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Research Themes

Our research is structured through two themes. The ‘Sporting Lives’ theme is about transforming sport, transforming lives. Our ‘Healthy Communities’ theme is about moving, growing, thriving.

Sporting lives

Sport is everywhere in people’s lives. In huge numbers, people are actively involved in sport; as sports participants, athletes, and supporters, along with those working or volunteering in the sport industry. Sport has the potential to break down barriers, cross divides and bring people together from all corners of society. But inequalities still exist, often making it harder for minority and marginalised groups and individuals to get involved, participate or work in the field.

Our ‘Sporting Lives’ research theme is dedicated to improving this situation, with the aim of ‘Transforming Sport, Transforming Lives’. We do this by working with marginalised and minority groups, as well as key organisations. We research preconceptions, prejudices and barriers to develop new ideas and approaches that will increase understanding, reduce inequalities, improve quality of life and develop sporting opportunities for all. In doing so, we seek to measurably improve lives, communities and society by breaking down barriers within sports, making them accessible and enjoyable for all. Transforming sport through research to improve local lives and global communities is central to what we do.

Healthy communities

The health and wellbeing benefits of undertaking regular sports or physical activities are well known, and sport, physical activity and nutrition play a vital role in developing healthy communities. But opportunities to be healthy are not evenly distributed. There are challenges in being healthy at different stages of, and across, the life span, as well as in different environments.

The ‘Healthy Communities’ theme group is committed to enhancing the health and mental wellbeing of our communities. Our aim is to create healthier societies by getting communities ‘Moving, Growing, Thriving’. Research within this theme focuses on reducing health inequalities, promoting inclusive and enabling environments and enhancing sustainable partnerships. We research how physical activity influences health and wellbeing, how to initiate and support active lives, and identify ways to promote sustainable health behaviours’ across a lifetime.  Addressing physical inactivity and building a fair and vibrant society by creating healthy communities for all is central to what we do.