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Kerry Griffiths

Dr Kerry Griffiths BA (Hons), MSc, MA, PhD

Senior Research Fellow


I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Sport Industry Research Group. My particular areas of academic interest are around the disciplines of both the sociology of sport and sport management. My research focuses on understanding participation in sport, including barriers and enablers to participation, participation in minority groups, particularly women and girls; and the outcomes of sport, including health, wellbeing and social impacts, such as personal development outcomes and the development of identity and community through sport; and the health and fitness industry, including new trends in fitness practices.


I have knowledge and expertise around the broad areas of both the sociology of sport and sport management stemming from my academic training in both subjects. I have a BA (Hons) degree in Sociology, an MSc in Sport Management, an MA in Sociological Research Methods, and I completed my PhD in Sociology at the University of Nottingham in 2011. My book Femininity, Feminism and Recreational Pole Dancing (2015) explores the phenomenon of pole dancing as an increasingly popular fitness and leisure activity for women, taught in health and fitness clubs across the country. It is based on empirical research conducted for my PhD and uncovers the stories and experiences of the women who participate in these classes, and examines what the mainstreaming of this type of historically sexualised dance means for the women who practice it. My research was qualitative and inspired by ethnography, involving interviews with participants and instructors, and observation at pole dancing classes, competitions and events. Within the Sport Industry Research Group, I conduct research and consultancy projects for a wide range of clients including local and national government, charitable organisations and National Governing Bodies of sport. The areas of work that I contribute most to include school sport; the social impact of sport; gender and sport; programme evaluation; and literature reviews. Prior to joining SHU in 2013, I worked on a European Commission funded project exploring organisational change in policing, for which I coordinated a systematic literature review on information sharing in policing across ten European countries. 

My key skills include: 
• Literature reviews / evidence reviews, including systematic literature reviews 
• Qualitative methodologies including ethnographic / observational research 
• Developing case studies 
• Project planning and project management 
• Social return on investment (SROI) analysis



I teach within the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity on the following courses:
BSc Sport Business Management
MSc Sport Business Management
BSc Sport Development with Coaching

I have taught on a range of modules at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level, including:
Methods of Investigation 
Qualitative Research Methods 
Conducting Literature Reviews 
An Introduction to Social Theory 
Social and Historical Perspectives on Sport and Popular Culture 
Social Perceptions of Leisure 
Social and Political Studies 

I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate student projects within sport on a range of topics.



• Women in the Hills (2021) Literature review exploring women’s participation in outdoor sport in rural areas 
• Golf in Society (2020-21) Evaluation of golf programme for older adults 
• Sheffield City Council / Sport England (2020-2022) Evaluation of Move More Empowering Communities 
• Sheffield City Council / Sport England (2020-2021) Evaluation of This Girl Can Sheffield 
• NEOM / 4 Global (2020) The value of sport in Neom 
• Lima Legacy / 4 Global (2020) Social Value Calculator for Lima 
• BUCS (2019) Low SEG students and participation in sport 
• Department of Health and Social Care (2019-2020) Review of the least active pupils in secondary schools in deprived areas 
• Sport England (2018) Sport outcomes evidence review update 
• Sport England (2017) Evidence review – analysis of Active Lives outcomes data 
• Badminton England (2017) Literature review exploring health and wellbeing outcomes 
• Rugby Football Union (2017) Literature review exploring wellbeing and social outcomes 
• England Golf Partnership (2016) Literature review exploring Sport England outcome areas 
• StreetGames (2015) Literature review exploring free / low cost sporting offers 
• Comic Relief (2015) Sport for development evaluation 
• Sport England / Bury Council (2013-14) Evaluation of women and girls sport behaviour and attitude change in Bury
• BUCS (2013) The impact of engagement in sport on graduate employability 




Journal articles

Griffiths, K., Davies, L., Savage, C., Shelling, M., Dalziel, P., Christy, E., & Thorby, R. (2023). The value of recreational physical activity in Aotearoa New Zealand: A scoping review of evidence and implications for social value measurement. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20 (4).

Griffiths, K., Moore, R., & Brunton, J. (2020). Sport and physical activity habits, behaviours and barriers to participation in university students: an exploration by socio-economic group. Sport, Education and Society.

Birdi, K., Griffiths, K., Turgoose, C., Alsina, V., Andrei, D., Băban, A., ... Vonaș, G. (2020). Factors influencing cross-border knowledge sharing by police organisations: an integration of ten European case studies. Police Practice and Research, 1-20.

Griffiths, K., Bullough, S., Shibli, S., & Wilson, J. (2017). The impact of engagement in sport on graduate employability: implications for higher education policy and practice. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 9 (3), 431-451.

Griffiths, K., Birdi, K., Alsina, V., Andrei, D., Baban, A., Bayeral, P.S., ... Vonas, G. (2016). Knowledge sharing practices and issues in policing contexts: a systematic review of the literature. European Journal of Policing Studies, 3 (3), 267-291.


Griffiths, K. (2015). Femininity, feminism and recreational pole dancing. Abingdon: Routledge.


Griffiths, K., & Shearn, K. (2022). Move More Empowering Communities, Final Report.

Shearn, K., Crabbe, T., Edgar, K., Griffiths, K., Hart, G., & Storey, R. (2022). Greater Manchester Moving Process Evaluation, October 2022. (6).

Shearn, K., Crabbe, T., Edgar, K., Hart, G., Griffiths, K., & Storey, R. (2022). Greater Manchester Moving Process Evaluation, March 2022. (5).

Griffiths, K., & Shearn, K. (2021). This Girl Can, Evaluation.

Shearn, K., Crabbe, T., Edgar, K., Storey, R., Hart, G., & Griffiths, K. (2021). Greater Manchester Moving Process Evaluation, September 2021. (4).

Griffiths, K., Davies, L., & Christy, E. (2021). The value of sport in NEOM: Review of evidence on the social impact of sport – summary report. NEOM / 4 Global.

Griffiths, K., Davies, L., & Christy, E. (2021). The value of sport in NEOM: Review of evidence on the social impact of sport. NEOM / 4 Global.

Davies, L., Ramchandani, G., Griffiths, K., & Christy, E. (2021). The value of sport in NEOM: Research findings. NEOM / 4 Global.

Griffiths, K., Davies, L., & Christy, E. (2021). The value of sport in Lima: Review of evidence on the social impact of sport – summary report. Lima Legacy Company / 4 Global.

Griffiths, K., Davies, L., & Christy, E. (2021). The value of sport in Lima: Review of evidence on the social impact of sport. Lima Legacy Company / 4 Global.

Davies, L., Mansfield, L., Griffiths, K., John, A., Christy, E., & Kay, T. (2019). Sport outcomes evidence review: Subjective wellbeing; individual development; social and community development; economic development. Sport England.

Davies, L., Shibli, S., Kokolakakis, T., Griffiths, K., & Ramchandani, G. (2017). Active Lives Adult Survey: Understanding mental wellbeing, individual development and social and community development in the context of participation and volunteering in sport and physical activity (May 16-17). Technical report. Sport England.

Davies, L., Taylor, P., Ramchandani, G., Christy, E., & Griffiths, K. (2016). Social Return on Investment for golf in England. England Golf Partnership.

Davies, L., Shibli, S., & Griffiths, K. (2016). Social impact of golf: Desk study and insight brief. England Golf Partnership.

Postgraduate supervision

I would welcome enquiries from potential students wishing to study for a PhD in the areas of: 

• Sport sociology 
• Sport participation 
• Gender and sport 
• The social impact of sport 
• Qualitative research in sport


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