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Dr Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend

Lecturer in Sport Coaching and Pedagogy

Qualifications: BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Personal Website: https://twitter.com/robtownsendPhD

About Robert

Prior to joining Te Huataki Waiora School of Health at the University of Waikato, I completed my PhD at Loughborough University researching coaching in disability sport. My research interests include disability sport, coaching and coach education with broader interests in social theory and the use and advancement of qualitative methods.

I am an ECB qualified cricket coach with extensive experience of coaching. Until recently I was working in the England and Wales Cricket Board's disability performance pathway with the national learning disability squad. My current focus is in supporting and developing coaches within and across sport systems. Most recently, I was invited to join the International Council for Coaching Excellence Para Coaching Working group with other leading academics to develop a strategy for Para sport coaching.

Check out this podcast where I discuss my research: https://www.onthesideline.net/podcast/episode/7976d232/development-of-a-disability-coaching-program-with-dr-robert-townsendmp3

In addition, I regularly serve as a reviewer for a number of international journals such as Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, Sport, Education and Society, Sports Coaching Review, International Sport Coaching Journal, The Sociological Review, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Sociology of Sport Journal, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, and Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised

I am willing to consider the supervision of graduate and postgraduate students interested in working in the fields of sociology, pedagogy and disability studies with sport and sports coaching as the focus. Specifically, students with a background in qualitative research are encouraged. My current areas of focus are:

Coach education, learning and development.

Disability sport.

Coaching and social policy.

PhD students

Amanda Lowry, Para athlete welfare, November 2019 -

Catriona McBean, Disability, sport and inclusion November 2019 -

Francis Asare, Disability, sport and assistive technology, February 2020 -

Research Interests

My research interests lie broadly within a framework of the sociology of sports coaching and the use of qualitative methodologies. I have a dual focus. First, my research bridges disability studies and the sociological study of sport. Second, I am interested in understanding the coaching process from community to high performance sport, with a particular focus on coaches' learning and development.

Recent Publications

  • Townsend, R., Huntley, T., Cushion, C., & Fitzgerald, H. (2018). ‘It’s not about disability, I want to win as many medals as possible’: The social construction of disability in high-performance coaching. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. doi:10.1177/1012690218797526

  • Cushion, C. J., & Townsend, R. C. (2018). Technology-enhanced learning in coaching: a review of literature. Educational Review, 1-19. doi:10.1080/00131911.2018.1457010

  • Townsend, R. C., Cushion, C. J., & Smith, B. (2017). A social relational analysis of an impairment-specific mode of disability coach education. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 10(3), 346-361. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2017.1407355

  • Townsend, R. C., Smith, B., & Cushion, C. J. (2015). Disability sports coaching: towards a critical understanding. Sports Coaching Review, 4(2), 80-98. doi:10.1080/21640629.2016.1157324

Find more research publications by Robert Townsend

Keywords

Disabilities; Elite Athletes; Inclusive Education; Learning and Education; Pedagogy; Professional Learning; Social Issues in Sport; Sociology; Special Education; Sports

Coaching, Coach Education, Coach Development, Disability Sport, Qualitative Research, Social Theory


Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Townsend, Mr Robert 9491 rtownsen TT.6.13 Te Huataki Waiora - School of Health

You can contact staff by:
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