSpringer New York LLC
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781461459965
    ISBN (Print)9781461459958
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Australia
    • Australian rules football
    • Children
    • Deprivation
    • Diet
    • Health promotion
    • Physical activity
    • Players
    • Schools
    • University


    Dive into the research topics of 'Promoting Healthy Physical Activity and Nutrition in a Low Socioeconomic Status Community: A University-Australian Rules Football Collaborative Model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this