Inclusive sport and physical activity research group

 

 

The Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity Research Group aims to support excluded and marginalised individuals and communities through ethically and socially responsible research. 

About the group

Inclusive Sport - Boules - Elderly

The Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity Research Group is a collective of passionate, supportive, community-oriented individuals, all working towards developing meaningful, ethically responsible, high-quality interdisciplinary research within and around the broad area of Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity.

 Dr Győző Molnár leads the research group which consists of two key research themes: (1) Gender Identity and the Body (led by Dr Christian Edwards) and (2) Inclusive Sports (led by Dr Emma Richardson).

 

 

inclusive sport in fiji 1

 

Together these themes build a focused, contemporary and highly relevant research agenda based on collaboration and interdisciplinary practice, to integrate research scholarship in and beyond the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester.  

Researchers, practitioners and students in this group bring unique critical and global insights, knowledge(s) and experience regarding sport, exercise, physical activity and related areas, but have a shared vision of serving marginalised, disenfranchised and excluded communities.

 

 By critiquing research and practice embedded in traditional Western-based power imbalances, highlighting of powerlessness, challenging inequities and inequalities, and creating opportunities for participation, reflection and empowerment, the Inclusive Sport and Physical Activity Research Group work to not only extend, translate and transfer knowledge, but to have a direct and positive impact on the communities they wish to serve.

 

Areas of distinction

Adapted Physical Activity 

In relation to this area we have explored, and continue to explore, some essential questions for researchers to continuously ponder on in the field of Adapted Physical Activity (APA), such as: Who is the expert? Whose knowledge counts and what knowledge for whom and by whom is produced? Our purpose has been to respond to these questions through an extensive review of the prevailing research philosophies and methodologies in APA.

Two people are playing table tennis . One participant is wearing a blindfold

 

In doing so, we have reviewed key journals in the field of APA, namely: Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (from 1984 to 2020) and European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity (from 2008 to 2020), covering 1021 articles. Guided by values of epistemic and ethical responsibility, we have investigated and critiqued research trends and underlying assumptions in APA.

By attending to APA research at the level of epistemology and related methodologies, we aim to go beyond simply reporting the current state of the field to reveal how research and practice in APA does or does not serve and support individuals experiencing disability and disability communities. Based on the extensive data set and our interpretation of it, we offer insight into existing limitations as well as possibilities for future research directions.

Gender Politics 

We have been exploring the extent to which the structure of sport has been used to reinforce traditional gender binary. In most sports men and women still compete separately and crossover is either not allowed or leads to enormous controversy. In recent years various mass and social media platforms have been replete with discussions and, often strong, opinions around transgender athletes and their potential contribution to the demise of women’s sports.

 

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Here a cacophony of voices and opinions clash which varyingly focus on protecting women’s sport, principles of inclusivity, biological/sex differences and advantages as well as gender identities and fairness.

Given the complexity of ongoing debates around gender, a sensible, and perhaps straightforward, approach for many may be to buy into the mantra of populist right-wing parties and, for instance, agree with the views of the Trump, Orbán and Bolsonaro governments that people are either born male or female and no gender alternatives should be recognised.

 

 

In this politically exclusionist climate that attributes primordial approaches to understanding gender and sex, we have been exploring and critiquing the complex and multiple intersections of gender, sport, physical activity and politics. 

Research themes

Inclusive Sports research theme focuses on experience and equity of inclusive sport and exercise through the physical activity spectrum (i.e., from recreation through to performance sport). Our key aim is to conduct and share impactful, applicable research regarding inclusion among marginalised populations within sport and exercise (e.g., disabled communities, women, older adults, etc.). Through excellent scholarship and meaningful practice, we strive to serve marginalised populations by exploring and creating equitable access to and opportunities for sport and exercise. We, thus, focus on engaging and working with communities, practitioners, scholars, teachers, stakeholders, coaches, and others to do meaningful work within academia, locally and wider society. Key research interests include; social justice, social exclusion, critical dis/ablism, participatory/emancipatory research, adapted physical education, adapted/ inclusive sport/ exercise/ recreation, intersectionality.

Gender, Identity and the Body research theme focuses on critically exploring and understanding socio-cultural issues associated with sports, exercise, physical activity, and health. Our key aim is to generate high-quality socio-cultural research in relation to these key domains. We strive to develop research that is interdisciplinary, theoretically sound and informed by empirical evidence; and research that will influence wider society and aim to further develop our links with key stakeholders. Key research interests include:  corporeal and sporting/exercise/physical activity identities, national identity, migrant identities, post-colonial cultural identities, sustainability, equality, gender, sexuality, ageing, and corporeal drives and body projects.

Active projects

Exploring the indiscretions of politics and gender in sport, exercise and PA

Gender Equality Toolkit for Generation Z (GETZ)

Querying whose knowledge counts in APA

Women Strength and Conditioning coaches' experiences

Members - students


  • Beth Burgess (PhD)
  • Jonathan Mandel (PhD)
  • Rebecca Oatley (PhD)
  • Steve Raven (PhD)
  • Andrew Wedgbury (PhD)
  • Fran Musgrave (MPhil)
  • Alex Gardener(MRes)
  • Alex Giles (MRes)
  • Maresha Greval (MRes)
  • Rizza Simms (MRes)

Selected Publications 

Edwards, C., Molnar, G., and Tod, D. (2017) Searching for masculine capital: Experiences leading to high drive for muscularity in men, Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 18(4), p.361-371. doi:10.1037/men0000072.

Faull, A.L. and Jones, E. (2018) 'Development and validation of the Wheelchair Imagery Ability Questionnaire (WIAQ) for use in wheelchair sports', Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 37, pp. 196-204. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.11.015

Molnár, G. (2021). Sport, Labour and Migration. In: Wenner, L. (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Sport and Society. Oxford University Press. 

Mycock, D. & Molnár, G. (2021). “The blind leading the blind” – A reflection on coaching blind football. EUJAPA

Richardson, E.V. and Motl, R.W. (2020) Promoting inclusion in a fitness center through non-impaired staff: Creating a multi-narrative environment. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health12(4), pp 494-512. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2019.1637926

Renfree, G. and Kohe, G.Z. (2019) Running the club for love: challenges for identity, accountability and governance relationships. European Journal for Sport and Society, 16(3), p210-228. DOI: 10.1080/16138171.2019.1623987

Rhoden, C., West, J., Renfree, A., Corbett, M. and St Clair Gibson, A. (2015) Adaptive Self-regulation in Cycle Time Trials: Goal Pursuit, Goal Disengagement and the Affective Experience. Journal of Science and Cycling, 4 (3). pp. 44-52. ISSN Online: 2254-7053 http://eprints.worc.ac.uk/4106/

To search the Worcester Research and Publication database for a full list of our publications please click here.

 Get in touch

For more information on our research or opportunities please get in touch with Győző at: g.molnar@worc.ac.uk

 

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