Ecorys NYCFC report published on empowering children in underserved communities using football

Ecorys have conducted an impact study for New York City Football Club (NYCFC) which focuses on providing young people from undeserved communities with a safe place to play football and take part in City in the Community (CITC) programmes. CITC uses the power of football to promote health, education and leadership development and create safe community spaces, where programming is free of charge for more than 4,000 young people each week throughout the five boroughs in New York.

The study examines the costs of delivery and the impact of a programme at Lexington Academy, a public school in East Harlem. The research found an increase in overall participation in sports and physical activity amongst respondents. The vast majority of participants attributed this increase to their involvement in CITC activities.

There was also encouraging evidence on the positive impact of the programme on participants’ knowledge of diet and nutrition. The research showed that younger children, in particular, reported an increase in consumption of healthier items and a decline in less nutritious options.

The study found engagement in programme activities and critically the provision of safe and accepting spaces has impacted positively on confidence levels, the ability to work as a team and in some cases the ability to apply the lessons learned on the field (e.g. perseverance, respect, teamwork) to a classroom setting.

Many interviewees also noted the value in providing a safe space – both in terms of physicality as well as the presence of a support network in the form of coaches as well as fellow participants. 

  • Over 90% respondents reporting that they attended CITC activities every week. 
  • Interviews revealed that the participation of children and young people in CITC activities was in some cases helping to bring families closer together.
  • SNL activities in particular were credited by parents with bringing young people from different backgrounds together.
  • Over half (52%) of older respondents from East Harlem said that attending the programme had helped them to reduce or prevent their involvement in crime. 
  • Some older respondents also noted that CITC activities have had a positive impact on stopping, reducing or preventing the consumption of drugs (19%), alcohol (14%) and cigarettes (10%).  

Analysis based solely on an estimate of the benefits to individuals of increased physical activity suggests a monetary social return of $4.50 for every $1.00 invested in running the programme at the two sites.    

You can read the full report here

For more information please contact Jonathan.France@ecorys.com