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Personal profile


Claire is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Development at University of Hertfordshire. Prior to this, she was a Sport Management Lecturer at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. 

Claire's research largely involves providing evidence based insight for sports organisations, mainly in sport for development (SfD), sports diplomacy and understanding community sport participation. Current research includes leading a sport diplomacy project entitled 'Sport Diplomacy across the Commonwealth: UK and Australia'; and three SFD projects: one exploring the referral processes for a SFD programme; another investigating race, gender, gangs and SFD; and one understanding the complexities of sustained engagement in a SFD programme.

She completed a PhD at Victoria University in Australia, in partnership with Sport Australia, exploring why older adults may or may not participate in sport. Previous research projects have included sport development and SFD programme evaluations and being part of the ESRC funded 'Understanding and informing the benefits of sport and physical activity-based programmes for older women in the UK and Japan' project.

Academically, Claire is the EASM (European Association of Sport Management) Conference Track Chair for Sport Development and Socio-Cultural Aspects, is the Copy Editor for the Journal of Sport for Development, and is an editorial board member for three journals: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Managing Sport and Leisure, and Frontiers of Sports Management and Marketing. Furthermore, she is part of the academic working group for the Wallace Group (a collective of UK universities who support the development of sport in Zambia) and the External Examiner for the Sport Development programme at Leeds Beckett University. 

Claire also engages widely with the sports development industry as the Co-Chair of the UK Sport Development Network (UKSDN), and is on the Sport for Development Coalition's working group for staffing in the UK.

She was recently on the advisory board for the British Council Wales 'Wales and the Soft Power of Sport' sports diplomacy project and in late 2020, was an invited expert at the 2020 DCMS Select Committee on the value of community sport. When in Australia, Claire was a former board member of the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ), and the Victorian Active Ageing Partnership (VAAP).

Prior to entering academia, she was a Sports Development Manager in London and also worked on sport for development projects in Zambia.

Research interests

  • Sport for development
  • Sports diplomacy
  • Community sport participation

Claire's current research projects include:

  • Exploring the referral processes for a sport for development programme
  • Sport Diplomacy across the Commonwealth: Australia and UK
  • Longitudinal autoethnography of the complexity of sustained engagement in sport for development programmes
  • Race, women, gangs and sport for development

Previous research has included understanding the benefits and barriers of community sport participation for older adults and an evaluation of a older adult modified sport programme. She has also worked on research projects on community sport participation for people with disabilities, women and girls and evaluating sport for health programmes.

She supervises five PhD students for example, in sport for development, gender and sports diplomacy, and mental wellbeing and racial trauma in football. These students are in the UK and Malaysia.  

Claire's main passions for research are in sport for development, sport for social change and sports diplomacy.


Teaching specialisms

Claire teaches on the Sports Development strand of the Sport Studies programme. She coordinates the Insight and Evaluation in Sports Development, Global Perspectives of Sports Development, and Facilities and Funding in Active Communities modules, whilst also contributing to the Physical Activity and Sport Policy in Practice, and Research Methods modules. Furthermore, she supervises final year students on the Work Experience Learning and Research Dissertation modules.

Commercial and public engagement

Claire is available for research consultancy and media enquiries in the fields of community sport participation, sport for social change, sports diplomacy and sport management. 

She has previously undertaken consultancy work for Just, a FTSE 100 company. This is for their Just Get Active, a walking sport programme, campaign to get older adults more physically active, which involves media interviews and writing blogs.

Education/Academic qualification

English and Sport Science, BA (Hons), Loughborough University

Sociology of Sport, MSc, Loughborough University

Sport Management, PhD, Active and Healthy Ageing through Sport, Victoria University


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