Special Issue call for papers: Fit for purpose? Exploring the phenomenon of sports education


Sports education addresses the increasingly popular relationship between health, wellness and fitness through educational programmes (Jones and Jones, 2014). More people are spending larger amounts of time on leisure activities and sport is a major recipient of this time. This has led to greater provision of education, training and employment programmes focusing on sport. The interrelationship between sport and education is complex due to sport being part of both the profit and non-profit sectors of the global economy (Foley et al., 2004). Due to the importance of sport to society this has led to educational institutions focusing on local, national and international sports education programmes.

There is increasing attention on education programmes aimed at coaching and professional development as well as health and nutrition. Greater consideration about different types of sports education is gaining traction in terms of employment opportunities especially self-employment and entrepreneurial business ventures. This is seen in sport entrepreneurs educating people through fitness apps in a way that brings a new kind of learning into the community (Macht and Ball, 2016).

Due to the increased emphasis on sport in the economy and also in education there has been educational partnerships aimed at linking sports programmes to social endeavors. This is due to the educational area of sport for development aimed at increasing sport participation and gender equality in less developed countries and countries in transition. There is also increasing acceptance of sport vocationalism and collecting learning in education studies (Monk and Olsson, 2006). This has led to more schools, universities and technical programmes addressing employability in the sports industry.

The curriculum about sport has also been evolving with more attention placed on entrepreneurship in terms of starting up a sport business to the development of technological innovations (Ratten and Ferreira, 2016). This has resulted in some innovative themes about sport within vocational education and training (Rothman and Sisman, 2016). Sport can also be viewed as a way to increase skills development and leadership in other occupations. The reason for this is due to there being more education-business partnerships and collaboration around sport.

As sport is an industry with a high practical application there are more work experience and placements focusing on sport. This is due to there being some educational providers incorporating elite athlete courses that have more flexibility in order to attract and retain professional sports people. In addition, there are new courses that are specifically tailored for psychology and work/life balance in sport being introduced into course curriculum. This has led to there being growing recognition of the need for management qualifications for coaches and athletes. This has resulted in a growth of Masters and Masters of Business Administration programmes designed specifically for people working in the sports industry.

This special issue seeks to focus on the variety of dynamics in sports education and training. Topics may include but are not limited to:

–           Emerging forms of sports education and applications in different country and industry contexts.

–          Entrepreneurial education programmes in sports.

–           Comparative studies of sports education across contexts.

–           Identity and context of sports education and its relationship to social media and other technological innovations.

–           New pedagogy and learning communities involving sports education.

–          Incorporation of ethical, environmental and social perspectives into sports education.

–           Self-employment and educational opportunities in sport.

Potential submissions may involve qualitative, quantitative or mixed method studies. Studies should include an empirical element and seek to evaluate and assess the impact and contribution of the phenomenon under investigation. The core theme of papers should be sports education and training.

For further information please click here.

Professor Paul Jones – Paul.Jones@coventry.ac.uk



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