The World Cup of Restorative Practice

Hi Everybody,

As the World Cup rears its beautiful head, (or not so beautiful head for some of you).  There is much excitement and expectation in the air for England to perform well in Brazil.

Whatever your views are on football there is no getting away from the fact that it is a universally recognised sport, an international language for both males and females. Recent research shows that football is the most popular sport for girls in the UK.

There are few people in the world who have not heard of Pele, Finney, Beckham, Rooney, Ronaldo or Messi.

Moreover, as I often explain when I deliver training for Writing Wrongs, Football along with other team sports is a restorative process.

How can football, hockey, netball etc be described as a restorative process? I hear you ask.  Bear with me and I’ll explain.

Football is 90 mins of conflict.  Before the match both teams come out and warm up on their own side of the pitch. At the start of the match the arbitrator ie the referee brings the two sides together and the match begins until the referee blows the final whistle there is an outcome. Win, lose or draw, both sides shake hands and move on.

Using this analogy is a great way of explaining the restorative process to young people.  Anybody who currently uses Writing Wrongs will be aware that we use a sports theme.  However, many YOT’s are adapting it as an arts based Programme.

I recently worked on a UNITAS Arts College.  I was lead practitioner and we used Writing Wrongs as a framework for behaviour management. All the young people who attended were open to the YOT. We didn’t want to just promote the arts we also wanted to educate the young people and show thaem that any negative behaviour or outlooks can have a detrimental effect on their life chances and on those around them.

All the young people on the Arts College learned photography, screen-printing, poetry and radio broadcasting.  More importantly, throughout the College they completed sessions of Writing Wrongs which enabled them to take a much more positive approach towards their day.  We started and ended each day with circle time which I believe is one of the best ways in which to evaluate a session. I’m happy to report that all the young people who attended the course achieved an award.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, some time ago I wrote a poetry writing resource and a rhyming dictionary for the National Football Museum.  Here it is.  Please have fun with it.  Please get in touch if you would like me to give a presentation on Writing Wrongs or contact me to purchase a pack and training.  By the time I write my next blog I hope that I will be strutting around with chest puffed out and head held high after watching England lift the World Cup. Now that would be a great outcome.

Andy Winters

To download the free resource, please click the link below. Poetry Resource