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Research Centre for Applied Sport, Physical Activity and Performance

The UCLan Research Centre for Applied Sport, Physical Activity and Performance is the home of world-class research that brings together expertise from across the University in science, engineering, rehabilitation, performance, sociology and health and wellbeing.

We are a vibrant, enthusiastic community of researchers who are externally facing, which allows us to address global issues and challenges. Our research looks at the challenges that connect sport and activity for social good. Seeking to enhance success in sport and its connected fields we continue to work on improving rehabilitation methods for those participating in sport, exercise and physical activity. We are responding to the need to develop an active nation, and we use sport as a vehicle to address global inequalities.

We aim to:

  • build on our world-class sports research and world-leading reputation by producing a stronger identity in sports research by establishing a network of world-class centres
  • provide transferability to other research areas from sport
  • provide a continuum through physical activity, physical exercise, recreational sport, to performance sport and world-class sport from a multi and inter-disciplinary perspective
  • address challenges in sustainable development and inequalities, locally, nationally, and internationally

The centre brings together four distinct strands of research.

This strand provides research excellence in the application of science and technology to sport and rehabilitation for the benefit of individual athletes, whether they are elite, amateur, para or an active member of the public. This includes research from the Centre for Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences CASES and the Allied Health Research Unit AHRu in biomechanics, musculoskeletal modelling, product development, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, recovery, sports injury, and nutrition. To find out more please contact Dr Jonathan Sinclair or Professor Jim Richards.

This is a multi-disciplinary strand which uses sport in society to engage with the creative and cultural disciplines, as well as the social, economic, philosophical and political sciences. This also includes a significant role in histories and cultural tradition, and ongoing work in the International Football Institute IFI. Research in this strand includes; policy, economics, community, volunteerism, race and ethnicity, gender, arts, history, mega-events, management, museum and heritage, sport fandom and sport as international development. To find out more please contact Professor Alethea Melling or Professor John Hughson.

This strand encompasses three distinct research areas; physical activity and exercise for long-term conditions:  physical activity and exercise for mental health and wellbeing; and physical activity for paediatric populations.  All of these research areas have a health and wellbeing focus - aiding rehabilitation, reducing the burden on health providers, and improving physical and mental capacity for positive wellbeing. To find out more please contact Matthew Reeves.

Through the lens of ‘sport’, this theme engages with innovative research to maximise the potential of individuals, teams and organisations across the performance spectrum from grass-root sport to elite high-performance sporting settings. Our research considers the bio-psycho-social aspects of sport at an individual and team level, within the context of the performance setting and organisational values. This strand supports the exploration of the cutting-edge of theoretical and professional knowledge across the sports continuum, covering the dichotomy from physical activity to exercise, and the progression into recreational sport and elite competitive sport and includes ongoing projects within the Institute of Coaching and Performance ICaP. To find out more please contact Dr Pamela Richards.

Contact us

To find out more about the Centre please contact the Centre Director, Dr Sarah Jane Hobbs or the Centre Co-ordinator, Dr Lindsay St George.