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Attitudes to and awareness of Safety and Risk among Professional and Semi-Professional Footballers in Ireland: A Cross-Sectional Study
2020-05, Buggy, Conor J., Coffey, Nicola, Lawless, Martin, Kelly, Seamus
This paper examines the attitudes towards safety and risk among professional and semi-professional footballers during the 2014 League of Ireland season. As part of a broader nationally-representative study examining occupational safety and health and concussion injury awareness among professional footballers, this study is the first and largest investigation of its kind in Ireland. A census survey using an anonymous questionnaire was provided to all clubs that were available in the League of Ireland clubs between March and May 2015. Permission to access players was provided by the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland. Participation was voluntary. At the time, there were 250 professional and semi-professional players within the League available to participate of which 149 footballers participated voluntarily and anonymously. Sixty per cent of the participants were employed on a semi-professional basis, and the majority of all participants were aged between 18 and 30. Analysis indicated that there were few significant associations betweenplayers’ professional status and attitudes towards issues relating to safety management and risk taking. Players in general have an unacceptable level (<20%) of awareness concerning their clubs safety programs. The results have implications for stakeholders responsible for management of safety and risk in professional football clubs.