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Personal profile

Biography

I am an Assistant Professor of the Sociology of Sport in the Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at Northumbria University. Currently, I am programme leader of the MSc Sport Performance and Analysis and manage a group of doctoral researchers with a central socio-pedagogical investigative agenda.
 
In my time at Northumbria, I have led a REF2021 Impact Case Study, been department co-lead of Knowledge Exchange, Lead on Employability as well as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, chaired our successful Athena Swan Charter Award, and acted as Interim Research Theme Lead.
 
Externally, I am a board member for the Cluster for Research into Coaching (CRiC), chair-elect for the 6th International Coaching Conference 2024, and a member of the World Rugby Science Network and the International Society of Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise (QRSE). I am an external programme examiner at Stirling University and the University of Limerick, and have held similar roles at Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of the West of Scotland. I have been an independent panel member for the Periodic Programme Review of Sport Science Cluster degree programmes at Liverpool John Moores University, a consulting advisor for programme development and validation to the University of the West of Scotland, and an invited panel member of the UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) independent review by the Sport & Recreation Alliance. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
 
My research, supervision and education work is driven by a fascination with the relational, (micro)political and emotional complexities of sports work. I critically explore how networks of social relations influence the thoughts, feelings and (inter)actions of sport professionals, and how sense is made of experiences, relationships and the self. My aim as an ethnographer and sport sociologist is to critically examine in-situ the opportunities and challenges associated with professional practice in order to inform and beneficially impact workforce development to the benefit of those leading, working and participating in sport and exercise.
 
I have published in the discipline’s leading peer-reviewed journals and books, been invited presenter at numerous international conferences, symposia, and industry events, and examined PhD and Professional Doctorate candidates both in and beyond the sports field. Within sport specifically, my clients include governing bodies, elite professional sport teams and some of the world’s leading coaches and coach educators. Recent examples include mentoring work with The Premier League, coach education design for Athletics Canada, and policy advice and research-informed coach education for Newcastle Falcons, as well as invited contributions to the UKCC L4 across multiple sports. Through this body of knowledge exchange and consultancy, I have forged novel connections between theory and practice to transform the practice of thousands of coaches, teachers and coach developers, which has benefitted tens of thousands of athletes in sports around the globe.

Research interests

I am fascinated by the relational, (micro)political and emotional complexities of sports work. These comprise the very social fabric that makes sport and sport coaching a central thread in the lives of millions globally. My research explores how networks of social relations influence the thoughts, feelings and (inter)actions of sport professionals, and how sense is made of experiences, relationships and the self. My aim as an ethnographer and sport sociologist is to critically examine in-situ the opportunities and challenges associated with professional practice in order to inform and beneficially impact workforce development to the benefit of those leading, working and participating in sport and exercise.

I am fortunate to supervise an amazing group of PhD candidates and Masters students whose sociological research examines professional practice, social interactions and embodied identities across a diverse range of sport settings. 

I am open to enquiries about supervision at MSc and PhD levels.

Education/Academic qualification

Sport, PhD

1 Dec 20105 Jun 2015

Award Date: 5 Jun 2015

Sport, MSc

1 Sept 200830 Jun 2008

Award Date: 1 Sept 2008

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