2019 - PhD Sport Management - University of Johannesburg
2010 - MA International Sport Policy (Merit) - University of Brighton
2002 - BA (Hons) Physical Education (2:1) - Chelsea College
Trained as a Physical Education Teacher in the UK and worked in New Zealand as a residential social worker and teacher.
I now work at the University of Brighton running the community and social engagement programmes including Football 4 Peace International (F4P). As well as lecturing in Outdoor Education and sport for development and peace, I conduct research, monitoring and evaluation exercises on programmes.
The projects are primarily in youth and community development where sport, physical education and dance are the method of delivering broader messages and aims such as peace, values, co-existence, reconciliation, capacity building, positive role models and citizenshp
Myself and colleagues at the University of Brighton's School of Sport and Service Management have been working with sports and voluntary organisations around the world to help heal fractured societies and promote a fairer world. Football 4 Peace International (F4P) emerged in 2001 from a partnership between researchers at the University and peace activists using sport as a tool in Israel and Northern Ireland. Today, it has touched the lives of over 8,000 children, over 600 coaches, embedded the methodology into the training of 20% of England’s Physical Education teachers and affected policy in some of sport's leading institutions.
From England’s and Northern Ireland’s Football Associations to NGO’s including the Korean Sharing Movement and higher education establishments such as the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, the team take a multi-dimensional approach of research; education and social engagement. This approach utilises sport innovatively to deliver generic and bespoke ‘values-based’ palliative training and coaching programmes designed in and for areas suffering from high levels of cross-community conflict and various forms of political disorder and social disintegration.
The emphasis on a grass roots, bottom up and sustainable approach to peace building and conflict resolution is reflective of F4P’s deep roots which were planted in Northern Ireland during the bitter sectarian strife of the 1970s and 1980s. The F4P model was refined and matured in the following decades through the undertaking of programmes in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Occupied Territories. While the distinctive F4P model evolved against a background of ethno-religious conflict during its evolutionary history, the model has been adapted in ways that render it suitable to be used to help meet a number of related development and cross-community goals.
Profiling and championing a style of critical social science ‘critical-proactivism’ with a high priority given to evaluation and research, I have been a part of a team able to engage and partner with practitioners and organisations on and beyond their doorsteps. This collaborative approach has positively influenced sport based interventions within schools, communities and regions across the world by leading and / or supporting activities that make contributions to promoting progressive social change, life enhancement and personal and community empowerment.
The F4P curriculum and associated teaching resources emphasises a holistic approach to the education of trainers and young people through a specific pedagogical model designed to promote emotional well-being, personal development and responsible citizenship. Through the training of individuals in the F4P methodology and curriculums of teaching / coaching values though sport F4P aims to:
• Create, strengthen and assist community networks and partnerships;
• Provide opportunities for social contact across community boundaries;
• Promote mutual understanding and engender in participants a desire for and commitment to peaceful coexistence; and
• Enhance life skills, sport skills and technical knowledge.