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MPs are set to hear from three Sheffield Hallam University academics tomorrow (1 Dec) as they give evidence to Select Committees on the impact Covid-19 has had on health technology and grass roots sport.


Press contact: Sarah Duce | s.duce@shu.ac.uk

Aerial view of Houses of Parliament
Three Hallam academics set to present evidence to Select Committees

Dr Sally Fowler-Davis, an associate professor of organisation in health and care at the University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), will discuss the impact of digital technology on physical activity as part of a session with the House of Lords’ Covid-19 Committee.

She will join a panel of experts in a virtual session to explore the extent to which increasing internet use, and digitalisation of jobs and services, is linked to more sedentary lifestyles and what action can be taken to mitigate the risks to physical health.

"Digital technology and digitally reported data has the potential to enhance our social and economic wellbeing if we focus on what matters to people and communities."


Dr Sally Fowler-Davis of the University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) said: “I’m pleased to present at the Select Committee and share some of our learning about population health and wellbeing in the context of Covid-19. Digital technology and digitally reported data has the potential to enhance our social and economic wellbeing if we focus on what matters to people and communities.

“At the AWRC, we are working with partners and the public to create innovations to help people move more, and this a fantastic opportunity to present our expertise and highlight the role the Government can play in maximising the opportunities for, and mitigating the risks to, our physical health that come from increasing digitalisation.” 

Loss of grass roots sport

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will hear from Dr Larissa Davies, a reader in sport management and Dr Rob Wilson head of department for Finance, Accounting and Business Systems and an expert in sport finance as part of an evidence session exploring the effects of the loss of grass roots sport due to the pandemic.

Dr Davies will discuss the social, economic and health consequences of the loss of sport and activity over the past year forming part of a government inquiry into sport in our communities and the potential long-term impact Covid-19 may have on public health and sport participation.

Dr Davies of the University’s Sport Industry Research Group said: “I am delighted to be invited to provide evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee inquiry on the value of sport in our communities.  It is clear from our research at Hallam, that community-based sport and physical activity contributes significantly to the economic, health and wellbeing of individuals and society. 

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen a decline in overall participation levels across the country and within specific groups who already find it harder than most to be active. There is likely to be a profound and long lasting economic and social impact on society if support is not provided to rebuild the sector and provide opportunities for people to return to increased levels of participation in the future.”

As part of the hearing, Dr Wilson will also discuss the financing and governance of professional sport, in particular the potential of elite professional sports, such as rugby and football, to contribute more to community and grassroots sport.

Dr Rob Wilson said: “It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to a national debate on the funding and governance of sport through the Select Committee. Grass roots sport is a key part of a community and the lives it can shape. There are many ways that elite sport clubs and organisations can contribute financially to their communities which we can link extensively to the research we undertake at the University.

“While Covid-19 has laid bare the financial mountain that sport has to climb, it is vital that we continue to collaborate to solve these problems and protect the future of grass roots sport and the many public health benefits it provides.”

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