Goals set at world soccer conference

12-Jun-2014

Exercise and Sport Science Associate Professor Ian Heazlewood has spoken at a world soccer conference in the United States

Exercise and Sport Science Associate Professor Ian Heazlewood has spoken at a world soccer conference in the United States


As the FIFA World Cup approaches, a Charles Darwin University academic is advising organisers of other world soccer games on how to increase participation numbers.

Exercise and Sport Science Associate Professor Ian Heazlewood encouraged sport organisers to target men and women differently when promoting the sport in the community.

Dr Heazlewood made these recommendations to soccer organisers at the 4th World Conference on Science and Soccer in Portland, USA.

“These days most sports are inclusive, but you need to encourage people to join and continue to participate,” Dr Heazlewood said.

“Marketing your sport to males and females in the same way might not be the optimum way to sell it.”

Dr Heazlewood said marketing strategies should focus on the sport’s rewarding factors for participants, such as feeling part of a team, improving health and self-esteem and achieving sports goals.

He noted many Australian women’s teams in various sports were ranked higher internationally than their male counterparts.

“They’re doing wonderfully well but, of course, the exposure could improve,” he said.

Dr Heazlewood based his recommendations on surveys he conducted on athletes at the Pan Pacific Masters Games in the Gold Coast in 2010.

He said physical inactivity was the second biggest killer in the world in terms of non-communicable diseases, especially in developed nations.

“Becoming physically active is important to improve one’s overall health,” he said. “Exercise is medicine.”

Dr Heazlewood is a full professional member of Sports Medicine Australia.

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