What position do you hold at the University of Chichester?
Elizabeth: I'm the head of the department of Sport Development and Management, which also hosts the Anita White Foundation and the Streets to Success projects. This department delivers programmes that consider the role of sport in the community, from increasing social inclusion, coaching people of all ages and abilities, and ensuring that sport is a safe and humane place by addressing issues such as child protection and health issues in sports.
The Anita White Foundation supports scholars and activists for women and sport around the globe including working with some women leaders in Tanzania and hosting a women's sport leadership academy at the University, and the Streets to Success programme offers sporting opportunities for young people living in sheltered accommodation. Our students have opportunities to be involved in these, and many other, programmes as part of their studies.
What does the future hold for the University of Chichester - any exciting new programs to share?
Elizabeth: We have recently established the Chichester Institute for Sport which brings together all areas of sport-related activities in the University including sport development, sport science, physical and adventure education, and student sport. These are delivered in brand new, state of the art facilities, right in the centre of our campus.
In addition to the programmes that we have been running for many years, we have several new degree programmes to meet the changing demands of the marketplace such as Football Coaching and Performance, Sport Business and Management, Sport Development and Coaching, and Sport, Lifestyle and Culture. All of these programmes offer practical, applied activities which are vocationally-relevant, ensuring students develop the knowledge and skills that they need to maximise their employment opportunities.
Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?
Elizabeth: I serve as the President of the International Sociology of Sport Association and this has given me the opportunity to travel to many countries and meet people from all over the world. I studied French at high school and I am currently learning Spanish because I want to be able to communicate more easily with friends and colleagues from other countries, and I encourage our students to do the same. I find the cultural differences in sports fascinating, but also see how sport can provide an experience which can be shared and understood regardless of language and cultural differences.
I have particularly enjoyed the times that I have spent in the USA, as a visiting professor at Kent State University in Ohio, as a member of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport which holds annual conferences in different parts of the USA and Canada, and as the co-author of the key textbook in this subject area with Jay Coakley who is an emeritas professor in Colorado and visiting professor at Chichester.
Our department offers a number of international exchange opportunities which means our students have the opportunity to experience different cultures, something that they always describe as 'life changing'. It also means we give a very warm welcome to students from all over the world when they spend time at Chichester, because we want to learn about and from them as much as they want to learn about and from us. Jay Coakley spends time at Chichester every year and works closely with our students.