The Centre’s approach is to integrate training and educational opportunities with core research activities focused around sport and sustainability. The Centre will sponsor a visiting scholar series, graduate student scholarships and a themed seed grant program, and serve as an incubator for innovative research, mentoring and instruction across UBC and internationally.

Main purpose

  1. To bring together a critical mass of scholars and practitioners at UBC interested in the broad area of sport and sustainability.
  2. To foster collaborative opportunities for sport and sustainability-themed research for faculty and students together with scholars and stakeholders working in government agencies, NGOs, and other universities and institutions nationally and internationally.
  3. To offer a platform for fund raising and grant and contract support, and to organize interdisciplinary and University-wide lectures, conferences, symposia, colloquia and workshops.
  4. To attract post-doctoral fellows, visiting professors and other scholars wishing to undertake sport and sustainability-themed research at UBC.
  5. To provide a catalytic function for collaborative projects and activities that would not be possible for individuals acting on their own.

Research themes

Economy and Infrastructure

Existing models for measuring the growth potential of communities do not capture the long-term financial and socio-economic effects of sport and sport events. For example, the impact of events on transportation and communications infrastructure, tourism, housing, local and national supply chains, and even public policy decisions needs to be better understood and managed to optimize equitable distribution of benefits.

Social Development and Impact

Sport and sport events can have symbolic as well as practical significance for a community and a nation. What factors influence national pride, social cohesion and the inclusion of groups such as new immigrants, indigenous populations, people with disabilities, youth and the socially and economically disadvantaged? What factors contribute to cross cultural understanding, diversity and social justice? How can governments and private organizations effectively interact with citizens through sport? How can the communicative potential of sport be used to help achieve national and international objectives for peace and cultural understanding?


Physical activity is a critical factor in enhancing healthy lifestyles and fitness across the life span, from the very young to the growing global population of older persons. Sport and sporting events can promote active lifestyles and help leverage community resources for a diverse range of vulnerable groups. What kinds of coalitions can enable a community to harness this potential? What health outcomes can be achieved through increased participation? What forms of participation promote health and well being? How can barriers to participation be overcome?

Urban Renewal and Ecological Change

Sustainable consumption patterns play a role in the design of infrastructure and development of sport facilities and related programs. How are these measured and what are the best predictors for successful long-term environmental and ecological impacts? How can a large-scale sport event or sport infrastructure project spur more broadly based innovation in urban design?

Public Policy and Planning

To achieve comprehensive and sustainable results, government and private sector investments in sport facilities and events need to be supported by coherent and well-informed decision-making. What are the planning, policy and accountability tools that inform good decision-making regarding investment in sport and sport events?


Comprehensive research on the social, economic and environmental opportunities and impacts of sport and sport events is essential for informed decision-making and effective investment by corporations, governments, and community-based organizations. By creating the Centre for Sport and Sustainability, UBC aims to provide information and training to support effective strategies and choices by all who are involved in sport development and event hosting.