Associate Professor Holly Thorpe

Holly Thorpe

Associate Dean, Postgraduate

Qualifications: PhD

Personal Website:

About Holly

Holly is a Associate Professor in Te Oranga School of Human Development and Movement Studies at the University of Waikato. She works primarily (though not exclusively) in the field of the sociology of sport, with her research interests including youth, gender, athletic women's health, action sports, Sport for Development and Peace Studies, social theory, and qualitative methods.  She is a recipient of both Fulbright and Leverhulme Fellowships, and is co-founder of Fuel Aotearoa, an educational website aimed at empowering athletic girls and women with accessible knowledge about Female Athlete Triad related issues:

In 2016, as part of her Marsden Fast-Start grant she produced the Action Sport for Development snd Peace website: She also gave a TedX talk on the topic of action sports for a better world:

Dr Thorpe is the author of Transnational Mobilities in Action Sport Cultures (2014), Snowboarding Bodies in Theory and Practice (2011), and co-editor of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Extreme Sports (with Professor Douglas Booth) and the Greenwood Extreme Sport Series. She recently co-edited the Routledge Handbook of Physical Cultural Studies (with Professors Michael Silk and David Andrews), and Women in Action Sport Cultures: Identity, Experiences, Politics and Pedagogy (with Dr Rebecca Olive), and is currently co-editing a book on new materialism, sport and physical culture (with Joshua Newman and David Andrews) and new sporting femininities (with Kim Toffoletti and Jessica Francombe-Webb).

She is currently co-Primary Investigator with Associate Professor Belinda Wheaton on an IOC Advanced Research Programme Grant focused on youths' attitudes towards the Olympic Games, with a focus on action sports. She also manages the University of Waikato SiF Home of Cycling Research Initiative, including two post-doctoral fellows. She recently organised the interdisciplinary Female Athlete Health Symposium held at the Home of Cycling.

Holly teaches SPLS101 Social and Cultural Aspects of Sport and Leisure, and SPLS304 Sport, Media and Society. She is passionate about working with graduate students at Masters and PhD levels, particularly those interested in sport and gender, youth sport, action/extreme sports, and/or Sport for Development and Peace Studies, and welcomes enquiries.

Research Supervised

Research Interests

Recent Publications

  • Olive, R., & Thorpe, H. A. (2017). Feminist ethnography and physical culture: Towards reflexive, political and collaborative methods.. In M. Giardina, & M. Donnelly (Eds.), Physical Culture, Ethnography and the Body: Theory, Method and Praxis. (pp. 114-128). Routledge.

  • Thorpe, H. A. (2017). Youth and alternative sporting (im)mobilities in disrupted and conflicted spaces.. Transfers, 7(3). doi:10.3167/TRANS.2017.070306

  • Thorpe, H. A., Toffoletti, K., & Bruce, T. (2017). Sportswomen and social media: Bringing thirdwave feminism, postfeminism and neoliberal feminism into conversation.. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 41(5), 359-383. doi:10.1177/0193723517730808

  • Thorpe, H. A., & Chawansky, M. (2017). Managing women staff and volunteers in Sport for Development organizations: The case of trans-migrant workers of Skateistan.. Journal of Sport Management, 31(6), 546-561. Retrieved from

Find more research publications by Holly Thorpe


Advertising and Sport; Children's and Youth Sport; Culture; Extreme/Alternative Sports; Gender; Globalisation; Health; Race and Gender in Sport; Social Issues in Sport; Social Science Research; Sociology; Sports; Tourism; Women and Gender Studies; Youth

Contact Details

Room: TT7.08
Cellphone: 021311143