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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Our research practice is underpinned by principles of social justice and equality in sport, leisure and physical education. We have a distinguished history of leading-edge social research and host one of the largest communities of social scientists in sport, leisure and physical education in the UK. Our work is multidisciplinary, rigorous and made accessible for a range of audiences.

Researchers within the Centre demonstrate a clear commitment to examining issues and disparities resulting from gender, ‘race’, sexuality, class, disability, age, religion and their intersections. Through their work they seek to demystify practices that lead to inequalities in sport, leisure and physical education and raise awareness of positive approaches to social problems in these contexts.

Research Themes

Theory and Methodologies

Our work under this theme emanates from praxis, where we seek effective ways to gather and theorise data and disseminate findings across a range of contexts associated with social justice. We encourage and employ a range of theoretical perspectives and methods that incorporate traditional and innovative approaches. We contribute to the development of new and emerging theoretical perspectives, and to research methods literature and critiques.

Young People’s Experiences of Physical Education and Sport

Drawing from intersectional frameworks and participatory methods, this research theme explores the lived sport, physical activity and physical education experiences of young people.

Sport, Migration and Diasporic Communities

This theme explores the influence of empire and its effects on the development of sporting identities. Our research activity has been informed by this and critical sociological studies in relation to football, cricket and global sporting events. More recent concerns have examined globalisation in relation to sport, and the effects that European Union and African diasporic movements and resettlement have had on sport and leisure choices.

Sport and Leisure, Cultures and Identities

Diversity, equity and inclusion are central to debates about leisure spaces, subcultures and identities. We are interested in the meaning and purpose of sport as leisure, leisure as part of popular culture, and leisure as geography. Research interests range from sports fandoms to the cultural place of pop music genres/scenes.

Policies and Practices

Our interest in disadvantage is reflected in research from the perspective of critical social science. This ranges from addressing the health divide to promoting equality in and through sport, leisure and culture; and from developing professional practice to widening access and participation.


Internally, we work closely with colleagues in the Centre for Sport Coaching and Physical Education to develop our work on equality and social justice in sport and sporting organisations. Our later research on ‘race’ and its intersections with an emergent gender strand build on our previous studies and reputation.  Externally, national agendas on race and gender equality have been directly influenced by our work for Kick it Out, Sporting Equals, The England and Wales Cricket Board/ Yorkshire County Cricket partnership, Sports Coach UK, Sport England and the FA. We can also demonstrate impact with key education equality organisations such as the Equality Challenge Unit and the Runnymede Trust.  Our work in partnership with publishers includes a long link with the Leisure Studies journal that includes founding members and current editorial staff. We also lead prestigious book series projects that include the Palgrave Global Culture and Sport Series (Wagg) and the Routledge Critical Perspectives on Equality and Social Justice in Sport and Leisure (Hylton and Long).