Physical activity programs in schools are effective ways of reducing anxiety and enhancing resilience, well-being and mental health, and sport can also promote learning motivation, health, social inclusion and employment and prevent crime. Football is no exception here. Sport, and football at that, has also been used as a targeted activity to achieve the aforementioned benefits. The SPIN program is based on the sports program Kickz, but focuses significantly more on developing young people’s life skills. Based on the goals of the SPIN program, more comprehensive manuals, descriptions of intervention methodologies and other support materials have been developed compared to Kickz. The SPIN program is aimed at young people aged 10-18 living in areas with less opportunities.
The program includes football training and social skills development. One program season lasts from August to June, when groups of 10-15 participants meet three times a week. The various learning activities to develop life skills include information management and analysis, self-regulation and communication skills, while the training is carried out in the form of life skills workshops as part of football training, as well as separate life skills teaching sessions.
The long-term goals of the SPIN program are to reduce youth crime, build stronger communities through youth engagement, reduce dropout rates, and increase the number of youth with better skills in the labor market. So far, impact evaluation of the SPIN program has been carried out in two stages during one season – information on performance indicators is collected before and after one season of the SPIN program. The indicators are then compared with each other to find out whether the objectives have been met. At the same time, the change is evaluated only for those young people who participate in the SPIN program – the comparison group, i.e. those young people who do not participate in the SPIN program, is not used. When applying this research design, various factors (eg. temporal factors such as maturation, contextual changes, changes in the structure of the target group) may bias the results of the study in a way that may lead to false conclusions about the impact of the program. Therefore, it would be advisable to use more effective impact assessment methods – for example, randomized controlled trials. In order to carry out impact assessment, it is necessary to prepare for impact assessment based on a modern approach to the assessment of complex interventions.
The purpose of the project is to provide information that creates the prerequisites for high-quality measurement of the impact of the SPIN program in accordance with international scientific standards.