The Beyond the Club Podcast

Player retention, coaching strategies, player mental health; these are among the many issues impacting community sporting clubs across Australia that are also the focus of university research that sometimes attracts little public attention.

Now, a newly launched podcast will bring research into the main public arena and make it more accessible to the broader sporting community.

Beyond the Club Podcast, produced by the SHAPE Research Centre at Flinders University, is co-hosted by Ben Hook, sports columnist at the Advertiser and Sunday Mail, alongside Associate Professor Sam Elliott, researcher and lecturer in youth sport at Flinders University.

Each month, Ben and Sam explore sport research that is directly relevant to community sporting clubs – players, coaches, parents, volunteers, administration, officials will all benefit from the practical knowledge being shared.

“Many of the pervasive challenges that community sports encounter are carefully researched locally, nationally and internationally and yet researchers have often struggled to communicate this knowledge to the general public,” says Assoc Professor Elliott.

“Every day, there are researchers across Australia looking into how sporting clubs can keep their best players, how to get more girls and women in to sport, or the role of parents in a young athlete’s life – just to name a few. However, research has fallen well short of having a real impact because it has been written for a scientific audience, is locked behind paywalls or subscriptions, or is often misunderstood altogether.

“Essentially, many of the solutions to the prominent issues in community sport are situated in the published literature and our podcast is just one way in which we will be able to make these ideas accessible to community sport.”

Co-host Ben Hook, winner of the South Australian Cricket Association’s Bradman Medal in 1997/98 and 2006/07, says he wished he had access to the information Assoc. Prof. Elliott and his team will provide in the podcast during his own playing days.

“We’ve been working on this project for just a few months, but I’m already so excited by the cutting-edge information we’re about to share,” says Mr Hook.

Beyond the Club is an innovative initiative funded by the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing, in partnership with Flinders’ SHAPE Research Centre, C2M Podcasts, the Sammy D Foundation and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. The partner organisations will help bring the podcast to the sports community through their networks, community engagement programs and participation on the podcast.

Beyond the Club Podcast hosts Ben Hook and Flinders’ Assoc. Professor Sam Elliott (second and third from left) with the Beyond the Club  team.

Our Hosts

Associate Professor Sam Elliott

Associate Professor Sam Elliott

Associate Professor Sam Elliott specialises in the fields of sport parenting, participation and retention, and psychosocial outcomes in youth sport. His work spans sport sociology, sport psychology, and sport coaching. He has presented his work internationally in Australia, China, the UK, Canada, and the USA.

Sam’s research covers three main areas:

  1. Parental involvement on youth sport psychosocial outcomes (including psychological abuse, the impact of parental education, and parent-club interactions);
  2. Mental health and youth sport, and;
  3. Participation, retention, dropout, and reengagement (including the psychological, environmental, and social factors which impact sport continuation behaviour).
Ben Hook

Ben Hook

Ben Hook is South Australia’s most popular sports columnist, delivering a unique weekly insight into South Australian elite and community sport through Adelaide’s Sunday Mail. 

A former first-class cricketer with South Australia, Ben twice won the Bradman Medal as the best player in the SACA Premier competition.

On top of his weekly column, Ben is a regular contributor to Adelaide radio stations ABC and SEN, and highly sought-after as an MC for sports clubs and associations including the Adelaide Football Club and SA Cricket Association. 

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