The UBC Centre for Sport and Sustainability encourages a variety of projects related to sports and sustainability in line with its research themes:

  1. Environmental Issues and Sport
  2. Social Inclusion and Sport
  3. Social development and impact
  4. Health
  5. Urban renewal and ecological change
  6. Public policy and planning

Please contact us ( if you have a project you would like to propose or if you would like be an affiliate of the Centre.

Current Projects

Sport, Environment, Peace, Media (Brian Wilson and Research Group)

Sport Journalism for Peace

This project examines how violence and conflict are covered in sport-related media, with a particular emphasis on what might be considered peace-promoting journalism (or what our research group has termed ‘sport journalism for peace’, or SJP) (see Wilson, 2012, Sport & Peace: A Sociological Perspective, chapter 9). The project is funded by a SSHRC Insight grant entitled “Fostering ‘Sport-for-Peace Journalism’ and a Role for Sociologists of Sport.” Research to date has focused on: (a) media coverage of activism around the 2014 Sochi Olympics and 2010 Vancouver Olympics; (b) perceptions of ‘what is possible for sport journalism’ according to journalists publishing social issues-focused commentary pertaining to sport in ‘alternative’ venues; and (c) lessons offered in textbooks for sport journalists about how to cover socially-charged issues.

Bicycles for Development 

Brian Wilson is currently a co-investigator, along with PI Lyndsay Hayhurst (York University) and co-investigators Brad Millington (University of Bath) and Rob VanWysberghe (UBC), on a SSHRC-funded study titled “Cycling Against Poverty? Researching a Sport for Development Movement and an ‘Object’ in/for Development”. This project focuses on the use of the bicycle as a possible catalyst for development. UBC graduate students Madison Ardizzi, Jesse Couture, Shawn Forde and Devra Waldman — who are part of the Sport-Environment-Peace-Media research group — are currently researchers on the project.

Sport and the Environment

This multi-dimensional project explores three strands of research related to environmental issues.

The first strand relates to the study of golf and environmental issues. Ongoing research emerged from a SSHRC grant led by Brian Wilson entitledCorporate Environmentalism and the Canadian Golf Industry: Examining Industry Responses to Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political Pressures Related to the Environment.”  A book entitled The Greening of Golf: Sport, Globalization and the Environment (2016, Manchester University Press), co-authored by Brad Millington, included a series of chapters and articles on the topic.

The second strand relates to environmental issues and sport mega-events, with a particular focus on how environmental issues are promoted by sport mega-event promoters — or what Wilson and Millington refer to as ‘Sport Management Environmentalists’ (or ‘SMEs’) (see Wilson & Millington, 2015 –Sport and Environmentalism, in R. Giulianotti (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Sport).

The third strand relates to how sport-related environmental issues are portrayed in media. This research, conducted with doctoral candidate Liv Yoon, is ongoing — and is also part of the ‘Sport Journalism for Peace’ project.

Dr. Andrea Bundon’s Research Group

Level the Field: Disability Inclusion in the B.C. Sport Sector

In partnership with viaSport BC, the School of Kinesiology and UBC Recreation, this project explores the inclusion/exclusion of people with disabilities in the BC sport sector. Over three years, the research team will be engaging with communities of people with disabilities to gain their insights into what is needed to make sport inclusive. We will simultaneously be working with sport organizations province-wide to understand how they currently engage people with disabilities in their organizations and programs and what they need to adopt more inclusive policies and practices.

Invisible Me: A Socio-Cultural Exploration of Women in Paralympic Sport

Women have been part of the Paralympic Movement since the first sports games for the disabled were held at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948. Historically, there are many examples of women taking on central roles in the movement as athletes, coaches, policy-makers and ambassadors. Yet there are growing concerns that women’s progress in all roles within disability sport is in decline. This project, funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) explores the involvement of women in Paralympic sport in the past, present and future.