Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport

Team members

Melanie Preece

Dr Melanie Best

Former PhD Student

Melanie Best was a part-time PhD research student at the PHC. She is now at Lecturer at Wolverhampton University.


  • BA (with honours) Sports Management from Birmingham University (2006)

Current research interests

Mel is currently writing up her research with the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Teams, having studied them over a 3 year period as they made their journey towards and beyond the London 2012 Paralympics. The focus of her research is the psycho-social health and wellbeing of these athletes over time. It first considers the impact of acquiring and living with disability on the psychological and social health and wellbeing of the players, before considering the role of sport in their rehabilitation. It then examines the tightrope players walk between health and illness as elite performers pursuing Paralympic success. Finally it examines the health implications following a home Paralymoics, including for those retiring athletes.

It is hoped that the research will increase awareness of the role sport can play in improving disabled people's health and wellbeing. Preliminary findings have already been disseminated to Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball, informing current practices for the Rio 2016 cycle. Its complete findings hope to equip coaches and players across the Paralympic community with the knowledge to optimise health and in turn sporting performance.

Previous research interests

Mel is a new researcher to disability studies, who also works as a Further Education sports lecturer.