There is a lot of expectations on sport to have a major impact on health, democracy and integration. But also experiences, entertainment and growth. Sports are at the same time undergoing an exciting period of changes through an increasing globalisation, professionalisation and commersialisation.
Our different areas within Sport Science at the Linnaeus University try to (through research and education) contribute to the development and distribution of knowledge regarding the wide and ever changing field of sports. The research is vast with both a social and natural scientific focus. It handles leadership issues, educational issues as well as the importance of physical activities. All of our research is done in direct connection with the surrounding society.
Sport science has an extensive range of educations where theoretical knowledge is united with a practical understanding and competence in taking actions. We offer solid programmes aimed at activities in schools, leisure, health sectors and areas of sport.
Sport science at the Linnaeus university cooperates closely with the sport society and with organizations within leisure and health to develop its activities. Within the theme "Academy meets Sports" we interact with local, regional, national and international actors in different forms of educations, conferences and evaluations.
The research within sport science at Linnaeus University is diverse and important. It is based on an interdisciplinary sport science core and gathers its strength from different disciplines and other environments within the university as well as from the collaborations that are in place with the sports movement and other parts of society. In addition, there is also a fruitful collaboration with other higher education institutions both in Sweden and abroad.
The research has both a natural sciences specialisation and social sciences specialisation and is carried out primarily in three constellations that are closely linked to our degree programmes.
One environment works with coaching and sports management with focus on development, management and learning questions within sports.
Another environment focuses on questions relating to physical activity and outdoor life, in particular in relation to health and health development.
There is also a research group that focuses on the teacher education in sport and health, in particular the relationship between the school subject sport and health and the teacher education.
At the department of sport science, successful research is also being carried out within areas like identity, culture, gender, and ethics.
Collaborate with us
Sport science carries out extensive collaboration within education and research. Collaborations are in place with the sports movement – from national level in the form of The Swedish Sports Confederation, SISU Idrottsutbildarna, and various special sports confederations to district and club level – as well as with a number of sectors of relevance to health work. There are also well-developed collaborations in different forms with schools and pre-schools. In addition, there is also a well-established collaboration, both nationally and internationally, with higher education institutions and several of our researchers within sport science take part in national and international research bodies.
More about our collaboration
There are a number of reasons for the relatively extensive collaboration activities within sport science, with close links to current development within sport, health and school sectors. Not least, among our staff there are a number of coworkers who have solid experience and great knowledge about the operative activities within these fields.
Collaboration primarily takes place in connection to research and development commissions (R&D) and various forms of courses and programmes. But also for evaluations, conferences, process support and method development. In particular, the research being carried out in connection to sports issues makes important contributions to sports activities within clubs, confederations and organisations, etc.
A number of researchers participate frequently in sports education contexts and regularly produce R&D reports or similar, like for instance:
- Finding and developing talent – a study of sports' talent scouting activities
- Mapping, analysis and development of coaching programmes in Sweden
- The sports coach as pedagogue
- Paths to the national team – on Swedish elite athletes' choice of sport and specialisation
- Paths from the national team – on elite sports, career and closure
- Good development opportunities within sports
- Parents of sporting children
- The fitness revolution
- Ironman and family life
Collaboration is also in place with two special sports confederations in particular – athletics and tennis. These sports have established national centres in collaboration with Linnaeus University and, in these cases, Växjö municipality. The activities focus, in addition to making it easier for elite athletes to combine studies and sports, on education, evaluation and R&D activities. With close ties to the sports activities, there is also a High Performance Center that carries out test and training activities where we participate from sport science at Linnaeus University.
Ability to handle complex situations
The development of sport science knowledge at the department makes up an important basis for the development of the practical activities on different levels within sports. On the operative level, the research contributes to developing teachers' and leaders' critical approach and ability to handle complex situations and better understand the consequences of their teaching/activities. Organisational and societal conditions are also visualised and problematised, providing a basis for positive change of the activities.
Another form of collaboration takes place continuously in relation to the first-cycle degree programmes within sport science at the department of sport science. The programmes are aimed, for instance, at those who want to work with management and development of individuals, teams and organisations within the growing sports, health and outdoor sectors.
The degree programmes offer links to working life, in particular on courses dealing with entrepreneurship, project management, and through field studies and degree projects. In addition, people from different activities within the programmes take part frequently, usually as guest lecturers or debate participants.
The idea is that the knowledge development carried out within sport science should be utilised to an even larger extent in the development of activities within a number of different fields. This can be, for instance, the extensive research and education carried out within current areas like physical activity and health, health of elderly people, and the importance of outdoor activities. Among other things, a research project was recently carried out on the effects of physical activity and UV radiation when designing school yards and the health effects of being outdoors for elderly people.
There is also knowledge development carried out within the field of teaching, based on sport traditions and pedagogical research, which demonstrates norms within the school subject and the teacher education that risk strengthening old traditions and ultimately contribute to an unequal society. These are questions with high relevance for the further development of good activities.
The knowledge environment that has been established around good sport environments to both develop the sporting ability and to keep youth in a developing and nurturing environment plays an important role. As one part in this work, sport science has created a meeting place in the form of a Centre for sports development (CIU) that currently has its basis in an office at Arenastaden in Växjö, with proximity to a number of actors in sports. The idea is that this should facilitate collaboration.
Information about the department's members of staff and their area of competence.
Folder about Centre for sports development (only in Swedish).
If you are interested in collaborating with sport science at Linnaeus University, please contact Mats Glemne on +46470-70 87 29 or firstname.lastname@example.org.