School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Research

women footballers

Culture and Citizenship:

Research in this area addresses how access to sport and exercise and its impacts have an inevitably social foundation connected with the reflection and formation of identities, social capital and consequent social inclusion or exclusion. This is in addition to sport and exercise having an impact on local, national and international development.

Recent projects:

Youth Crime: Safer Together Through Sport

Dr Carolynne Mason, Dr Caron Walpole, Professor Paul Downward and Professor Stephen Case

Project Description

Following on from a successful pilot project funded by the Home Office Innovation Fund, in 2017 StreetGames was successful in securing funding from the Home Office Police Transformation Fund (PTF) to deliver the ‘Youth Crime: Safer Together Through Sport’ project in partnership with the Police & Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire (Project value £689,069). Currently 33 of 43 Police and Crime Commissioners across the UK are committed to being involved with the project.

The Safer Together project started in October 2017 and will continue until March 2020. It is designed to bring the community sport sector closer to the youth justice sector in order to ensure that young people either ‘at risk’ of becoming involved in crime or those already involved in the youth justice system can access sport-based activities that can bring about positive behavioural change.

Loughborough University were appointed to undertake the evaluation of this ambitious project in December 2017 having already successfully evaluated the previous pilot programme over two years between 2015 and 2017.

Reports from the pilot project area available at:

www.streetgames.org/impact-programme

The culture of health, pain and injury in sports participation

Dr Dominic Malcolm and Dr Emma Pullen

Project Description

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this project explored the social impact of sports injuries and the sources of healthcare treatment accessible to the exercising public. The research illustrated that sport-related injury can have a significant impact on daily living (work absenteeism, exercise withdrawal), social relationships, identity and sense of self. Negative impacts are compounded by frustrations at obtaining ‘appropriate’ healthcare treatment. As a consequence of the ‘disinterest’ state healthcare providers and the high costs of alternative private healthcare providers, injured exercisers reported a heavy reliance on self-treatment and peer advice. Due to uncertainties over the appropriate time to return to exercise and/or sports participation, frequently reported outcomes included re-injury, compensatory injury and symptom exacerbation. This work, therefore, questions the efficacy of physical activity health promotion policies which fail to acknowledge the incidence of injury inherent to the structure of sport and exercise.

Outputs

  • Malcolm, D. and Pullen, E. (2018) ‘Everything I enjoy doing I just couldn’t do’: sport-related injury and biographical disruption, Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1363459318800142
  • Pullen, E., Malcolm, D., and Wheeler, P. (2018) How effective is the integration of sport and exercise medicine in the English national health service for sport related injury treatment and health management?, Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08389-5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29877672
  • Pullen, E. and Malcolm, D. (2018) Assessing the Side-Effects of the ‘Exercise Pill’: The Paradox of Physical Activity Health Promotion, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 10(4): 493-504 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1388833
  • Malcolm, D. (2017) Sport, Medicine and Health: the medicalization of sport? London: Routledge.

Levels of representation and racialised experiences of BAME groups in coaching and leadership in professional football in Europe

Dr Steven Bradbury

Project description

This research project has been led by Dr Steven Bradbury. It first began in 2011 and was extended in 2014 to examine the levels of representation and racialised experiences of BAME coaches (and leaders) in men’s professional football in Europe. This included conducting interviews with football stakeholders in 13 countries and with 40 elite level BAME coaches in England, France and the Netherlands. This work was funded by UEFA and the FARE network. This led to a further four-year study examining the annual levels of BAME coaches in senior coaching positions in men’s professional football in England, supported by the FARE Network and the Sports People's Think Tank. The project has also examined the shape, scope and effectiveness of measures designed to address racialised imbalances in football coaching. This has included an observational and interview based evaluation of the FA Coach Inclusion and Diversity programme (funded by the FA), and a PhD study examining the procedural and cultural impacts of the EFL codes of coach recruitment (funded by the Leverhulme Trust). The findings from these inter-related studies have been presented to academic and football stakeholder audiences across Europe and to the Sports Minister and All-Parliamentary Football Committee in the UK and have engendered high profile media coverage. They have also had a significant impact in informing the development and roll-out of positive action measures designed to empower BAME coaches and establish more equitable coach recruitment practices in professional football in England.

