New Arenas: Football and the Community 2010

Albion in the Community (the charitable arm of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club) and the universities of Brighton and Sussex are working on a new programme of activities together. ‘New arenas: football and the community’, will celebrate both the developing partnership between the three Falmer-based organisations and the opening of the American Express Community Stadium in 2011.

The Albion and the two universities aim to be learning organisations and to make an important contribution to the city and the region. Bringing together the two universities and Albion in the Community will throw new light on football, learning and the community. All three organisations are committed to understanding and illuminating the contribution the football club, with its brilliant new stadium, and the universities can make to community regeneration and individual wellbeing. Activities Seminar series 'New arenas: football and community'

This is a series of themed events around critical and contemporary areas and issues that are co-owned by Albion and the universities.

The purpose of the seminars is to

develop thinking and practice in key areas of community activity and intervention;
develop networks that can co-work and seek funds;
promote the new stadium and the club as a vehicle for community development;
enhance research, teaching and facilities at the universities.

Schedule of events:

Social Inclusion/Regeneration: 23rd June 2011, hosted at the University of Brighton. See notes from event

Health Promotion: 22nd November 2011 to be hosted at the American Express Community Stadium. See details of event.

Education: 3rd July 2012, hosted at the University of Sussex Conference Centre. See details of event

The events are aimed primarily at those working in the field (sport/social inclusion/youth work/health/education) and interested academics, with a regional reach. Research into the impact of the community stadium

The partnership offers an exciting opportunity for some early research to better the understanding of how an initiative such as the community stadium can impact on local communities. The project partners are currently looking for funds and exploring multi discipline academic interest (social science, sports, education, development studies for example). Maximising student involvement in the Albion in the community’s activities via volunteering and activity as part of the curriculum

Brighton and Sussex universities will also work with the Albion to maximise student volunteering and make sure football into the community becomes an important part of the university curriculum.

There is considerable scope for involving university students in the football club. Both universities have well developed student volunteering schemes and we anticipate a significant number of opportunities being developed. Moreover there are a number of possibilities of students undertaking community oriented work with Albion that is part of their curriculum. In particular there is the Community Participation and Development module at the University of Brighton that involves up to 400 students annually who undertake a 50 hour community project between November and May.

The following significant potential opportunities for student involvement were identified:

Generations for peace initiative - Albion plans to host an international conflict resolution camp in Brighton
The Albion’s interest in issues of worklessness/employability could lead to pieces of mentoring work by students or other practical projects

Project Partners Albion in the Community

Alan Sanders (Director) Stuart Christie (Health Development Manager) University of Sussex

River Jones (Convenor of Community Engagement) Professor Fred Gray University of Brighton

Professor Neil Ravenscroft David Wolff (Director, Cupp) Juliet Millican [] (Cupp)

For more information on the New Arenas programme, please contact