For the past seven years  there have been many visitors to Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme. Politicians, journalists, researchers and practitioners have ventured out onto the housing estates, playing fields and schools of East London to witness the work of the charity that was formed in 1997. They have consistently expressed their admiration, returning with a sense of respect and desire to see more of the same, an expansion of the programme's work, its extension into new social and geographic areas and dispersal of the 'model' to other organisations. This confidence in LOCSP’s work has indeed contributed to the emergence of new funding streams and the propagation of the organisation's work as a model of best practice, which now reaches out beyond British shores to other parts of Europe and indeed the Middle East. However, until now this response has been driven largely by a mixture of intuition, ignorance and excitement in the face of innovation rather than a substantive understanding of what it is that makes the LOCSP approach 'work'.
This is not surprising. For it is often harder to convey what works than what doesn't. We often tend to have an intuitive sense of when things are going well, as with a football team's performances on the pitch, which is not easily recorded and which in the moment of its realisation is more readily enjoyed for what it is than how it might be reproduced. But just as with the successful football team, good form and popularity are rarely long lasting and indeed are often found to be susceptible to close examination, since it is through such examination that others can learn, develop and move beyond.
It was with these thoughts in mind that the research programme, which is presented here, was conceived. Since for the organisers and guardians of LOCSP, community sports work and engagement with disadvantaged groups for the purposes of social development was never a matter for popular consumption, navel gazing or point scoring. Rather it has long been recognised as a complex sphere of activity that requires considerable selfawareness, reflection and criticism. A field of work that often relies upon a willingness to take risks in the full knowledge that they will not always pay off but from which valuable lessons can always be learned.
Editor's comments - [ After spending several years learning the language and business of the social inclusion agenda, and in the aftermath of the publication of the Government’s PAT 10 report on the role of sport and the arts in tackling social exclusion (DCMS, 1999), LOCSP had the confidence to commission this study with a view to better understanding the context of its work and to inform similar organisations interested in developing their own interventions. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>
In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : Crabbe, T. Slaughter, P. (2004). On the Eastside: Research report into the estate based social inclusion interventions of Leyton Orient community sports programme. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University
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