Dr Joe Piggin

BPhEd, MPhEd, PhD

  • Senior Lecturer in Sport Management & Policy

Dr Joe Piggin joined the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences in 2009. He is a senior lecturer in Sport Management and Policy, and researches and teaches in these areas. Joe lectures on various undergraduate and postgraduate courses including Sport Policy and Governance, and Physical Activity and Health. Joe also supervises master's students' projects in sport management and sport policy. Joe’s research includes topics related to sport policy, physical activity policy and health promotion.

Prior to joining Loughborough, Joe was a Programme Director and lecturer in sport management and marketing at the Unitec Institute of Technology (New Zealand) where he taught courses in social policy, marketing and management. He holds a PhD from the University of Otago (New Zealand).

Webinar: Is the definition of physical activity too narrow?

Joe’s research includes topics related to sport policy, physical activity policy and health promotion. More specifically, he has published influential analyses on injury risk in rugby union, and critical research of problematic sponsorship in sport. His recent works include authoring The Politics of Physical Activity, and co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity Policy and Practice. In 2020, Joe proposed a new definition of physical activity for use by teachers, researchers and policy makers. His current attention is on contemporary contests in sport and physical activity provision, with a focus on state and private interventions as they intersect with issues of rights and sustainability.

PhD Supervision

  • Nadyne Venturin-Trindade: Current. Equitable and Inclusive Sport Policies
  • Anupa Wilawa-Mudiyanselage: Current. Community Sport: Theory development
  • Carmen Horvat, PhD, Co-supervisor. Completed 2021. Elite Sport Policy in Slovenia.
  • Tony Halkyard, PhD, Co-supervisor Completed 2020. Strategic Management Processes in National Governing Bodies.
  • Colette Sisofo, PhD, Main supervisor Completed 2019. Integrity of Sport Organisations.
  • Yeon Kang, PhD, Co-supervisor Completed 2019. Diplomacy, International Relations and Sport.
  • Paul Bretherton, PhD. Main supervisor Completed 2014. Sport and Physical Activity Promotion at the Olympic Games.


Co-investigator with Dr Cassie Phoenix et al. ESRC Seminar Series, More of the same is not enough: New directions in ageing and physical activity. £30,000


Journal Reviewer

  • British Journal of Sports Medicine
  • Journal of Sport Management
  • International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
  • International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing
  • Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise
  • Journal of Health Psychology
  • Educational Review
  • Journal of Public Health
  • Critical Policy Studies
  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine

Recent Invited Talks

  • Piggin, J (2020) Athlete Z. Where will we draw the line in sport? Oxford Brookes University.
  • Piggin, J (2017) Food and Drink at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. UK Healthy Stadia Conference, London
  • Piggin, J (2017) The Place of the Big Brand in Sport and Physical Activity. Elevate Physical Activity Conference. London.
  • Piggin, J. (2017) Alcohol Concern. 2017: Hitting the bar - How can we promote healthy drinking in sporting settings? Cardiff, UK.
  • Piggin, J. (2017) Elevate Conference. How can we best promote physical activity within the UK? London, UK.
  • Piggin, J. (2016) Social aspects of sport. Revolution or Gradual change? Conference on Sport Science and Olympic and Paralympic Legacy. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil.

Featured publications


Piggin, J. (2019) The Politics of Physical ActivityRoutledge.

Edited Book

Piggin, J., Mansfield, L. and Weed, M. (2018) Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity Policy and Practice.

Guest Editor

Piggin, J. and Mansfield, L. (2016) Special Issue: Sport, Physical Activity and Public Health. In the International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics.

Recent Book Chapters

Piggin, J. (2018) Concepts and Theories in Physical Activity Policy, Routledge Handbook of Physical Activity Policy and Practice. 


Piggin, J., Tlili, H., Souza, DL., Furtado, S., Milanez, M., Cunha, G., Louzada, BH. (2016) Food and Drink for Spectators at the Olympic and Paralympic Games: An evaluation of health and nutrition claims at Rio 2016.
Piggin, J. Tlili, H. & Louzada, B. (2017) Food and Drink for Spectators at the Euro 2016 Football Championship: An evaluation of health and nutrition claims.


  • Piggin, J. (2020) What is physical activity? A holistic definition for teachers, researchers and policy makers. Frontiers in Sport and Active Living. DOI: 10.3389/fspor.2020.00072 
  • Matias, T. & Piggin, J (2020). Physical activity promotion: can a focus on disease limit successful messaging? The Lancet: Global Health 8 (October 2020), 1. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(20)30355-7/fulltext
  • Camargo, P, Piggin J & Mezzadri, F. (2020) The politics of sport funding in Brazil: a multiple streams analysis. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. DOI: 10.1080/19406940.2020.1821080
  • Piggin, J., Lange de Souza, D., Furtado, S. et al. (2019) Do the Olympic Games promote dietary health for spectators? An interdisciplinary study of health promotion through sport. European Sport Management Quarterly. DOI: 10.1080/16184742.2018.1562484 
  • Piggin, J. & Bairner, A. (2019) What counts as ‘the evidence’? A need for an urgent review of injury risk in school rugby. British Journal of Sports Medicine. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098484
  • Piggin, J. (2017) Rugby, risk and rhetoric: the trivialisation of injury data must end. New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine.
  • Piggin, J., Tlili, H. & Louzada, B. (2017) How does health policy affect practice at a sport mega event? A study of policy, food and drink at Euro 2016. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. DOI: 10.1080/19406940.2017.1372793
  • Piggin, J. & Bairner, A. (2017) An urgent call for clarity regarding England Rugby’s injury claims. Nordic Sport Science Forum http://idrottsforum.org/feature-piggin-bairner170523/
  • Piggin, J. & Hart, L. (2017). Physical activity advocacy in the UK: A multiple streams analysis of a hybrid policy issue. Leisure Studies. DOI: 10.1080/02614367.2017.1285957