Developing Women’s Football in Jordan

Nehad Makhadmeh presented her initial PhD seminar at the University of Canberra yesterday.


The aims of her research are to:

  1. Explore talent identification and development pathways in women’s sport in general and football in particular.
  2. Contribute to the flourishing of women’s football in Jordan, particularly in the north of the country (establish a club team in Al Ramtha).
  3. Evaluate the potential of an Australian talent identification and development process in two Jordanian communities (Amman and Al Ramtha).
  4. Investigate the relative age effect on selection processes in Jordanian sport.
  5. Establish talent selection criteria for women’s football in Jordan.
  6. Recommend long-term strategies for athlete development in women`s football that can inform other sports in Jordan.

IMG_0718Nehad’s research questions are:

  1. What does the extant literature tell us about talent identification and development pathways in women`s sport in general and football in particular?
  2. What are the opportunities and constraints in establishing a women’s club team in Al Ramtha?
  3. What is the potential of an Australian talent identification and development process for the development of women`s football in two Jordanian communities (Amman and Al Ramtha)?
  4. Is there any evidence of the prevalence of a relative age effect in selection process and on athlete retention in Jordanian sport?
  5. What are the most appropriate talent selection criteria for female football players in Jordan?
  6. What culturally sensitive, long term-strategies for athlete development in women`s football can inform other sports in Jordan?

The University of Canberra has close links with Capital Football and a growing connection with Football United. Nehad will work with these organisations to explore the development of women’s football.

This will be one of the first studies to explore talent development in north Jordan.  Nehad hopes to use Australian insights to enable a sustainable approach to talent development in women’s football in Jordan. She will focus on Al Ramtha and Amman. An aspiration for her research is that her findings offer a model for other sports within Jordan and the region.

I am supervising Nehad’s PhD along with Stuart Cathcart.

Linking, Connecting, Sharing

Each day I receive a range of links to blogs posts and web tools. A post from the ABC (18 January) alerted me to James Fowler, Jaime Settleb, and Nicholas Christakis’ work, Correlated genotypes in friendship networks. Their paper encouraged me to think about linking, connecting and sharing.

The abstract of their paper notes that:

It is well known that humans tend to associate with other humans who have similar characteristics, but it is unclear whether this tendency has consequences for the distribution of genotypes in a population. Although geneticists have shown that populations tend to stratify genetically, this process results from geographic sorting or assortative mating, and it is unknown whether genotypes may be correlated as a consequence of nonreproductive associations or other processes. Here, we study six available genotypes from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to test for genetic similarity between friends. Maps of the friendship networks show clustering of genotypes and, after we apply strict controls for population stratification, the results show that one genotype is positively correlated (homophily) and one genotype is negatively correlated (heterophily). A replication study in an independent sample from the Framingham Heart Study verifies that DRD2 exhibits significant homophily and that CYP2A6 exhibits significant heterophily. These unique results show that homophily and heterophily obtain on a genetic (indeed, an allelic) level, which has implications for the study of population genetics and social behavior. In particular, the results suggest that association tests should include friends’ genes and that theories of evolution should take into account the fact that humans might, in some sense, be metagenomic with respect to the humans around them.

On the same day I found the genotype paper I received a link from a friend to a Linked Data post. I noted too that week 3 of LAK11 is focusing on the Semantic Web, Linked Data, and Intelligent Curriculum (the syllabus is here). I am missing LAK11 as I am CCK11. Week 5 of CCK11 is discussing Groups, Networks and Collectives.

Diigo lists have become an invaluable resource for me too. I am tracking the Diigo Community Group; a Teacher-Librarian Group; a Plurking Educators’ Group;  a Web 2.0 Group: and a Web 2.0 Tools’ Group.

In the last year I have been exploring ecology metaphors of sharing and post regularly about items that resonate with me. I am becoming interested increasingly in the visualisation of networks. Thanks to James, Jaime and Nicholas I am off to read Erez Lieberman, Christoph Hauert and Martin Nowak’s paper on Evolutionary Dynamics on Graphs and to ponder the friendship possibilities of such dynamics.

I am sorry that I am not at the Recent Changes Camp in Canberra this weekend. However I will follow their wiki as a peripheral participant.

Photo Credit

FlickrVerse 2005


Tripline: From the AIS to the JISS

A month or so ago I came across Tripline. I thought it looked a great resource so I signed up for an account. I am fascinated by cartography and my passion for it was nurtured by an outstanding Geography teacher when I was at the Alun School, Mold (in the 1960s) and by later access to the wonderful work of Alfred Wainwright‘s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells.

I did not have an opportunity to use Tripline until my trip to Japan. It struck me as a great opportunity to share a journey with colleagues who may travel from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra to the Japanese Institute of Sports Sciences (JISS) in Tokyo (or vice versa).

Tripline is:

a way for you to tell a story by putting places on a map. That’s a very human activity that has been happening for thousands of years. It’s also a way for you to easily answer those questions we hear so often: Where are you guys going? When are you leaving? How was the trip? What did you do? – the kind of questions that photos don’t answer. And just like in the movies, the Tripline player gives you an animated line moving across the map with a soundtrack. That’s appropriate, because our journeys are our own epic tales of discovery and adventure.

I found Tripline a very intuitive tool to use. I did make one significant mistake at the outset … I clicked on the bin icon rather than the tablet icon and lost three venues! It is helpful to know where you are too. I was searching for some of the locations on the Google Japan homepage and this proved interesting the nearer I got to the JISS. This is 本蓮沼駅(東京 the nearest station (Motohasunuma) to JISS.

This is a link to the trip I created with Tripline. The trip plays in front of your eyes with the controls on the right of the screen when you visit the trip on the Tripline site!

I think that Tripline will be a great resource for coaches, athletes and parents making new journeys that others have made already. As I was plotting my trip I was thinking I should have taken photographs too. In new places it is good to know which entrance of a station to use. At airports I think it will be a great resource for those moments when well-signposted routes suddenly disappear.

We will need good guides to share routes.

Photo Credit

Hogwill Fells and River Lune