Loughborough University London academic attends United Nations meeting

A Loughborough University London academic was invited to a United Nations meeting earlier this week for her expertise on sport’s contribution to society.

Dr Holly Collison, a Lecturer at the Institute for Sport Business, attended as part of the preparations for the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

Taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and organised by the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), the meeting reviewed key research, challenges, good practices and lessons learnt from sport’s contribution to sustainable development and the effect of mainstreaming sport in developing programmes and policies.

Dr Collison was required to write a short paper addressing the topic of the meeting, as well as drawing upon her own research and evidence sourced from elsewhere.

Holly is currently contributing to a social science research project titled ‘Sport for a Better World?’, focusing on the sport for development and peace sector (SPD), alongside fellow Loughborough academics Dr David Howe and Professor Richard Giulianotti, as well as Dr Simon Darnell from the University of Toronto.

The research is investigating the SDP sector in five developing countries: Kosovo, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Zambia. The research is an ongoing long term project which will be measuring the SDP sector’s development across these different countries.

The investigation aims to learn more about how programmes, policies and strategies which use sport to promote peace and human rights are planned across various cultures.

Dr Collison has also published a book titled ‘Youth and Sport for Development’, which focuses on her fieldwork conducted in Liberia, in which she studied the impact of sports such as football and its contribution to a more civil society.

Of attending the UN meeting, Dr Collison said: "I was very honoured and excited to have been invited by the United Nations to the expert meeting on Sport for Development and Peace (SPD).

“The invitation was both a recognition of the significant research which we have been conducting at Loughborough University in this rapidly-growing field, and an opportunity to represent our international research partners who implement SDP programmes in diverse and often challenging contexts."

The meeting took place on Wednesday 13 June and was attended by experts from around the world.

View the press release on the Loughborough University website for further information and resources.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2020 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Specialising exclusively in postgraduate-level study, Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers cutting-edge master’s and PhD degrees, as well as business collaboration, research and enterprise opportunities.

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.