Collaborators:

2011 study: Professor Alan Bairner, Dr Borja Garcia, Dr Mahfoud Amara (SSEHS, Loughborough University)

2014 study: Dr Jacco Van Sterkenburg (Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands), Professor Patrick Mignon (INSEP, Paris, France)

Outputs:

  • Bradbury, S. (2018) ‘The under-representation and racialised experiences of minority coaches in high level coach education in professional football in England’ in Hassan, D., and Action, C. Sport and Contested Identities (pp11-29). Routledge. London. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1012690216656807
  • Bradbury, S. (2017) ‘BAME representation in the professional coaching workforce: a review of the situation, stakeholder responses and potential future directions’ Loughborough University Bradbury, S., Van Sterkenburg, J., Mignon, P (2018) ‘The under-representation and experiences of elite level minority coaches in professional football in England, France and the Netherlands’ International Review of the Sociology of Sport. Vol. 53, 3: pp. 313-334.
  • Bradbury, S. (2017) ‘Evaluation of the FA Coach Inclusion and Diversity Programme: First Annual review (2017)’ Loughborough University
  • Bradbury, S. (2016) ‘The progression of Black and Minority Ethnic footballers into coaching in professional football: a case study analysis of the COACH bursary programme’ in Allison, W., Abraham, A., Cale, A. Advances in Coach Education and Development: from research to practice. Routledge. London and New York Bradbury, S. (2017) ‘Levels of BME coaches in professional football in England: 3rd annual follow report’ Loughborough University, Sports People’s Think Tank, FARE Network http://thesptt.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2017-SPTT-report-print.pdf
  • Bradbury, S. (2016) ‘Levels of BME coaches in professional football in England: 2nd annual follow report’ Loughborough University, Sports People’s Think Tank, FARE Network http://thesptt.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SB-final-report-screen3-1.pdf
  • Bradbury, S. (2015) ‘Levels of BME coaches in professional football in England: 1st annual follow report’ Loughborough University, Sports People’s Think Tank, FARE Network http://thesptt.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/BME-coach-representation-update-report.pdf
  • Bradbury, S. (2014) ‘An evaluation of the first year of COACH bursary programme: activities, experiences, benefits, and challenges’. Loughborough University Bradbury, S. (2014) ‘Ethnic minorities and coaching in elite level football in England: A call to action’ Sports People's Think Tank, FARE Network and Loughborough University. http://www.farenet.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/We-speak-with-one-voice.pdf
  • Bradbury, S., Van Sterkenburg, J., and Mignon, P. (2014) ‘Cracking the glass ceiling? Levels of representation of 'visible' minorities and women in leadership and coaching in football in Europe and the experiences of elite level 'visible' minority coaches: summary report’. FARE Network and Loughborough University. http://www.farenet.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/The-glass-ceiling-in-football-screen3.pdf
  • Bradbury, S. (2013) ‘Institutional racism, whiteness and the under-representation of minorities in leadership positions in football in Europe’. Soccer and Society, 14(3), 296-314. doi:10.1080/14660970.2013.801262 Bradbury, S. (2013) ‘Racisms and the experiences of minorities in amateur football in the UK and Europe’ Handbook of Sport and leisure Studies (pp. 216-229). Sage. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14660970.2013.801262
  • Bradbury, S., Amara, M., Garcia, B., Bairner, A. (2011) ‘Representation and structural discrimination in football in Europe: full report’ FARE Network and Loughborough University https://repository.lboro.ac.uk/articles/Representation_and_structural_discrimination_in_football_in_Europe_the_case_of_minorities_and_women_full_report_/9610469

Sport and Citizenship mini-Centre for Doctoral Training

Dr Borja García and Professor Richard Giulianotti (Leaders)

Dr Steven Bradbury, Dr Rachel Sandford, Dr Lyne Nyhagen, Dr James Esson, Professor Emily Keightley, Dr Sarah Mills 

Project Description

This project takes the form of a mini-CDT and is funded by a Loughborough Doctoral College studentship. The CDT aims to bring together two different strands of research in the University in order to explore the role in which sport is used by individuals to articulate a sense of active civic citizenship. This project is jointly contributed to by SSEHS and the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences. It will focus on producing research in five key topics, each one through a PhD thesis: Sport, race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality in sport; fans, citizenship and football governance; sport and development; and young people and active physical citizenship. 

Outputs

  • Newman, H. J. H. (2020). Becoming a strongwoman: an auto/ethnographic study of the pursuit of strength and power, and the negotiation of gender aesthetics in the UK strongwoman community [Unpublished thesis]. Loughborough University.
  • Hickman Dunne, J.  (In press). New  Experiences  in  old  places:  How  are  unfamiliar  landscapes  produced  by  young  people  through the ‘Outward Bound Experience. In T. A. Smith, H. Pitt, & R. A. Dunkley. (Eds.). Introducing Young People to ‘Unfamiliar Landscapes. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • Hickman Dunne, J. & Pimlott-Wilson, H. (In press). Moodboards and Lego. In Von Benzon, N. (ed.). Creative Methods for Human Geographers. London: Sage. 
  • Hickman Dunne, J. (2019).The Outward Bound Trust: A Geographical Perspective (PhD project report). Penrith: OBT. 
  • Hickman Dunne, J. (2019). Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing: Connecting to Nature. Penrith: OBT. 
  • Hickman Dunne, J. & Mills, S. (2019). Educational Landscapes: Nature, Place and Moral Geographies. The Geographical Journal. doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12305 
  • O’Byrne, D. (2019). Inverting the Pyramid: Decoloniality and Knowledge Production in Grassroots Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) Activism. In Proceedings from the 16th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference: Sports and the Environment. Bø, Norway (June 2019). 
  • O’Byrne, D. (2019). Decoloniality and Knowledge in Grassroots Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) Activism. In Proceedings from the Loughborough University SSEHS Annual Postgraduate Research Conference (June 2019).
  • Conricode, D., and Bradbury, S. (forthcoming 2019) Game changer or empty promise: an examination of the English Football League Mandatory code of coach recruitment in Bradbury, S., Lusted, J., and Van Sterkenburg, J. (eds) ‘Race’, Ethnicity, and Racisms in Sports Coaching. Routledge. London.
  • Conricode, D., and Bradbury, S. (2018) Game changer or empty promise: An examination of the English Football League mandatory code of coach recruitment, Loughborough University SSEHS Annual Postgraduate Research Conference
  • Conricode, D., and Bradbury, S. (2018). Game changer or empty promise: An examination of the English Football League mandatory code of coach recruitment. British Sociological Association (BSA) Sport Study Group Postgraduate Forum, Durham University (September 2018)
  • Conricode, D., and Bradbury, S. (2018) Game changer or empty promise: An examination of the English Football League mandatory code of coach recruitment. 15th European Association for Sociology of Sport (EASS) conference, Bordeaux (June 2018)
  • Pekie, A. (2018). Forever blowing bubbles? About soccer fans, community and citizenship. North American Society for Sociology of Sport 2018 Conference, Vancouver (November 2018)
  • Pekie, A. (2018). Football fandom, communities and good citizenship: A British-German case study. 15th European Association for Sociology of Sport (EASS) conference, Bordeaux (June 2018)
  • Pekie, A. (2018). Football fandom, community and citizenship. Loughborough University SSEHS Annual Postgraduate Research Conference (June 2018)
  • Newman, H. J. H. (2018). Exploring female strength and power: A strongwoman auto/ethnography. Loughborough University Annual Research Conference (November 2018).
  • Newman, H. J. H. (2018). Exploring female strength and power: A strongwoman auto/ethnography. 6th International Conference for Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise (QRSE), University of British Columbia, Vancouver (June 2018). 
  • O’Byrne, D. (2018). Exploring the intersection of the use of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In Proceedings from the British Sociological Association (BSA) Sport Study Group Postgraduate Forum, Durham University (September 2018). 
  • O’Byrne, D. (2018). Exploring Global Flows of Knowledge through Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) Activists and Activities. In Proceedings from the 15th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference. Sport, Discriminations and Inclusion: Challenges to Face. Bordeaux, France (June 2018).
  • Hickman Dunne, J. (2018).  Experiencing the outdoors: Embodied encounters in the Outward Bound Trust. The Geographical Journal. doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12288
  • O’Byrne, D. (2017). Research from a ‘Strengths & Hope’ Perspective: Exploring Global Flows of Local or Indigenous Knowledge through Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) Activities and Activists. In Proceedings from Loughborough University SSEHS Participation Theme (February 2017).
  • Pekie, A. (2016). Football Fans as Social Activists and Good Citizens. The Football Collective Conference, Broadhurst Park, Manchester (November 2016)
  • Conricode, D., and Bradbury, S. (2016). Responses to the under-representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches in men’s professional football in England: A Critical Race Theory (CRT) perspective. British Sociological Association (BSA) Sport Study Group Postgraduate Forum, York St. John University (September 2016)
  • Pekie, A. (2016). Football Fans, Citizenship and Social Movements. British Sociological Association (BSA) Sport Study Group Postgraduate Forum, York St. John University (September 2016)
  • Newman, H. J. H. (2016). Exploring female strength and power: A strongwoman auto/ethnography. British Sociological Association (BSA) Sport Study Group Postgraduate Forum, York St. John University (September 2016) 

