• Polona Fonda

Meet the #ESP2021 speakers: Dr Vassil Girginov

Dr Vassil Girginov, from Brunel University London, will be one of the speakers at the upcoming European Sport Platform 2021. At #ESP2021, he will lead session two, a workshop entitled "Evidence for impact – how grassroots sports can use research more efficiently?".



Dr Girginov defines himself as a "sport development person", because he believes that everything we do in sport has to do with development of young people, athletes, organisations, events and other aspects. He had the privilege to work in several different cultural environments including Bulgaria, Canada and the United Kingdom. His work includes working with sport organisations at the local, national and international levels. More recently, Dr Girginov has been working on projects commissioned by the International Olympic Committee, WADA and European Commission's Erasmus+.


Grassroots sport organisations do not usually have the capacity to engage with research but they can do some simple things that can help them significantly enhance the quality of their work.

Why is research in grassroots sport important, and how can sport clubs and grassroots sport movement benefit from it?


The word 'research' may sound a bit posh and too academic for some people, but it epitomises everything we do in sport. Essentially, research is about constantly gaining new knowledge about how sport organisations operate, what motivates people to get involved and how to make our sprot programmes more appealing and effective. Without this additional knowledge we would rely solely on our own experience. While human experiences are very important they also have their limitations and biases. Grassroots sport organisations do not usually have the capacity to engage with research but they can do some simple things that can help them significantly enhance the quality of their work. I will share some ideas and approaches to research during the workshop in October.


Do you think research can inspire innovation, also in grassroots sport? If yes, how?


The idea of research is inseparable from the concept of innovation. The fundamental reason for undertaking research is to better understand a phenomenon with the objective to more effectively deal with it. This requires innovation in the way we think about the phenomenon and how we organise our work.



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