Dr Belinda Wheaton

Belinda Wheaton

Associate Professor

Qualifications: PhD.

About Belinda

I joined the University in February 2015 as Associate Professor in the Sociology of Sport and Leisure. Previously I was Associate Professor in Sport and Leisure Cultures at the University of Brighton, UK. I teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Te Huataki Waiora Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance.

I am best known for my research on the Politics of identity in lifestyle sport, which include a monograph, The Cultural Politics of Lifestyle Sports (2013), and edited collections including Understanding Lifestyle Sport (2004), and The Representation and Consumption of Lifestyle Sport (2012). I am also co-editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Feminism and Sport, Leisure and Physical Education (2017) and  Leisure and Environmental Politics (2013) .

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

Postgraduate supervision: I am willing to consider the supervision of students interested in working in my areas of expertise  All current students have won University of Waikato PhD Scholarships. Please do get in touch.

Current PhD students:

Damien Puddle

John McFarlane

Nida Ahmad

Neftalie Williams

Julie Bryce

Marg Cosgrove

Please see Health Sport and Human Performance Faculty website for details of their projects.

Research Interests

My research interests lie broadly within the sociology of sport, leisure, health and popular culture, adopting various qualitative methodologies, from ethnography to media analysis. Feminist sensibilities and issues of power and inequity underpin my research and teaching.

I am best known for my research on the cultural politics of 'lifestyle sports cultures'. I am also interested in and have also led international projects on understanding the role of informal and lifestyle sports in addressing sport, health and youth policy objectives.

Recent and current  projects include:

Action sports and the Olympics: I was co-PI on Youth Perceptions of the Olympic Games: Attitudes Towards Action Sports at the YOG and Olympic Games' with Dr Holly Thorpe, funded by the IOC's Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme 2015/6.  We are in phase 2 of this project in the run-up to Toykio 2020

Coastal Blue space, health and well-being

Surfing, identity  and ageing,

sport and environmentalism

Recent Publications

  • Wheaton, B., Waiti, J., Cosgriff, M., & Burrows, L. (2019). Coastal blue space and wellbeing research: looking beyond western tides. Leisure Studies, 1-13. doi:10.1080/02614367.2019.1640774

  • Thorpe, H., & Wheaton, B. (2019). The Olympic Games, Agenda 2020 and action sports: the promise, politics and performance of organisational change. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. doi:10.1080/19406940.2019.1569548

  • Wheaton, B. (2019). サーフィン・スケートボード・パルクール ライフスタイルスポーツの文化と政治 (The cultural politics of lifestyle sports).

  • Säfvenbom, R., Wheaton, B., & Agans, J. P. (2018). ‘How can you enjoy sports if you are under control by others?’ Self-organized lifestyle sports and youth development. Sport in Society, 1-20. doi:10.1080/17430437.2018.1472242

Find more research publications by Belinda Wheaton


Children's and Youth Sport; Environmental Policy and Politics; Extreme/Alternative Sports; Gender; Social Issues in Sport; Social Movements; Social Science Research; Sociology; Sport Education; Sport Governance; Sport Science; Sports; Women and Gender Studies; Youth

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Wheaton, Prof Belinda 6205 bwheaton TT.7.16 Te Huataki Waiora - School of Health

You can contact staff by:
  • Calling +64 7 838 4466  select option 1, then enter the extension
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension  e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123
  • Emailing
  • Using the campus map to locate their room