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photo of Holly Collison at the United Nations HQ

Loughborough University London academic attends United Nations meeting

A Loughborough University London academic was invited to a United Nations meeting earlier this week for her expertise on sport’s contribution to society.

Dr Holly Collison, a Lecturer at the Institute for Sport Business based at the London campus, attended as part of the preparations for the 73rdsession of the UN General Assembly.

Taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and organised by the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), the meeting reviewed key research, challenges, good practices and lessons learnt from sport’s contribution to sustainable development and the effect of mainstreaming sport in developing programmes and policies.

Dr Collison was required to write a short paper addressing the topic of the meeting, as well as drawing upon her own research and evidence sourced from elsewhere.

Holly is currently contributing to a social science research project titled ‘Sport for a Better World?’, focusing on the sport for development and peace sector (SPD), alongside fellow Loughborough academics Dr David Howe and Professor Richard Giulianotti, as well as Dr Simon Darnell from the University of Toronto.

The research is investigating the SDP sector in five developing countries: Kosovo, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Zambia. The research is an ongoing long term project which will be measuring the SDP sector’s development across these different countries.

The investigation aims to learn more about how programmes, policies and strategies which use sport to promote peace and human rights are planned across various cultures.

Dr Collison has also published a book titled ‘Youth and Sport for Development’, which focuses on her fieldwork conducted in Liberia, in which she studied the impact of sports such as football and its contribution to a more civil society.

Of attending the UN meeting, Dr Collison said: "I was very honoured and excited to have been invited by the United Nations to the expert meeting on Sport for Development and Peace (SPD).  

“The invitation was both a recognition of the significant research which we have been conducting at Loughborough University in this rapidly-growing field, and an opportunity to represent our international research partners who implement SDP programmes in diverse and often challenging contexts."

The meeting took place on Wednesday 13 June and was attended by experts from around the world.

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