We invite you to the official launch of the Sport, Physical Activity and Health Equality Research Centre (SPHERE).
SPHERE is home to innovative and interdisciplinary research, which aims to address diversity and inclusion within and through sport, physical activity and health settings.
These topics have the potential to transform lives and act as tools for social change. There also persist long-standing inequalities in these contexts which impact particular social groups, communities and individuals more than others.
Bringing together scholars from a range of academic disciplines, SPHERE hopes to develop and advance knowledge that will have a positive impact on policy, practice and everyday experience.
Please join us to hear more about our plans and how you can get involved with the SPHERE. We are delighted to announce the Centre will be launched with a keynote talk from Professor Holly Thorpe, University of Waikato, New Zealand.
Keynote talk: Women's wellbeing in uncertain times: rethinking meaningful research in/for a rapidly changing world
In this talk, Professor Thorpe will provide a summary of a three-year project focused on women's wellbeing during (and beyond) the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-cultural collaboration, the team drew upon interviews and a series of creative methods, with over 100 women from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds living in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Professor Thorpe will describe the theoretical and methodological challenges and innovation required for doing feminist intersectional research that responds to the (re)surfacing of old and new inequities and injustices in the quickly changing world around us.
She will then provide high-level findings from the study on the various ways women's wellbeing was reimagined through a period of radical social disruption. She will conclude by offering some reflections on the power of collaboration for expanding ways of knowing, thinking and doing research with women from diverse backgrounds.
About Professor Holly Thorpe
An award-winning sociologist of sport, physical culture and gender, she is a recipient of both Fulbright and Leverhulme Fellowships. In 2018, Professor Thorpe was awarded the Royal Society Early Career Research Excellence Award for Social Sciences, and made a Fellow of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. In 2021 she was awarded a Royal Society James Cook Fellowship for a two-year project focused on women's wellbeing through and beyond the pandemic.
A concern for issues of equity and inclusion are central to her work. Professor Thorpe is also passionate about doing research that meets the demands of understanding sport, physical activity, health and wellbeing in a rapidly changing world. She continues to seek new innovations in social theory, qualitative methods, and strives to work across the disciplines to better understand the complexities of health, individual and community wellbeing, moving bodies and sporting cultures.
Driven to do research that has real-world impact, Professor Thorpe works closely with an array of international and national sports organisations (e.g., International Olympic Committee, High Performance New Zealand, Sport New Zealand, Skateistan, Voice in Sport) to inform new practices, processes and policy development. She is a PI with Te Pūnaha Matatini CORE Research Institute, focused on complexity systems.