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Women In Sport and Exercise (WISE) Research Interest Group

The Women in Sport and Exercise (W.I.S.E.) Research Interest Group (R.I.G.) is an integral part of the W.I.S.E. initiative the set up by the University of Worcester to advocate gender equity in all areas of the sport and exercise domain.

The overall aim of this R.I.G. is to undertake interdisciplinary research that examines women and girls in a sport, exercise and physical activity context. We focus on issues such as:

  • Women's Lifelong Participation & Engagement in Physical Activity, Exercise and Sport; 
  • The Development of Female Professionals in Sport, Exercise & Physical Activity;
  •  Environmental Factors in Women's Sport, Exercise & Physical Activity;
  •  Women in Sport Performance; 
  • Perceptions of Women in Sport & Exercise.

from a psychological, physiological, sociological, and pedagogical perspective.

W.I.S.E. R.I.G. Members:

Claire-Marie Roberts (Institute of Sport & Exercise Science) is the chair of the W.I.S.E. R.I.G. She is currently co-ordinating the W.I.S.E. Research Strategy, and pursuing research into professional practice in sport psychology with elite female athletes. For anyone with an interest in getting involved in W.I.S.E-related research, please e-mail

Rachael Bullingham (Institute of Sport & Exercise Science) is the vice chair of the W.I.S.E. R.I.G. She is currently researching homophobia in women’s sport across a wide range of different cohorts. Homophobia in women's sport is also the topic of her PhD.

Dr Lisa Griffiths is interested in the environmental factors that influence women’s decisions to engage in physical activity throughout the lifespan. Lisa is currently working as the Exercise Physiology lead on a collaborative project with the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and the South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. The project entitled ‘Supporting Health And Promoting Exercise (SHAPE)’ aims to help young people with psychosis and bipolar disorder to maintain or lose weight, stop smoking, start exercising and introduce healthier eating and to support young people to achieve personal health goals. The project has been awarded funding by The Health Foundation – Shine 2014 and is currently being delivered at the University of Worcester’s McClelland Centre.       

Dr Jennifer Joyce (Institute of Sport & Exercise Science) is a member of the W.I.S.E. R.I.G.. She is interested in the life-long participation of females in physical activity and sport, with a focus on the effect of choice of activity on older women’s (65+ years) engagement. Jennifer is also interested in looking at how increased participation in physical activity and sport in these later years of life influences cognitive function in women.

Verity Postlethwaite (Institute of Sport & Exercise Science) is a member of the W.I.S.E. R.I.G. She has started a full time PhD in the Institute October 2015, focusing on the research themes of governance, policy and regulation intersecting varying forms of gender based issues in sport, exercise and physical activity.

Alice Burgin began her PhD studentship in October 2015 after completing her BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Alice’s research lies in exercise metabolism and focuses on optimising physical activity for the regulation of acute energy balance and effective weight-management strategies.


Journal Articles

Kenttä, G., Mellalieu, S., & Roberts, C-M. (2016). Are career termination concerns only for athletes? A case study of the career termination of an elite female coach. The Sport Psychologist, 30, 1 - 36. doi 10.1123/tsp.2015-0134.

Kanemasu, Y. & Molnar, G. (in press) Double-trouble: Negotiating Gender and Sexuality in Post-colonial Women’s Rugby. International Review for the Sociology of Sport

Gerrett, N., Ouzzahra, Y., Redortier, B., Voelcker, T., & Havenith, G. (2015) Female thermal sensitivity to hot and cold during rest and exercise. Physiology and Behavior, 152, 11 - 19.

Vinson, D. & Peters, D. M. (2015) Position-specific performance indicators that discriminate between successful and unsuccessful teams in elite women’s indoor field hockey: Implications for coaching. Journal of Sports Sciences, ahead-of-print

Postlethwaite, V. (2014). Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the controversy of the Russian Propaganda Laws: Is the IOC buckling under the pressure of its own incoherence in thought? The International Sports Law Journal, 14, 264-274.       

Martin, L., Lambeth, A. & Scott, D. (2006) Nutritional practices of national female soccer players: analysis and recommendations. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 5, 130 – 137.


Conference Presentations

Roberts, C-M., & Faull, A. (2016). An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Management of Vocal Cord Dysfunction in an Elite Female Swimmer: A Case Study. Paper presented at the 31st Annual Congress of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Phoenix, Arizona.

Kenttä, G., Mellalieu, S., & Roberts, C-M. (2015). Are career transition concerns only for athletes? An autobiographical study of the career transition of an elite coach. Poster presentation at the 30th Annual Congress of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jones, V., & Roberts, C-M. (2015). Defining strategies and actions that can be used in schools and club to enhance female engagement in sport. Paper presented at the Inaugural #LIKEaGIRL conference, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.       

Christian, P., De Martin Silva, L., Legge, T., Chadwick, R. & Mundy, E. (2015). Significant moments and people in female coaching journeys. Paper presented at the 3rd International Coaching Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe.

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. Paper presented at the 3rd International Coaching Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe.


Books & Book Chapters

Anderson, E., Magrath, R., & Bullingham, R. (2016). Out in Sport: The experiences of openly gay and lesbian athletes in competitive sport. Routledge: Oxford.       

Projects Underway

Motherhood and the elite athlete - Claire-Marie Roberts

An interdisciplinary approach to the management of vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) in elite female athletes - Claire-Marie Roberts

Social lesbianisation as a barrier to female sports participation - Dr. Rachael Bullingham & Claire-Marie Roberts

Exploring the Drive for muscularity in females - Dr Gyozo Molnar and Christian Edwards

An investigation of career transitions in female elite performance coaches - Claire-Marie Roberts       

Get involved

If you'd like to get involved in any of our current research projects, or have your own ideas about WISE topics you'd like to investigate, please contact the Chair of the WISE RIG: Claire-Marie Roberts by email: