In November 2021, Sport and Fitness AL and Staff Tutor Steph Doehler presented findings from her publication on the media framing of Colin Kaepernick at the European Communication Research and Education Association’s Media, Sport, and Diversity conference. The online event hosted by Aarhus University in Denmark was attended by scholars from across Europe and included several presentations on sports communication and journalism. Steph’s research centred on how the American press responded to Kaepernick’s sustained activism during the 2016 NFL season, and compared this with their response to him in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020.
Dr Nichola Kentzer and OU colleagues Dr Jo Horne, Dr Jitka Vseteckova and Dr Joe De Lappe, have had another systematic review published examining the prevalence of physical activity among informal carers, this time with an international perspective. This follows Nichola’s previous paper examining the physical activity behaviours of informal carers in the United Kingdom. The team of colleagues from the UK, Italy and Turkey, completed the review along with a separate international review examining the barriers and facilitators to physical activity in informal carers which has just been submitted. Watch this space!
Congratulations to Nichola and her co-authors!
Many congratulations to Sport and Fitness Senior Lecturer, Jessica Pinchbeck for recently passing her PhD viva with just minor modifications.
A summary of Jess’s PhD thesis:
“It’s more than just playing a sport”. A socio-cultural analysis of participation in netball across the lifespan.
This thesis followed the journey of a small sample of women from one netball club located in the East of England to provide an insightful analysis into their childhood experiences of sport, exploring the extent to which this may have shaped their adult participation and the complexities of this connection. The study was conducted from an interpretivist perspective and used an ethnographic approach to examine how the women think and act in different situations, and how this develops over time as a result of previous experiences. These women and their experiences are not viewed in isolation but examined and studied in the wider context and alongside relationships in which their sports experiences have been socially constructed. Bourdieu’s (1984) theory of practice examines the extent to which social processes influence the behaviours, tastes, and judgements of individuals. This approach provides a valuable theoretical lens through which to view the sociocultural context of the women’s historical childhood experiences of sports participation alongside their current sports participation.
Findings show support for the formation of a habitus towards sports participation developed throughout childhood which has endured into adulthood. The women’s habitus persists as a significant influence on their lives, demonstrated in the drive and passion to negotiate their netball participation, which can sometimes cause friction and tension in the women’s relationships. Subtle changes are evident in the behaviour and dispositions of the women as they enter different stages of their lives and also as their skill level in the sport increases. Habitus, developed throughout their childhood, influences the women’s tastes and socialises them into ways of behaving, however, their behaviour is also shaped and influenced by social structures. This study provides a unique connection of past and present to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of female sports participation.
Jess has completed her PhD part time alongside her full-time roll with the OU Sport and Fitness team. She was supervised by Dr Sam Murphy, Dr Martin Toms and Dr Alex Twitchen.
Congratulations to Dr Pinchbeck and all her supervisors!
We are delighted to introduce Dr Kieran Kingston as a new Honorary Associate within the Sport and Fitness research group. As well as being an AL since 2019 on the Sport, Fitness and Coaching degree, Kieran’s has a wealth of experience in Sports Performance Psychology research and applied practice. His research publications will be affiliated to the group. Welcome, Kieran!
Kieran Kingston is an established academic and business consultant who, after serving his time as a full-time academic until 2017, has continued to be involved with teaching, research/writing and PhD supervision. In addition to his AL role with the OU, and temporary contracts, his most recent role was Senior Research Fellow at University of South Wales, where he had responsibility for several PhD students. Kieran gained his PhD in performance psychology in 1999. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has provided consultancy services to team and individual athletes, coaches, and NGBs, and has more recently extended this work to small businesses.
Kieran’s research interests have broadly focused on social-cognitive approaches to understanding motivation. Most recently, he has looked at the influence of coaching/leader behaviour and the psychological environments these create on performance, cognitions, and well-being in sport and other contexts (e.g., injury rehabilitation, education, and business). He also has a keen interest on the psychology of golf, and recently served as the invited editor (psychology) for the first International Handbook of Golf Science (2019).
