Soccer, safety and science: why evidence is key

This case study shows why even the best planned and resourced violence prevention programmes may not work.

Sports-based violence prevention programmes have broad appeal, including among police, policy makers and politicians. This policy brief presents a case study of the Eyethu Soccer League, a behavioural intervention that was carefully planned, implemented and evaluated – and yet did not achieve its aims. Findings caution against ‘easy wins’ and suggest that short-term skills-building programmes may struggle to solve structural challenges.

About the authors

Christina Laurenzi is a Researcher at the Institute for Life Course Health Research (ILCHR) at Stellenbosch University.

Mark Tomlinson is a Professor and Co-Director at ILCHR.

Zwelibanzi Skiti was the Intervention Manager for the Eyethu League and is part of the data collection and management team at ILCHR.

Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus is a Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Global Center for Children and Families at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles.

Photo: James Walsh in collaboration with ILCHR

Development partners
This policy brief is funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Bavarian State Chancellery. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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