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

Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport

Team members

Dr Anthony Papathomas

Lecturer, Health and Wellbeing

Tel +44(0)1509 228172

Anthony completed his first degree in Sports Science at Liverpool John Moores University, graduating with First Class Honours. He went on to complete a postgraduate certificate of education (PGCE) at the University of Greenwich in 2004 and a year later attained a Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology (with Distinction) from Loughborough University. Anthony also conducted his doctoral studies at Loughborough University and graduated with a PhD in 2011. Having briefly left Loughborough to be Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at London Metropolitan University, he has since returned to join the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences as Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Qualifications

  • PhD entitled 'Disordered Eating in Sport: Narrative's Turn', from Loughborough University in 2011.
  • MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology (with Distinction) from Loughborough University in 2004.
  • BSc in Sports Science (First Class) from Liverpool John Moores University in 2000.

Membership and involvement with professional bodies / associations

Anthony leads the Mental Health Strand for the Psychology Division of the British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

 Anthony’s research employs qualitative methodologies as a means to understanding the life experiences of marginalised groups and clinical populations. For example, his published work has addressed topics such as eating disorders in sport, the role of exercise in managing depression and physical activity promotion is people with a disability. As part of his role within the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, Anthony is currently investigating the physical activity experiences of people with spinal cord injury and people with arthritis. As an advocate of implementation science, Anthony integrates a variety of knowledge translation strategies into all of his academic endeavours. His book, “The Very Alternative Guide to Spinal Cord Injury”, translates academic research into a commercial product of the self-help genre.

External consultancy:

Anthony has provided sport and exercise psychology consultancy to a range of organisations, including the British Parachute Association, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Triathlon Foundation, The Thomas Pocklington Trust. He has made a number of media appearances on the BBC discussing eating disorders in sport. Anthony is also a reviewer for numerous academic journals and sits on the editorial board for Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise and Psychology for Sport and Exercise. 

Income generation:

Understanding the effects of living in an adapted or unadapted home on the health and wellbeing of adults with a spinal cord injury and their families (Aspire Charity). 2014-2015. Co-investigator. Principal Investigator Brett Smith.

‘Early Career Travel Grant’ to attend and present at the inaugural “Talent ID Conference: Identifying Champions” (Aspire Academy, Qatar). 2014.

Life with a Spinal Cord Injury: Development of a picture book resource (Higher Education Innovation Fund, Enterprise award). 2013-2014. Principal Investigator.

Enterprise Skills Award: Knowledge Transfer Skills, Development and Implementation (HEIF, Enterprise award). 2012-2013. Principal Investigator with Terri Graham.

Evaluation of the Wheelchair tennis Silver Fund programme (International Tennis Federation). 2012-2013. Co-Investigator. Principal Investigator Vicky Tolfrey.

Selected recent keynote and conference presentations

  • Richardson, E. V., Smith, B., & Papathomas, A. (2017). Crossing boundaries: The perceived impact of disabled fitness instructors in the gym. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 29, 84-92.
  •  Williams, T. L., Smith, B., & Papathomas, A. (2016). Physical activity promotion for people with spinal cord injury: physiotherapists’ beliefs and actions. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-10.
  • Plateau, C. R., Petrie, T. A., & Papathomas, A. (2016). Learning to eat again: Intuitive eating practices among retired female collegiate athletes. Eating Disorders, 1-7.
  • Richardson, E. V., Smith, B., & Papathomas, A. (2016). Disability and the gym: Experiences, barriers and facilitators of gym use for individuals with physical disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-8.
  • Gregorio Fernandez-Bustos, J., Gonzalez-Marti, I., Contreras Jordan, O. R., & Papathomas, A. (2016). Understanding the relationship between physical activity and physical self-perception in adolescent females: The role of body image. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 47, 373-388.
  • Martin Ginis, K. A., Papathomas, A., Perrier, M. J., & Smith, B. (2015). Psychosocial factors associated with physical activity in ambulatory and manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury: A mixed-methods study. Disability and Rehabilitation, 39(2), 187-192.
  • Papathomas, A., Williams, T. L., & Smith, B. (2015). Understanding physical activity participation in spinal cord injured populations: Three narrative types for consideration. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 10.
  • Papathomas, A., Smith, B., & Lavallee, D. (2015). Family experiences of living with an eating disorder: A narrative analysis. Journal of Health Psychology, 20(3), 313-325.
  • Richardson, E. V., Papathomas, A., Smith, B., & Goosey-Tolfrey, V. L. (2015). The psychosocial impact of wheelchair tennis on participants from developing countries. Disability and Rehabilitation, 39(2), 193-200.
  • Papathomas, A., & Petrie, T. (2014). Towards a more sophisticated eating disorders in sport research base. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 15, 675-679.
  • Papathomas, A., & Lavallee, D. (2014). Self-starvation and the performance narrative in competitive sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 15, 688-695.
  • Martin Ginis, K. A., Papathomas, A., Perrier, M. J., & Smith, B. (2017). Psychosocial factors associated with physical activity in ambulatory and manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury: a mixed-methods study. Disability and Rehabilitation, 39(2), 187-192.
  • Williams, T., Smith, B., & Papathomas, A. (2014). The barriers, benefits and facilitators of leisure time physical activity among people with spinal cord injury: A meta-synthesis of qualitative findings. Health Psychology Review, 8, 404-425.
  • Smith, B., Papathomas, A., Martin Ginis, K. A., & Latimer-Cheung, A. E. (2013). Understanding physical activity in spinal cord injury rehabilitation: translating and communicating research through stories. Disability & Rehabilitation, 35, 2046-2055.
  • Papathomas, A., & Lavallee, D. (2012). Eating disorders in sport: A call for methodological diversity. Revista de Psicologia del Deporte, 21, 387-392.
  • Papathomas, A., & Lavallee, D. (2012). Narrative constructions of anorexia and abuse: An athlete’s search for meaning in trauma. Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspectives in Stress and Coping. 17, 293-318.
  • Papathomas, A., & Lavallee, D. (2010). Athlete experiences of disordered eating in sport. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, 2, 354-370.
  • Papathomas, A., & Lavallee, D. (2006). A life history analysis of a male athlete with an eating disorder. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 11, 143-179.

