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 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018. 

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017. 

The University has been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, which recognises institutions that deliver consistently outstanding teaching that is of the highest quality found in the UK. 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking. 

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.