Personal profile

Overview

Darren is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching at the University of Hertfordshire. Prior to joining UH in January 2024, Darren held roles at Atlantic Technological University, University Campus of Football Business, and St. Mary's University, Twickenham. Darren's specialist areas of research and practice include sports coaching and sports psychology.

 

Darren's research is largely based around life skill development, with a specific focus on coach education and development in Physical Education settings. From 2016-2020, Darren received funding to conduct research on behalf of Palace for Life Foundation, the official charitabe foundation of Crystal Palace F.C., that focused on life skill development in primary P.E.

 

Outside of academia, Darren coaches the Men's First Team at Westside Football Club, who play in the Combined Counties Division 1 League (Step 6 of the National League System). Darren has also previously worked at the Brentford F.C. academy as a sport psychology consultant, and Limerick F.C. (now Treaty United) as an academy strength and conditioning coach.

Research interests

  • Life skill development
  • Applied sport performance psychology
  • Exercise and health psychology
  • Sociology of Sport
  • Physical Education
  • Well-being & mental health in sport development pathways
  • Coach education, development and behaviour change

Ongoing Projects

  • Evaluation of a Life Skill Coach Development Programme in Primary School Physical Education (Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, 2024).
  • An investigation into youth coach knowledge and experience of 
    embedding life skills in sport and Physical Education - Collaborative project with University of Chichester & Kingston University
  • Exploring the factors that influence primary school community football Physical Education coaches’ readiness to engage in a life skills coach development programme.
  • Examining the research partnership and project management between a university and community football foundation.

Teaching specialisms

Darren teaches across all strands on the Sports Studies programme at UH, currently leading on Sports Coaching, Behaviour Change and Research Methods modules. Darren has also taught on Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology modules at both postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in the past.

Darren has experience supervising research dissertation students at undegraduate and postgraduate level, and currently is lead supervisor for one PhD student at UH.

Currently, Darren is Deputy Programme Lead on the Sport Studies Programme at UH.

Commercial and public engagement

Darren is available for research, consultancy and media appearances in the fields of life skill development, sports coaching, applied sports psychology, and coach development.

Education/Academic qualification

Fellowship, Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 1 Aug 2022

Sport Psychology and Coaching, PhD, Primary School P.E. Coach Development in a Football Club Community Foundation: Using Participatory Action Research to Enable Coaches to Embed Life Skills in Primary School P.E., St Mary's University Twickenham

20162021

Applied Sport Psychology, MSc, St Mary's University Twickenham

20152016

Sport and Exercise Science, BSc, University of Limerick

20112015

External positions

Men's First Team Coach, Westside Football Club

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