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About us

The Centre for Sport, Physical Education & Activity Research (spear) has a national reputation for excellence and innovation, with impact case studies submitted by spear for REF 2014 judged as ‘outstanding’ in terms of reach and significance.

spear is a proactive, dynamic unit responsive to existing and emerging public health, sport and physical activity strategies and priorities. As such, work conducted within the Centre has made a significant contribution to the evidence base, particularly around the physical activity, health and wellbeing of children and young people, hard-to-reach and less active populations. spear’s research has provided a rationale for investment and informed policy and provision to support individual and societal development through physical activity.

The centre’s research is funded by a range of national and international funders including the International Olympic Committee, Department of Health, Department for Education, English Federation for Disability Sport, Mencap, Special Olympics GB, UK Sport, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust. spear is located within the Faculty of Social & Applied Sciences and comprises a team of experienced core staff, with staff from across the University joining the spear team for specific projects.

  • spear comprises a team of highly experienced staff working together to undertake a range of theoretically-informed research projects
  • Our research has helped guide and inform public policy to increase physical activity and sport
  • We provide a research-enhanced offer to students, with two internships available within our Centre each year

Our partners

We partner with a range of organisations and bodies through and as part of our research.

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about spear’s work, or to discuss a commission or internship opportunity, please contact:

Laura Ackerley
Research Development Officer
T: 01227 921767 E: