23 Jun Reclaim the Game feasibility study underway
The first group of men to participate in the gambling harm reduction and football programme – Reclaim the Game – completed their 8-week journey to gambling less in mid-June with support from specially trained coaches from Accrington Stanley Community Trust.
A small cohort of male participants aged 18-44 attended session at the brand new Stanley Sports Hub to evaluate their relationship with sports betting and other gambling behaviours and change their betting behaviours.
Sessions are 90 minutes in total with the first 45 minutes focusing on education and behaviour change techniques, followed by the second 45 minutes of football-based skills, drills and 5-a-side.
Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the programme is based on the award winning, evidence-based, Football Fans in Training (FFIT) and European Fans in Training (EuroFIT) programmes developed by researchers at University of Glasgow.
This model has been adapted to help football fans learn more about gambling and to give them practical tools to help them reduce how much money they bet each week.
The Reclaim the Game model has been scoped and designed by an expert working group of consortium members and end-users, including development of participant recruitment strategies, training materials for coaches, materials for participants, and core components of the training programme. The project is being delivered by University of Glasgow with Healthy Stadia and Beacon Counselling Trust.
The course delivered by coaches at Accrington Stanley Community Trust is one of two feasibility studies for this two-year research programme, with another 8-week course to be delivered by coaches from Preston North End Community and Education Trust starting on 28th June.
Learning from the two feasibility study clubs will be factored into a finalised model for delivery in late 2022 by four additional Premier League and English Football League clubs who will participate in a randomised control trial.
Matthew Philpott, Executive Director for Healthy Stadia said:
“It has been incredible to see the changes in participant’s attitudes and confidence concerning gambling over just an 8-week period. Men have been able to focus on SMART goals to reduce both the amount of time and money spent each week on gambling, and have been equipped with the skills and resources to regain control in cases of relapse.
“Considering the stigma and peer pressures associated with gambling, participants have shown huge courage to sign up to the programme, and great conviction to see this through.”