- Research from Nationwide Building Society shows over a quarter of children (30%) in Newcastle consider footballers to be their biggest role models
- 1 in 10 (14%) children in Newcastle are hoping to become footballers when they grow up
- 73% of parents think grassroots football clubs should do more to encourage respect
- ‘Coin For Respect’ campaign launched to promote mutual respect on and off the pitch
Research undertaken by Nationwide Building Society as part of the Coin for Respect campaign has identified in which UK cities children consider footballers to be their greatest role models.
Newcastle came out top with more than a quarter of children (30%) choosing footballers as their biggest role models.
In addition, the research revealed that 1 in 10 (14%) children in Newcastle are hoping to become footballers when they grow up (and 11% want to be YouTubers) so it is important the skills they learn can see them through into later life – both on and off the pitch.
With that in mind, there is added responsibility on teachers, grassroots clubs and coaches to support parents in instilling respectful traits. However, 7 in 10 (73%) parents feel more needs to be done by football clubs to encourage respect at that level of the game.
Someone who knows about the importance of respect both on and off the pitch and having to teach his two boys those same values is Jeff Brazier who is supporting the campaign: “I’m really excited to be supporting the Coin for Respect campaign with Nationwide Building Society. Growing up I always played football, and I even made it as a professional footballer, but I think my fear of making mistakes was a factor in not sustaining it. I felt pressure from a young age and definitely experienced disrespectful behaviour both on the pitch and from the sidelines, which had an effect on me for sure.
“As a dad on the sidelines and a UEFA B coach, I have witnessed the whole spectrum from positive encouragement to poor behaviour. This campaign will help to promote respect across the whole game so more kids have an environment to thrive and succeed in.
“It’s such a fun and engaging competition and it will be great to see how different kids interpret the brief and what designs they come up with to show what respect means to them. I can’t wait to see some of the entries!”
Alongside teachers, coaches and family members, a whopping 85% of parents feel that professional footballers have a duty to be positive role models both on and off the pitch – a view that is shared by England and Aston Villa captain Tyrone Mings. While speaking about the Coin for Respect campaign, Mings said: “First and foremost we have a level of responsibility on the pitch to demonstrate respect and being a positive role model. Not getting caught up on and off the pitch in incidents of disrespect. We need to understand everybody’s role in the game and try to be empathetic towards the different roles that people have to play on game day and away from the game also.”
Paul Hibbs, Head of Advertising at Nationwide Building Society said: “Mutual respect is at the heart of what we believe in. Grassroots football can play a huge part in teaching the next generation of players the values of respect both on and off the pitch. We are really excited to launch this initiative that will ensure that from the beginning of the 2021 season every grassroots match starts with a conversation around mutual respect.”
This research was conducted by Nationwide Building Society as part of the Coin for Respect campaign, launched in partnership with The Football Association. The creative challenge is calling on children aged 3-17yrs across the UK to design a unique coin that will become a symbol of mutual respect at the start of each grassroots game.
The winning design will be brought to life and distributed to more than 20,000 grassroots referees across the country in time for the new season, allowing them to start every game with respect.
The Coin for Respect campaign has the support of England’s football stars, Beth Mead, Tyrone Mings, Jordan Nobbs and Nick Pope, plus legends Karen Carney and David James.