Professor Ian Henry

  • Emeritus Professor of Leisure Management and Policy

Ian Henry is Professor of Leisure Management and Policy and was previously the Director of the now defunct Centre for Olympic Studies & Research in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

He graduated from the University of Stirling in 1975 with a degree in English and Philosophy before completing a master's degree in Recreation Management (1976) and a PhD (1987), both at Loughborough University.

From 1976-1980 he worked in facility management and sports administration in local government, before taking up lectureships at Ilkley College in 1980, Leeds Polytechnic in 1987 and Loughborough University in 1989.

In 2001 he was Visiting Professor at l'Université Aix-Marseille II (l'Université de la Méditerranée), in 2006 at Hitosubashi University, Tokyo, in 2007 at the University of Technology, Sydney (at the School of Sport, Leisure and Tourism, and the Australian Olympic Studies Centre), at Taiwan National Sports University in 2009, and at Ren Min University, Beijing, in 2014.

Professor Ian Henry talks about his research

Ian Henry’s principal research interests are focused in issues relating to sport and leisure policies, politics, and governance at the transnational, national, urban and regional levels, and in relation to Olympism and Olympic policy. Recent funded research has focused on four areas.

Olympic Policy and Management

Work in this area includes two pre- and post hoc evaluation studies of the impacts of the London 2012 Games:

‘Meta-evaluation of the Impact of the Legacies of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (undertaken of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in partnership with Grant Thornton and ECORYS Consultancies (2009-2013)

An Evaluation of the Impact of the London 2012 Games on a Non-hosting Region (PhD studentship held by Shushu Chen, and funded by Leicestershire and Rutland County Sports Partnership, emda and local authority partners. (2010-2013)         

In relation to the 2020 Games Professor Henry and Bora Hwang and Colette Sisofo are currently working on two  Systematic Reviews and Meta-narrative Analyses of ‘Sporting Integrity and Integrity in Sport’ and of ‘Olympism, Olympic Values and Olympic Education’ in partnership with the Centre for Olympic Studies at Tsukuba University.

Sport & Interculturalism

In 2015 the European Parliament commissioned a policy review of The Role of Sport in Promoting Open and Inclusive Societies which was presented to the Culture and Education Committeein September 2015. This work followed on from earlier European Commission funded studies on Sport and Multicultural Dialogue in Europe, and on The Roles of Sport and Education in the Social Inclusion of Asylum Seekers and Refugees: An Evaluation of Policy and Practice in the UK. Ian Henry was subsequently invited to present the European Sports Intergroup in December 2015 on Sport and the Social Integration of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe.

Policy Evaluation

Recent funded studies under this heading include the following:

Development of an Evaluation methodology for evaluation of three Bids to Host the Universal Expo of the Bureau International des Expositions 2020: Dubai, Ekaterinburg and Izmir, commissioned by the government of the UAE, 2014. Henry, I and Preuss, H (University of Mainz)

Evaluation of the Active Women Programme undertaken for Sport England by IFF Research and I. Henry, 2011- 2014 

  • Member of the IOC PhD Grants and Advanced Research Grants Selection Committee (2009- present)
  • Author of a policy review commissioned by the Directorate-General for Internal policies of the European Parliament on behalf of the Culture and Education Committee on The Role of Sport in Promoting Open and Inclusive Societies.
  • Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Evaluation of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Legacy (2013-14)
  • Member of the European Commission Ad Hoc Expert Group (2011-13) convened for the drafting of the EC guidelines on Athlete Dual Careers published in 2013.
  • Member of MINEPS Expert Group for MINEPS V (Fifth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport, Berlin, 28-30 May 2013) Commission II: ‘Promoting investment in physical education and sport programmes’ drafting the proposed Berlin  Declaration. (Chair of Group presenting to MINEPS Conference.)
  • Adviser (with Professor Holger Preuss) to the Government of Dubai on the methodologies for evaluating bids to host the World Expo.
  • Adviser to the Japan Sports Council , the Ministry of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the office of the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on planning positive legacies (2013-2016).
  • Currently Associate Editor of Journal of Global Sport Management, and member of the editorial boards of the European Sport Management QuarterlyThe International Journal of Sport History, and the International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
  • Reviewer for:  European Science Foundation; UK Economic and Social Research Council; UK Arts and Humanities Research Council;  Swiss National Research Council;  Austrian Research Fund (FWF); Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Selected Keynote and Invited Papers

