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Polly Christian

Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Cricket Coaching and Management and Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Coaching Science

Institute of Sport & Exercise Science

Contact Details


tel: 01905 542701

Polly’s background was as a School Sports Development Officer, with teaching responsibilities, under the previous School Sports Partnership framework. Polly facilitated the development of Physical Education and School Sport across 24 schools (primary and secondary education). The role included coordinating sports leadership and volunteering schemes; managing a wide range of external coaching provision for extra-curricular programmes and supporting gifted and talented performers.

Polly was also Chair of a tennis club for three years and part of the Gloucestershire Hockey Association coaching team for the JDC and JAC player development system. Polly is now studying for her PhD with a focus on professional learning and development pedagogies for coaches with disabilities.


  • PhD candidate, University of Birmingham (Current)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, Distinction, University of the West of England (UWE) (2014)
  • MA Sports Development, Distinction, University of Gloucestershire (2010)
  • BA (Hons) Sports and Coaching Studies, Oxford Brookes University (2008)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

University Roles:

  • Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Cricket Coaching and Management
  • Women in Sport and Exercise strategy (WISE) member
  • Member of the Worcester Physical Education and School Sport Network
  • University of Worcester staff Coach and Mentor


Polly teaches on the following courses:

  • MSc (Hons) Coaching Science
  • BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching Science
  • BSc (Hons) Physical Education
  • HND Sport, Coaching and Physical Education.

Polly’s teaching interests lie in the following areas:

  • Sport pedagogy, policies and practices 
  • Coach education and professional development 
  • Adapted physical activity and inclusive practices in Physical Education and coaching 
  • Qualitative Research Methods

Research Interests:

  • Sport pedagogy, policies and practices
  • Coach education and professional development
  • Under-represented groups in sports coaching
  • Inclusive practices
  • Health and well-being in educational environments

Recent projects include:       

  • An evaluation of the Aspire III coach development programme (funded by Sports Coach UK)
  • Professional coach education learning environments; UEFA B female only course
  • The Supporting and Promoting Inclusion in Coach Education (SPICE) project (funded by Sports Coach UK)
Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Sports Coach UK
  • England Hockey
  • British Tennis



Vinson, D., Christian, P., Jones. V., Williams, C., & Peters, D. (2016) ‘Exploring how well UK coach education meets the needs of women sports coaches’, International Sport Coaching Journal, 3(3), pp.287-302.

 Matthews, N., Kilgour, L., Christian, P., Mori, K. & Hill, D. (2014) Understanding, evidencing, and promoting adolescent well-being; an emerging agenda for schools. Youth & Society, 47(5), 659-683

 Kilgour, L., Matthews, N., Christian, P., Shire, J. (2013) Health Literacy in Schools: Prioritising health and well-being issues through the curriculum. Journal of Sport, Education and Society, 20(4), 485-500


Conference Presentations:

Christian, P., De Martin Silva, L., Legge, T., & Chadwick, R. (2015) Significant Moments and People in Female Coaching Journeys, 3rd International Coaching Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, 9th-10th September.

Vinson, D., Christian, P., Jones, V., Matthews, J., Williams, C., and Peters, D. (2015) Investigating the culture of coach education in the UK: The Supporting and Promoting Inclusive Coach Education (SPICE) project, 3rd International Coaching Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, 9th-10th September.

For further information about the SPICE project please visit the following link;

External Responsibilities

External Responsibilities

Hockey Coach and Committee Member