Sport for a Better World?

Professor Richard Giulianotti, Dr David Howe, Dr Holly Collison & Dr Simon Darnell (University of Toronto).

Project Description

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC: ES/L002191/1), this project is a social scientific investigation of the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) sector. The current project is investigating the SDP sector in five international locations; Jamaica, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Zambia. The international development sector features global, national and local stakeholders which use sport as a tool of social intervention to promote non-sport goals such as, reconciliation and peacebuilding, human rights, social justice and empowering disabled populations. Through these multiple layers of advocacy and activity, the SDP movement has developed and grown rapidly, leaving significant gaps in our understanding of how the sector is structured socially and organizationally and importantly how SDP programmes are planned, implemented and experienced. To date the research has illustrated the complex nature of transnational partnerships, the experiences of local populations as recipients of SDP programs, the challenges of engaging with minority or marginal populations, the professionalization of the SDP sector, and the on-going issues relating to funding, local capacity and sustainability. Through extensive fieldwork, participant observation, formal interviewing and in-the-field participation, the project has enabled a unique comparative analysis across the five locations. Close ties have been established with the Commonwealth Secretariat and a wide range of other national and international NGOs and other stakeholders.

Outputs (to date)

  • Collison, H., S. Darnell, R. Giulianotti and P.D. Howe (eds) (2019The Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace, London: Routledge.
  • Giulianotti, R., S. Darnell, H. Collison, P.D. Howe (2018) ‘Sport for Development and Peace and the Environment: The Case for Policy, Practice, and Research’, Sustainability, 10, 2241. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/7/2241
  • Collison, H., S. Darnell, R. Giulianotti and D. Howe (2017) ‘The Inclusion Conundrum: A Critical Account of Youth and Gender Issues Within and Beyond Sport for Development and Peace Interventions’, Social Inclusion, 5(2): 223-231. https://bit.ly/2D9kyQR
  • Collison, H., Darnell, S., Giulianotti, R., Howe, P.D (2017). Sport for Social Change and Development: Sustaining Transnational Partnerships and Adapting International Curriculums to Local Contexts in Rwanda. The International Journal of the History of Sport https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09523367.2017.1318850
  • Giulianotti, R., Collison, H., Darnell, S., Howe, P.D (2016). Contested States and the Politics of Sport: The Case of Kosovo – Division, Development and Recognition. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19406940.2016.1217251
  • Collison, H, Giulianotti, R., Howe, P. D, & Darnell, S. (2016). The methodological dance: critical reflections on conducting a cross-cultural comparative research project on ‘Sport for Development and Peace’. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, Vol. 8, No. 5, 413-423. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2159676X.2016.1206610