  • Keynote Speaker ‘Evaluating Legacy of Mega-Sporting events: Lessons from London 2012 Meta-Evaluation’Cultivating UK-Japan Research Collaboration through SportsJapan Society for the Promotion of Science ‐ Japan Sport Council Collaborative Symposium, 18 December 2015
  • Invited Speaker European Parliament Sports Intergroup Sport and the Integration of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe,  8 December, 2015
  • Invited Speaker meeting of the Culture and Education Committee of the European Parliament The Role of Sport in Fostering Open and Inclusive Societies, September 14, 2015
  • Invited Speaker ‘The Strengths and Limitations of the Meta-evaluation of the Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ From Olympic Administration to Governance: Challenges for Our Century, University of Lausanne, 25/6 June 2015.
  • Keynote Speaker ‘London 2012 – Methodologies for Evaluating legacy’ Tokyo 2020 International Sports Academy Symposium, Tokyo,26 July 2014
  • Invited Speaker, European Union Conference on Gender Equality in Sport, ‘Decision Making in Sport Governing Bodies: a review of proposals’, Vilnius, Lithuania, December 3-4 2013
  • ‘Contributing to Olympism and the Olympic Movement in the Hosting of the Games’, Keynote paper to Conference on Universal Values of Olympism and Development Through Sport, organised by the Japan Sport Council (JSC) and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), July 2013

Featured publications


  • Henry, I & Ko, L (eds.) (2013) Routledge Handbook of Sport Policy, London: Routledge.
  • Chatziefstathiou, D & Henry, I (2012) Discourses of Olympism: From the Sorbonne 1894 to London 2012, Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan

Refereed Journal Papers

  • Henry, I  (2016) ‘Evaluating Legacy of Mega-Sporting events: Lessons from the London 2012 Meta-Evaluation’ Journal of Global Sport Management (forthcoming July 2016)
  • De Haan, D., Sotiriadou, P., & Henry, I. (2015). The lived experience of sex-integrated sport and the construction of athlete identity within the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian disciplines. Sport in Society. doi:DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2015.1096259
  • Betzer-Tayar, M, Zach, S, Galily, Y & Henry, I (2015): Barriers to women’s access to decision-making positions in sport organizations: the case of establishing a girls’ volleyball academy in Israel, Journal of Gender Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2015.1111835
  • Chen, S & Henry, I (2015) ‘Evaluating the London 2012 Games’ impact on sport participation in a non-hosting region: a practical application of realist evaluation’ Leisure Studies, 10.1080/02614367.2015.1040827
  • Brown, D, Fletcher, D, Henry, I, Borrie, A, Emmett, J, Buzza, A (2015) A British university case study of the transitional experiences of student-athletesPsychology of Sport and Exercise  Volume 21, November 2015, Pages 78–90
  • Ghadami, M & Henry, I (2015) ‘Developing Culturally Specific Tools for the Evaluation of Good Governance in Diverse National Contexts: A Case Study of the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran’ International Journal of the History of Sport, Vo. 32, No. 8, pp. 986-1000
  • Henry, I and Cuschieri, MT (2014) Olympic Engagement and the Use of Olympic Solidarity Programmes by Gulf Cooperation Council StatesInternational Journal of the History of Sport, 31(14), pp.1707-1723.
  • Henry, I (2013) ‘Athlete Development, Athlete Rights and Athlete Welfare: A European Union Perspective’, International Journal of the History of Sport, Volume 30, Issue 4, 356-373

Book Chapters

  • Aquilina, D & Henry, I (2013) ‘Promoting Student- Athlete Interests in European Elite Sport Systems’, Chapter 18 in Henry, I & Ko, L-M (eds) Routledge Handbook of Sport Policy, London: Routledge
  • Chen, S, Henry, I, & Ko, L-M (2013) Meta-evaluation, Analytic Logic Models and the Assessment of Impacts of Sport Policies, Chapter 4 in Henry, I & Ko, L-M (eds) Routledge Handbook of Sport Policy, London: Routledge.
  • Henry, I & Ko, L-M (2013) ‘Analysing Sport Policy in a Globalising Context’ Chapter 1 in Henry, I & Ko, L-M (eds) Routledge Handbook of Sport Policy, London: Routledge
  • Ko, L-M, Henry, I & Tai, W-C (2013) ‘European Models of Sport: Governance, Organisational Change and Sports Policy in the EU’, Chapter 11 in Henry, I & Ko, L-M (eds) Routledge Handbook of Sport Policy, London: Routledge
  • Zammit, M-T & Henry, I (2013) ‘Evaluating Olympic Solidarity 1982-2012’, Chapter 9 in Henry, I & Ko, L-M (eds) Routledge Handbook of Sport Policy, London: Routledge