School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


a wheelchair basketball player

Participation in sport and exercise

The aim is to analyse the sociological, economic, psychological, political, organisational and behavioural factors which inhibit and facilitate participation and engagement in sport and exercise.

Theme Leadership team

Professor Paul Downward (lead), Dr Rachel Sandford and Dr David Howe

Theme summary

This theme contributes to the development of a critical awareness of the factors, structures and processes that motivate, enable and constrain people’s engagements with sport and exercise as part of their daily lives. It embraces casual and informal physical activity as well as formal, organised and elite sport across the local, national and global contexts and in the context of the implementation of exercise medicine to the general public for physical and mental health and well-being.

There is a specific focus on the following areas