- Kingston, K., Wixey, D., & Cropley, B. (2021). Motivation in coaching: Promoting adaptive psychological outcomes. In Z. Zenko & L. Jones (Eds.) Essentials of exercise and sport psychology: An open access textbook (pp. 999–999). Society for the Transparency, Openness, and Replication in Kinesiology.
- Kingston, K., Jenkins, D., & Kingston, G. (2021). Promoting adherence to rehabilitation through supporting patient wellbeing: A self-determination perspective. In Z. Zenko & L. Jones (Eds.) Essentials of exercise and sport psychology: An open access textbook (pp. 999–999). Society for the Transparency, Openness, and Replication in Kinesiology.
- Kingston, K., Wixey, D, & Morgan, K. (2020). Monitoring the Climate: Exploring the Psychological Environment in an Elite Soccer Academy. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 32, 3, pp. 297-314. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2018.1481466
- Pates, J. & Kingston, K. (2020). Reflections on a long-term consultancy relationship; Challenging the beliefs of an elite golfer. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4,1, pp. 117-124. https://doi.org/10.1123/cssep.2020-0008
- Wixey, D., Ryom, K., & Kingston, K., (2020). “Case Studies From Elite Youth Soccer: Reflections on Talent Development Practices”. International Sport Coaching Journal. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1123/iscj.2019-0005
- Pates, J. & Kingston, K. (2019) Consultancy Under Pressure: Intervening in the “Here and Now” With an Elite Golfer. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4, 1 pp. 32-39. doi: https://doi.org/10.1123/cssep.2019-0030
- Markati, A., Psychountaki, M., Kingston, K., Karteroliotis, K. & Apostolidis, N. (2019). Psychological and situational determinants of burnout in adolescent athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology: Vol. 17, 5, pp. 521-536.
Sport and Fitness AL and Staff Tutor, Steph Doehler has recently published an article in the open access journal – Sport in Society. The article, titled ‘Taking the star-spangled knee: the media framing of Colin Kaepernick’ analyses the newspaper coverage of Kaepernick’s protest and builds on the understanding of media framing towards an individual’s protest and the consequences they face.
To read the full article, please click here.
Congratulations to Steph!
Doehler, S. (2021). “Taking the star-spangled knee: the media framing of Colin Kaepernick”. Sport in Society, DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2021.1970138
We are delighted to introduce Dr John Bradley as a new Honorary Associate within the Sport and Fitness research group. John’s research and publications will be affiliated to the group and he is already working on collaborative projects with members of the team. Welcome, John!
John is an associate lecturer with the OU, currently working with E236: Applying sport and exercise sciences to coaching, and SK299: Human Biology. He has previously held a number of academic and applied sport science positions including lecturer in Exercise Physiology and Coaching Science at University College Cork in Ireland, and Exercise Physiologist with the Scottish Institute of Sport. John has a PhD in the field of Exercise Physiology from Glasgow University, with a thesis titled: Lactate production and the redox state of muscle.
Part of John’s research looks at factors influencing athlete performance, and then using this to create informed conditioning programmes. He has recently analysed the injury risk factors of athletes participating in swimming and then used this information to develop an informed conditioning programmes based upon these risk factors. He is now looking to continue this research in swimming and extend it to include a range of other sports such as golf and tennis.
Another area of research interest is the role of sport and non-sport extracurricular activities on academic achievement. This can perhaps be partly summarised by the Healthy Mind, Healthy Body concept, but also including non-sport activities as well. This has resulted in the development of a dual step transfer model to explain the enhancement of school academic achievement from participation in a range of extracurricular activities.
John volunteers as a coach with a local swimming club and enjoys a range of water sports himself, including swimming, kayaking and canoeing.
- Bradley, J., Kerr, S., Bowmaker, D., Gomez, J-F. (2019). A Swim-Specific Shoulder Strength and Conditioning Program for Front Crawl Swimmers. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 41(4), 1-17.
- Bradley, J., Kerr, S., Bowmaker, D., Gomez, J-F. (2016). Review of shoulder injuries and shoulder pain in competitive swimmers. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 4(3), 57-73.