Further information is available here

 

Mapping of corruption in sport in the EU

Dr Argyro Elisavet Manoli

Project Description:

The Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) of the European Commission commissioned a mapping review of sport and corruption across the EU28. The complex and multidimensional nature of corruption in sport has created significant challenges for sport management and policy makers in identifying where the problems lie and developing actions to safeguard the integrity of sport globally.

The key objective of this small-scale research study was to complete a mapping review of the types of corruption that exist in different EU Member States, if/how they are dealt with at national and/or international level and what kind of legal instruments exist to deal with them and minimise potential risks. The study has sought to provide the European Commission with adequate knowledge of existing initiatives in order to identify where best to focus its efforts – and those of the Member States – in the years to come.

Collaborators: ECORYS

Outputs:

European Commission, ECORYS & Manoli, A. E. (2019) Mapping of corruption in sport in the EU, Brussels: EU Publications. (https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/71c67c33-1dff-11e9-8d04-01aa75ed71a1/language-en).

New Development Frontiers? The Role of Youth, Sport and Cultural Interventions

Prof Richard Giulianotti (PI), Dr James Esson (Loughborough University), Prof Martha Saavedra (University of California, Berkeley), Dr Aoife Sadlier (University of Plymouth), Prof Sagar Sharma (Kathmandu University) 

Project description 

This project is funded by the ESRC in conjunction with DFID (award number ES/R002673/1). It investigates the role of sport, cultural and educational programmes in promoting sustainable development in three low- to middle-income countries – Cape Verde, Nepal, and Timor-Leste. The project has three broad aims: (i) to enhance knowledge of these programmes and their work with young people; (ii) to improve programme efficacy in policy and practice; (iii) to work with key stakeholders to support these interventions, to secure social change. The research team is working with several NGOs across these locations, notably Delta Cultura (Cape Verde), Empowering Women of Nepal, Right4Children (Nepal), and Sport Impact (Timor-Leste). There is a particular research focus on how these programmes tackle four key development challenges: poverty, conflict in fragile states, environmental sustainability, and gender inequality. 

Outputs: 

  • Giulianotti, R., J. Esson, M. Saavedra, A. Sadlier, S. Sharma (2019) ‘Investigating Sustainable Development: Youth, Sport and Cultural Interventions’, ESRC/DFID Research for Policy and Practice: Urban Community Resilience, London: DFID. 

https://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/newdevelopmentfrontiers/ 

Can Corruption in Sport Corrode Social Capital?

Dr Argyro Elisavet Manoli and Prof. Paul Downward 

Project Description 

Funded by the British academy this project uses recent corruption scandals within UK sport, in order to investigate the impact they have had on participation in and spectatorship of sport, people’s perceptions of sport and the media that communicate corruption, and social capital overall. This study argues that current government policy emphasises the important role of sport in delivering social outcomes, while neglecting the logically plausible adverse effects that would follow when sport is shown to be corrupt and lack integrity, which are thus investigated through this study. As the findings of the study emerge, the influence of corruption on people’s propensity to participate and engage with sport, as well as their perceptions of sport, trust and the media is uncovered, highlighting a deeper and potentially long-lasting previously undocumented influence. 

Outputs: 

  • Manoli, A. E., Bandura, C., & Downward, P. (2020). Perceptions of integrity in sport: insights into people’s relationship with sport. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics (early access online) doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2020.1747101 
  • Manoli, A. E. & Bandura, C. (2020). Perceptions of the role of traditional and social media in communicating corruption. Sport Management Review (early access online)