Personal profile

Approach to teaching

My teaching largely centres on sociological, historical, and political issues as they pertain to contemporary physical education and sport settings.  I teach students from a range of programs, who tend to see things from various perspectives and want to learn about sport in different ways and for different reasons.  Although I am cautious to approach each group of students on their own terms, what unites all of my teaching is a commitment to critically analyse the basic assumptions that underlie contemporary forms of sport culture.

I believe that teaching is a vital component of academic work, providing the most immediate route through which universities can positively benefit society.  As such, my teaching draws on academic research to provide students with contemporary, research-informed knowledge they can use to make sense of physical education and sports worlds, contextualised relative to their prospective future careers.  I regularly encourage my students to imagine how the materials covered in class can be of use in professional contexts, and deliberately shape my assessment strategies to give students skills that will be useful to them later in life.

Fundamentally, I see the task of enthusing my students with a passion for learning as the most important element of my duties as a lecturer.  As such, I work hard to vary my teaching style, prioritising topical issues and using innovative methods wherever possible to keep students engaged and motivated.  I see my role as one of making students curious, inspiring them to critically explore subject matter on their own, fostering independence while at university as well as a lifelong commitment to learn.

Research interests

My research interests encompass various thematic issues within the sociology of sport and physical education, focusing primarily on martial arts and combat sports.  Specifically, I have explored how gender relations, gender identity, and sexuality impact on participation in martial arts; the value of martial arts within physical education curricula; media representations of professional fighters; the construction of meaning around notions of ‘violence’ among martial artists; the provision of medical support in combat sports; the roles of referees in mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions; and the social practice of consent in combat sports.

Besides these, I am also interested in the relationship between professional sport and the media; young people’s consumption of social media relative to questions around body image and fitness; and the inclusion of sexual minority athletes in sports.

Supervisory Interests

I am able to supervise doctoral research across the fields of sociology, cultural studies, and politics as they pertain to sport, physical education, fitness, and related fields. However, I am particularly interested in sociological studies of the following specialist topics:

  • Martial arts and combat sports
  • Sport-related violence
  • Risk, injury and medical care in sport
  • Consent in sport

External positions

Special Advisory Board Member, International Centre of Martial Arts for Youth Development (UNESCO)

30 Nov 2018 → …


  • HM Sociology
  • Sport
  • Gender
  • Violence
  • Martial arts
  • Combat sport
  • Medicine
  • The body
  • Media


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