- Bradley, J., Conway, P. (2016). A dual step transfer model: Sport and non-sport extracurricular activities and the enhancement of academic achievement. British Educational Research Journal, 42(4), 703-728.
- Bradley, J.L, Keane, F., Crawford, S. (2013) School Sport and Academic Achievement. Journal of School Health, 83 (1), 8-13. January.
- Bradley, J.L. (2009). The Sports Science of Curling: A Practical Review. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 8(4), 495-500, December.
We are excited to introduce Lorna Mackay, one of our new PhD student within the Sport and Fitness research group. Lorna is studying part time with us alongside her personal training. Lorna’s research into the use of percussive therapy to improve perceptions of chronic non-specific musculoskeletal pain in strength and conditioning settings will be supervised by Dr Ben Langdown, Dr Joan Simons and Dr Jitka Vseteckova. Welcome, Lorna!
Lorna Mackay runs her own business as a personal trainer and Zumba instructor. Her specialist interest lies in the management of chronic pain through the participation in exercise. She is a strong believer in both the physiological and psychological benefits of exercise.
Lorna holds a MSc in Sport an Exercise Science; her research considered the effect of Zumba® and ZumbaGold® on non-specific, pre-existing musculoskeletal pain. Lorna’s PhD research is building on her previous work by investigating the effect of integrating percussive therapy into warm ups of strength and conditioning programmes, to improve perceptions of chronic non-specific musculoskeletal pain in knees, lumbar spine and shoulders.
When Lorna isn’t in the gym or studying, she is out walking her dog in the local countryside.
Back in 2017, the ICSPE Symposium on ‘Physical Activity and Sport: Understanding the First Ten Years’ took place in Germany and was well attended by many international presenters and delegates.
As part of the planned follow-up to the symposium, a Routledge book titled ‘Physical Activity and Sport During the First Ten Years of Life‘ has been published and Dr Ben Langdown was invited to contribute a chapter on ‘Developing a movement culture in the first 10 years’ (Chapter 14).
The chapter focuses on stimulating young people towards physical activity and sport, explores the evidence underpinning fundamental movement skill (FMS) development, their role in physical literacy and how to observe, analyse and develop movement. The chapter provides an applied focus on best practice in primary education settings to support children towards sustained participation within a positive movement culture.
The book will be available from April 2021.
Congratulations to Ben!
Dr Nichola Kentzer, along with Associate Lecturer (E235), Jo Horne, recently published an article in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. The article was a systematic review examining UK based research on informal carers and their physical activity levels. More detail on the review can be found in this OU Sport and Fitness Blog post, written by lead author Jo.
The authors, from The Open University and Anglia Ruskin University, are currently undertaking further reviews examining international literature on the same topic.
Congratulations to Nichola, Joanne and their co-authors!
A new edited collection titled Race’, Ethnicity and Racism in Sports Coaching has recently been published by Routledge and co-edited by Dr Jim Lusted, Lecturer in Sport & Fitness in ECYS.
In collaboration with Dr Steven Bradbury from Loughborough University and Dr Jacco Van Sterkenburg from Erasmus University (Rotterdam, Holland), the book brings together leading academics from around the world in the first collection dedicated to exploring issues of ‘race’ and racism in a sport coaching setting.
This topical and timely collection is arranged into three sections, addressing the central topics of representation and racialised barriers in sports coaching; racialised identities, diversity, and intersectionality in sports coaching; and formalised racial equality interventions in sports coaching.
To mark the book launch, an online forum (video and podcast formats) was recently recorded with some of the authors to discuss the similarities and differences in the experiences of minoritised coaches, consider the effectiveness of racial equality interventions in sports coaching and explore what can be done to increase the diversity of sport coaches across the world.
The authors hope the recommendations for practice outlined in the book will be utilised by key stakeholders and practitioners to help embed the principles and practice of racial equality, diversity, and inclusion within sports coaching contexts globally.
Congratulations to Jim and the co-editors!