footballers playing on a beach in brazil

Image provided by Getty.

Loughborough agrees international sport policy collaboration

Colleagues from Loughborough University have agreed a landmark sport policy collaboration with the Sports Intelligence Research Institute (IPIE), from the Federal University of Paraná.

Led by staff from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences, the project will see researchers from both institutions create sport policy guides for organisations in Brazil.

This will include research into organisational planning, safeguarding and inclusion for participants.

Initial investigations on more than 2,000 municipalities – which govern 36 per cent of the 212 million people in Brazil – found significant problems. These include:

  • Almost 70 per cent of Brazilian districts do not have basic planning documents for sports policies
  • Nearly 80 per cent of local public sports departments do not implement programmes for people with disabilities
  • Even in districts with sport policies, over 70 per cent are not evaluated

The new partnership will create guidelines and advice to create effective sport policies.

Dr Joe Piggin, Senior Lecturer in Sport Policy at Loughborough University, said: “Sport policy can help increase opportunities to participate, promote athlete welfare, and lead to more fulfilling and enjoyable lives.

“This only happens when there are effective systems for both managers and participants to engage with. With a population of over 200 million people in Brazil, there is enormous potential to help people play sport and live actively.”

Fernando Mezzadri, Professor at the Federal University of Paraná, said: “It is an honour for the IPIE to collaborate with Loughborough University in this project, which is part of the second phase of the investigation that we have been carrying out in Brazil. We have already gathered data from more than 2000 municipalities in 16 states in the country, and we aim to join forces with the Loughborough team to develop a programme that can harness our sports sector.”

Sabrina Furtado, collaboration leader at the Federal University of Paraná, added: “We are really excited about this collaborative project that aims to strengthen the public policies for sports at local levels in Brazil. Bringing together all the data we have from Brazil with Loughborough University’s professional and academic knowledge is an important step to bring solutions and new expertise to this area in our country.”

The Loughborough academics involved in the research include Dr Joe Piggin, Dr Susana Monserrat-Revillo, Dr Serhat Yilmaz, Dr Doyoung Pyun, Dr Borja García, and Dr David O’Byrne.

The project will run for three years, with the potential for longitudinal monitoring and evaluation to be developed.

For more information on the Sports Intelligence Research Institute (IPIE), visit its dedicated website here:

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 22/183

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings – the sixth year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.