Coventry University hosts half term event for city’s young footballers

Young footballers sat in group in sports hall
Research news

Wednesday 09 February 2022

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Young footballers playing for grassroots football clubs in Coventry and Warwickshire will get a chance to develop their football skills and learn about the science of the game at a two-day event to be hosted by Coventry University during February half term.

The event is being run by the university’s Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences on 21 and 22 February and is open to children who are currently registered with a grassroots football team playing in the Coventry, Nuneaton and Bedworth or Tamworth junior leagues.

It is part of the centre’s FUNdamental MOVEment and Football Science research work, and it will open the university’s laboratories to 32 children playing grassroots football Under 8 and Under 12 ages this season.

Across the two days the young footballers will experience the type of fitness tests the researchers use with professional senior and academy level footballers as well as the different types of decision-making tests used to identify talent in football.

They will engage in practical coaching sessions with UEFA and FA qualified coaches and get involved in sessions measuring football skills and movement ability at The Place Westwood Heath Sport and Conference Facilities. The focus of the event will be on a fun experience that develops the children’s football ability but also develops interest in science, learning some new things and creating aspiration. As part of the event activities, the children will also take part in a football science research project focused on fundamental movement skills.

Coventry University sports science students will also be involved in the event, giving them a great opportunity to gain work-related experience.

This will be a fun event meant to stimulate the children’s interest in sport science and to create understanding for children of what a university is and what we do at Coventry University to create aspiration. We will develop the children’s football expertise and show them how we measure different things related to football such as fitness and skill and introduce them to high profile science. For example, we have demonstrated eye tracking technology to the children before, worked with them to show how their brains work, how they make decisions, and how we might use sensors to measure movement. These are all grassroots footballers from the community, and we have plans to host a bigger event in the school summer holidays and also organise evening events for other grassroots clubs this year.

Professor Mike Duncan, Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Coventry University

If you are interested in your child taking part in similar events in future or want to find out more, please contact Prof Mike Duncan: