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Internal News - 28 September 2005

Welcome to Eric Anderson

Dr Eric Anderson joins the University this autumn, as part of a collaborative effort between the Department of Education and the Department of Sports Development and Recreation.

Dr Anderson earned his PhD in sport sociology from the University of California and has extensive experience as an athletics coach.

Could you tell us what your post will entail?
My job will be to help foster working, coaching and research relationships with members of the Department of Education's Coaching Education Programme, and with staff in Sports Development. Because the Department of Sports Development is interested in quality coaching, and those in the Education Department are interested in researching and applying these same interests, I would imagine all kinds of collaborative ventures will emerge amongst us. We have already begun a collaborative book on coaching, and I should imagine this to be just the beginning.

What did you do before you came to work here?
As an academic, I've taught sport sociology, sport psychology, and other courses related to coaching psychology. But I have also coached distance runners for eighteen years. I've worked with runners from the secondary-level to Olympic calibre athletes and have published a few books in the area. I also do some public speaking, often on how university coaches can improve their sport psychology skills, but increasingly I've been asked to discuss how sports can be made more inclusive environments for gay and lesbian athletes.

...and what brought you to Bath in particular?
I believe that coaches ought to be some of the most influential teachers in our lives because youth often look toward and model their coaches in a number of facets. Knowing this, I have tried to help coaches promote the positive aspects of sport, making it more inclusive and enjoyable for their athletes. I've also tried to help them understand how they inadvertently make the lives of their athletes miserable. By being the first university to formally connect coaches and academics on the issue of coaching sociology and psychology, and by offering a degree in coaching education, the University of Bath is blazing a much-needed trail. Once I heard about the job posting, I immediately e-mailed to find out if an American would qualify. How could I not come here? Bath has an amazing athletic tradition, is a highly ranked research institution, and offers amazing runs.

What are you best at?
Public speaking. The larger the audience the better.

What are you aiming to achieve by this time next year?
I should probably be happy to just know where to go once I get off the number 18 bus. But I would also like to have embedded myself within the two departments, and to begin working on some truly fantastic programmes. Other than that, I've got a few books in the makings. I'd also like to see Amsterdam and Berlin, and to spend some time in Spain.

And, finally, what do you aim to achieve before you retire?
I'd really like to be able to know where to go once I get off the number 18 bus....

Article reprinted from 'the weekly bulletin' with permission from the Department of Sports Development & Recreation


Dr Eric Anderson
Dr Eric Anderson

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