Critical pedagogies in sport

  • Female track athletes racing in a relay. Multiethnicity. Holding batons

The Critical Pedagogies in Sport (CPiS) is an international academic network which facilitates the sharing of information, expertise and practice focusing on teaching and learning in sports-based degrees. This international network is an Eleanor Glanville Institute (EGI) initiative and is rooted in the premise that social change and action is facilitated by evidence-based research.


Critical pedagogy reflects on and challenges the neutrality of teaching and learning (T&L) across levels and contexts. This philosophical approach examines the structural matrices involved in T&L that are linked to power, privilege, and experiences. The emphasis on pedagogies within this network, rather that pedagogy, is to encourage engagement from academics whose scholarship connects with strands or overlapping dimensions of practice, e.g., feminist pedagogy.


Sport, as a subject discipline is reflective of wider social, economic and climate injustices prevalent across society. The way in which sport is taught across degree programmes and the content covered is of value and significance to critical pedagogy scholars. The globalisation of sport and the wealth and privilege afforded to some sports and individuals provides a useful framework to understand justice and equality more broadly. The critical way sports disciplines are engaged with and taught has pertinence to wider issues faced by the sports sector and by society. By investigating and reflecting upon the teaching and learning practices within sports education scholarship there will be valuable repercussions for student learning and development and for the sector as a whole.


Aims of the CPiS Network


The overall purpose of Critical Pedagogies in Sport is to facilitate, support and share valuable practice relating to teaching and learning. This will be achieved by interrogating what, why and how we teach in relation to inclusive education in sport. By undertaking this process, the network will re/view, challenge and address inequities in relation to teaching and learning which impact student experience.

The aims of Critical Pedagogies in Sport are as follows:

  • To provide a space for academics to share, discuss, collaborate, and challenge the way in which T&L is framed, delivered, and understood within Higher Education.
  • To host and facilitate network opportunities for critical pedagogical scholars to collaborate, innovate and create impact in teaching and learning practices.
  • To bring together evidence-based research on critical pedagogies in sport to inform and transform T&L in sports Higher Education.

Join us!


Academics who currently (or aspire to) teach across degrees such as sports business management, esports, sports and coaching, physical education, sport and exercise science, sports psychology and sports technology, amongst others, will find this network valuable.


If you would like to join Critical Pedagogies in Sport please contact Dr Hanya Pielichaty, Director of Student Inclusion (EGI), or connect with @CritPedSports on Twitter.


Critical Pedagogies in Sport Network: Meet the Team

Director of Student Inclusion

Dr Hanya Pielichaty

Director of Student Inclusion

Hanya is Associate Professor within the Lincoln International Business School and holds subject specialisms in sports business management, project management and the sociology of sport. Hanya has utilised her background as a former footballer to shape and curate her research journey as an expert in gender and equality. Her research on girls’ and women’s football explores the complexities of family relationships and gender identities formed, consolidated and challenged within the patriarchal boundaries of British football. A focus on gender justice features heavily in Hanya’s published work covering sport and higher education whereby research is used to frame and catalyse social change across organisations. In both scholarship and teaching, Hanya places particular emphasis on the importance of everyday experiences, voice and empowerment. The dismantling of power relations in research and educational practice is pioneered by Hanya who challenges conventional methodological approaches to knowledge acquisition.

Hanya champions inclusivity through academic leadership and has managed several student-led projects that have engaged with wider members of the community. Her research, as Director of Student Inclusion, seeks to platform student voice and lead an agenda to deconstruct the meaning and praxis of ‘othering’ in higher education. Gender polarised educational spaces and practices will be of particular significance in tackling inequalities. Academic profile

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Founding Director, Eleanor Glanville Institute

Prof Belinda Colston

Founding Director, Eleanor Glanville Institute

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Belinda is Founding Director of the Eleanor Glanville Institute. She specialises in the development and evaluation of EDI strategies and interventions, and their impact across the sector. Belinda was appointed the strategic lead for gender equality at the University in 2012, assessing best practice, and developing a range of sector-leading initiatives for the support and sustained career development of female academics in STEMM disciplines. She led the University to its first Athena Swan award in 2014, and to its Race Equality Charter award in 2019. Her strategic leadership role now extends across a full EDI remit.

With a background in nuclear chemistry/physics and materials, Belinda is an established research leader, facilitator of large multi-centre and multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects, and an experienced team builder. She is the Director of the EPSRC ASPIRE programme, which is delivering a web-based platform for building effective EDI strategies towards inclusive environments, and measuring the success (impact) of inclusion initiatives in terms of changing attitudes and behaviours. Academic profile

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Head of Social Sciences, Psychology and Education, Solent University, Southampton

Dr Philippa Velija

Head of Social Sciences, Psychology and Education, Solent University, Southampton

As Head of Social Sciences, Psychology and Education, Associate Professor in Sociology, and Faculty Research Lead, Philippa is responsible for leading the school and courses within the portfolio and supporting the development of research across the Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences. Philippa has taught a number of modules in sociology, including introduction to sociology of sport, sport and sociological theories, sport policy, sport and the body and gender. Philippa’s research provides a qualitative a sociological analysis of gender relations and her latest project with Dr Catherine Phipps looks at gender in the Sport HE Curriculum as well as issues of lad culture and the use of bystander awareness to empower students to challenges unacceptable behaviours and language around gender and sexual harm. Academic profile

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Senior Lecturer in Sport and Physical Education, Solent University, Southampton

Dr Catherine Phipps

Senior Lecturer in Sport and Physical Education, Solent University, Southampton

Catherine is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Physical Education at Solent University. She teaches across a number of sociology of sport and research methods modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including Social and Cultural Issues, Contemporary Issues in Education, and Research Methods in Sport. Catherine's research focuses on gender, gender identity and LGBT+ issues in sport, with her most recent paper (with Dr Philippa Velija) analysing the inclusion of gender knowledge within the curricula of HE sport degrees. She has also been involved with the implementation of bystander awareness training to challenge sexual harm. Academic profile

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Head of Games Design and Technology, Staffordshire University

Prof Chris Headleand

Head of Games Design and Technology, Staffordshire University

Chris is Head of the Games Design and Technology Department at Staffordshire University, and Professor in the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts. He is a National Teaching Fellow with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of teaching and learning roles, and his research interests include Virtual Reality, Student Engagement, Serious Games, and Learning Communities. Academic profile

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Lecturer, School of Sport & Exercise Science, Loughborough University

Dr Nik Dickerson

Lecturer, School of Sport & Exercise Science, Loughborough University

Dr. Nik Dickerson graduated with a BA in Sport Sociology from Ithaca College in 2005. He then went on to receive an MA in the Cultural Studies of Sport from the University of Maryland (2007), and a PhD in the Cultural Studies of Sport from the University of Iowa (2012). His PhD examined how race, gender, and national identity informed mediated representations of recreational drug use in sport, advertisement, and film. After graduating he served as a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Iowa for three years, and then spent seven years as a Senior Lecturer in Sport Sociology at the University of Lincoln (UK).

Nik’s research focuses on representations of Black masculinity and national identity within sport and popular culture. Specifically, his work interrogates how various forms of media (e.g., internet memes, adverts, film) construct and communicate dominate understandings of Black masculinity and national identity, while also exploring how members of the Black diaspora self-define and construct understandings of Black masculinity from a Black ontological perspective as a response to this dominant framing. He has specific expertise in representations of recreational drug use in sport, athlete activism, and the political underpinnings of constructions of national identity within sport through the lenses of race and gender.

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