To use sport, exercise and active leisure to enhance sport performance, participation, health and/or wellbeing

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About us

This interdisciplinary research centre is a dynamic hub of leading academics and researchers working together to identify and solve pertinent sport performance, health and wellbeing challenges, locally, nationally and globally. Members collaborate with public and private stakeholders, industry groups, policy makers and funding agencies to improve our understanding and knowledge of the relationships between sport, exercise and active leisure to increase performance, health and wellbeing across the lifespan. We aim to make our research accessible to wider stakeholders through evidenced impact and dissemination.

SERC aims to:

  • Promote contemporary research in the area of sport, exercise and active leisure
  • Provide a focus and identity for research in sport, exercise and active leisure
  • Provide an academic home for research students in sport, exercise and active leisure. and promote research degree opportunities
  • Bid for funding for research in sport, exercise and active leisure
  • Embed research activity across the University and beyond
  • Be a gateway for external collaborators, and develop a network of associated staff and research students

Research and Knowledge Exchange

SERC conducts impactful research in a wide range of sport, exercise, active leisure and health-related areas. A highlight example of our impact in this area is HELP Hampshire, a collaborative project that provides a health-enhancing lifestyle programme for people who have suffered a stroke or TIA in Hampshire, UK. Find out more about HELP Hampshire.

For full details of our research, knowledge exchange and impact, see below.

Postgraduate research

The centre offers MPhil/PhD programmes to highly qualified individuals with a keen interest in the research topics above, which can be self-funded or supported via fully and match-funded scholarships. Students are able to study part-time or full-time in a range of areas and are supported by expert academic staff.

Find out everything you need to know to study for a research degree at Winchester

Contact SERC

For any enquiries about SERC, please contact the Convenor, Dr Matthew Smith.

Meet the Sport, Exercise and Health team

SERC research strands

Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing

The Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing research group aims to deliver accessible research that is of practical importance.

The research group is a dynamic hub of leading academics and researchers working together to identify and solve pertinent health challenges, both locally and globally. It aims to collaborate with public and private stakeholders, industry groups, policy makers and funding agencies to improve our understanding and knowledge of the relationships between physical activity and health across the lifespan.

A primary focus of the group is to examine the acute and chronic effects of physical activity on physiological, biomechanical and psycho-social health outcomes in a range of clinical conditions (e.g, patients with cardio- or cerebrovascular [stroke, transient ischaemic attack] disease). With cross-sectional, longitudinal and interventional studies being at the forefront of our research strategy, the research group aims to make a significant and innovative contribution to the academic community whilst also providing ecological and pragmatic benefits to the local community.

HELP Hampshire

An important new initiative within this strand is HELP Hampshire. The Health-Enhancing Lifestyle Programme (HELP) for Stroke in Hampshire is a community-based exercise and education clinic designed to improve the health and quality of life of stroke survivors. Find out more about HELP Hampshire.

Strand leader:

Dr James Faulkner, Reader in Sport and Exercise Physiology

Sport and Exercise Performance

The ability to perform effectively is a key requirement of sport and exercise at all levels. While the level and associated measures of success may change, the ability to perform by applying the right solutions to specific problems is of paramount importance. This is true whether you are designing optimal training programmes to win Olympic medals, purchasing the right golf clubs that complement your golf swing, effectively referring patients to specific exercise and physical activity programmes, or being motivated to go out for a walk.

In each of these cases contemporary knowledge is crucial to ensure that the right decisions are made to ensure successful outcomes. A key aim of research in this area is to enhance understanding of the factors that determine performance in both sport and exercise. It specifically encompasses the sport and exercise science disciplines of physiology, psychology, nutrition and biomechanics, and increasingly a combination of each of these disciplines.

As a result, the focus of this strand of SERC is to advance knowledge about sport and exercise science to help serve the future of elite performance and the wider community.

Strand leader

Dr Matthew Smith, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Increasing participation (improving social engagement with sport and exercise)

The Increasing Participation research group engages in world-leading research for improving social engagement with sport and physical exercise, and enhancing sporting performance through the application of contemporary knowledge. ​Our research is accessible and has practical implications. Our scholars engage with sports teams, organisations and the media in order to promote our mission. The research group examines a variety of issues that are related to social and cultural aspects of sport. There are two main socio-cultural research agendas in operation within this research strand.

The first dimension of this issues-based socio-cultural research agenda relates to issues of sexuality, gender and inclusivity in organised, competitive team sports. This research agenda is led by Prof. Eric Anderson; along with colleagues and postgraduate students, he examines the relationship between gay and lesbian athletes in sport, the changing nature of masculinity and the impact of heterosexism in sport and education.

The second dimension relates to issues of globalisation and national identity in sport. Dr Jason Tuck leads this research agenda which examines sporting patriotism, how sports build national feelings and reflect national character, and the representation of elite sportspeople as national symbols. Contributors to the research centre are also interested in themes related to the history of sport, sports law, sports development and the commercial nature of sport.

Through Prof. Eric Anderson, the group is also a member of the Sport Collision Injury Collective, a multidisciplinary collective of academics who are committed to reducing injuries sustained in youth sport. Find out more about the Sport Collision Injury Collective.

Strand leader

Prof. Eric Anderson, Professor of Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities

Sport and Exercise Consultancy Services

The Sport and Exercise Consultancy Unit (SECU) focusses on the disciplines of sport and exercise physiology, psychology, biomechanics & coaching. SECU's services are available to both individuals and teams. Find out more about SECU.

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