Reader in Sociology and Sport, Edge Hill University

I hold a PhD in Sociology and lecture in the sociology of sport at Edge Hill University (2000-date). My principal areas of research are: child maltreatment and sexual exploitation in sport, and child protection in sport policy. I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students in these and related areas. I work with a range of local, national and international organisations including the Rugby Football League, Survivors Manchester, NWG Network on Child Sexual Exploitation, SportsCoach UK, StreetGames, the NSPCC, the German Sports University, Cologne, German Sports Youth, Vic University, Laval University, the European Commission and the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO). I also sit on the national Child Protection Research & Evidence Advisory Group (REAG) (2003-date) chaired by the Child Protection in Sport Unit. Recent projects include leading a research evaluation of child protection policy in British rugby league; serving as a scientific advisor to the German Sports Youth project on sexual violence in sport (2012-13); advising the Spanish Sports Council (CSD) and the European Commission in relation to sexual abuse and gender-based violence in sport. Most recently I coordinated the UK element of the EU-funded international project 'Sport Respects Your Rights'. In partnership with colleague Dr. Melanie Lang, we recently edited an international collection of research on safeguarding and child protection in sport for Routledge (published 2015) and a monograph 'Sexual Abuse in Youth Sport' is scheduled for publication October 2016. In 2015 I initiated a multi-national research project 'Voices for Truth & Dignity: Combatting sexual violence in European sport through the voices of those affected (VOICE)'. This is to be led by the German Sport University, Cologne and funded (EURO 622,000) by the EU Erasmus+ programme, Jan. 2016-June 2018.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Sport, Edge Hill University