Selected recent publications

Book Chapters:

  • Papathomas, A. (2016). Narrative inquiry: From cardinal to marginal…and back? In B. Smith & A. Sparkes (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Methods in Sport and Exercise (pp. 37-48). London: Routledge.
  • Papathomas, A. (2016). Understanding athlete disordered eating: Critical gender comparisons. In R.J. Shinke, K.R. McGannon, & B.S. Smith (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Sport Psychology (pp. 176-183). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Papathomas, A. (2014). A few good men: Male athlete eating disorders, medical supremacy and the silencing of a sporting minority. In R, Schinke & K. McGannon (Eds.). The psychology of sub-culture in sport and physical activity: A critical approach (pp. 107-120). London: Routledge.
  • Smith, B., & Papathomas, A. (2013). Disability, sport and exercising bodies. In J. Swain, C. Barnes, & C. Thomas (Eds.), Disabling barriers, enabling environments (pp. 222-228). London: Sage.
    Papathomas, A., & Lavallee, D. (2007). Exercise and psychological well-being. In D. Lavallee, M.V. Jones, & J.M. Williams (Eds.), Key studies in sport and exercise (pp. 258-284). Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill.

Conference communications:

  • Papathomas, A. (2016) Invited talk. Sport, Exercise & Eating Disorders:
    Cause, Consequence, or Cure? NCSEM Sport, Mental Health and Wellbeing seminar series. Nottingham, UK.
  • Papathomas, A., & Hull, R. (2016, September). Identity negotiation in British Muslim athletes observing Ramadan: Narrative effort towards constructing a coherent self. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference for Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, Chichester, UK.
  • Papathomas, A. (June, 2016). “I have an inferiority complex, but it’s not a very good one”: The perils of competency doubts when managing athlete eating disorders. Keynote, BASES Psychology Division Conference. Loughborough, UK.
  • Papathomas, A., & Lavallee, (2015, July). Reconceptualizing recovery for athletes with eating disorders. Paper presented at European Federation for Sport and Exercise Psychology, Bern, Switzerland.
  • Papathomas, A., Robinson. J., & Smith, H. (2015, May). Research translation in practice: An "alternative guide" to coping with spinal cord injury. Paper presented at the European Spinal Psychologist Association conference, Vienna, Austria.
  • Papathomas, A. (2015, June). Pulp fiction to humpty dumpty: Why narrative medicine is better medicine. Keynote presented at Merz Expert Exchange, London, UK.
  • Papathomas, A. (2015, May). You just have to do it! Overcoming barriers to sport and exercise with a spinal cord injury. Paper presented at the Vondelgames Symposium, Amsterdam, Holland.
  • Williams, T.L., Smith, B. and Papathomas, A. (2014, October). Activity-based rehabilitation from spinal cord injury: Stories of radical hope. Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) 29th Annual Conference, Las Vegas, USA.
  • Papathomas, A., & Smith, B. (2014, May). “They say we’re the lucky ones”: Physical activity barriers in people with an incomplete spinal cord injury. Paper presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA.
  • Papathomas, A., & Smith, B. (2014, May). Spinal cord injury, auto-photography and the struggle to be active. Paper presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA.
  • Williams, T., Smith, B., & Papathomas, A. (2014, February). Narratives of activity-based rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury. Paper presented at the Health and Wellbeing Research Conference, Loughborough University, UK.
  • Richardson, E. Papathomas, A., Smith, B., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2014, April). An Evaluation of the Wheelchair Tennis Development Fund. 5th International State-of-the-Art Congress, Rehabilitation: Mobility, Exercise & Sports. Groningen, The Netherlands.
  • Williams, T.L., Smith, B., & Papathomas, A. (2014, April). Narratives of activity-based rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury. 5th International State-of-the-Art Congress ‘Rehabilitation: Mobility, Exercise & Sports’, Groningen, The Netherlands.
  • Gonzales-Marti, I., & Papathomas, A. (2013, June). Muscle dysmorphia and eating disorders: Weightlifters. Paper presented at the European College of Sport Science Annual Congress, Barcelona, Spain.

Commissioned Reports:

  • Smith, B., Papathomas, A., & Caddick, N. (forthcoming). Research Report: Understanding the effects of living in an adapted or unadapted home on the health and wellbeing of adults with a spinal cord injury and their families. Report for Aspire Charity
  • Richardson, E., Papathomas, A., Smith, B., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L. (2013). Research Report: An Initial Evaluation of the Wheelchair Tennis Development Fund. Report for the International Tennis Foundation.
  • Smith, B., Kirkby, J., Papathomas, A. and Goosey-Tolfrey, V. (2012). Quality of life in people with spinal cord injury: A scoping study. Report for Back-Up Trust, Aspire Charity, & Spinal Injuries Association.