Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Coaching the sport coaches - exploring the work of coach developers in sport
Exploring influences on coaches, their coaching practices and impact on athletes through self-determination theory

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Personal profile


I am an experienced higher education academic who is passionate about facilitating the development of people whether in higher education  working with students and colleagues or working in sport with coaches, coach developers, volunteers, and sport organisations. Originally from New Zealand, I joined Northumbria University in 2023 after working at the University of Stirling, University of Otago, and University of Waikato. 

My research also focuses on the development of people, with a focus on the psychosocial environment that can support or thwart individuals’ motivation, well-being, psychological needs, and performance. My work developing people continues in the wider community as a coach developer and sport coach.

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding the processes and practices of coaches, teachers, and organisational leaders in their facilitation (or thwarting) of optimal human functioning within sport and education contexts. Specifically, I examine how (and why) these key influencers impact performers’, participants’, and volunteers’ motivation, performance, psychological needs satisfaction, well-being and life skill development. My research adopts a social psychological perspective to understand the social contextual and individual factors that influence coaches’ and athletes’ experiences in sport and includes the psychosocial development of young people.

Education/Academic qualification

Sports Science, PhD, De Montfort University

Award Date: 1 Dec 2001

Sports Studies, MA, University of Victoria BC

Award Date: 1 May 1996

Physiology, BSc, University of Otago

Award Date: 1 Dec 1992

Sports Science, BSc (Hons), University of Otago

Award Date: 1 May 1992

External positions

GB Hockey Coaching Advisory Group

2023 → …

Frontiers in Sports and Active Living

2022 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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