Research Team

Learn more about our community-based researchers here.

Dr. Lyndsay Hayhurst

Lyndsay Hayhurst (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University in Toronto, Canada.

Her research interests include sport for development and peace, gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health in/through SDP, cultural studies of girlhood, postcolonial feminist theory, global governance, international relations and corporate social responsibility.

She is a co-editor (with Tess Kay and Megan Chawansky) of Beyond Sport for Development and Peace: Transnational perspectives on theory, policy and practice, and her publications have appeared in Women’s Studies International Forum; Gender, Place & Culture; Third World Quarterly and Sociology of Sport Journal. She has previously worked for the United Nations Development Programme and Right to Play.

Dr. Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson is a Professor and sociologist in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. He is part of the Socio-Cultural group of students and faculty in the School, and Director of the Centre for Sport and Sustainability at UBC. His background is in Sociology (Ph.D. at McMaster University, Department of Sociology), Communications (SSHRC postdoctoral fellow, Simon Fraser University, School of Communication), and Kinesiology (MA at the University of British Columbia and BPE at McMaster University).

His main interests revolve around issues related to sport, the environment, peace and media. Most recently his research includes studies on:

Environmental Issue and Sport: How stakeholders in the golf and mega-event organizers respond to environmental concerns.

Sport in Peace-building and Development: The role of bicycles in development efforts and research on elite Kenyan runners in peace promotion following Kenya’s post-election violence in 2007-2008.

Media Coverage of Sport-related Social and Environmental Issues – the potential for more pro-social and pro-environment sport journalism.

Dr. Brad Millington

Brad Millington is an Associate Professor, Sport Management at Brock University. He is the author of The Greening of Golf: Sport, Globalization and the Environment (with Brian Wilson, Manchester University Press). His research examines sport and related practices, such as health promotion, fitness, and physical activity, from a social scientific perspective. My specific interests lie with two areas of study:  

Sport and environmental sustainability (including topics such as sport’s environmental implications, protest movements, and sport for development).

Sport media and technology (including topics such as wearable health and fitness technology, sport analytics, and consumer experience). 

Dr. Cathy van Ingen

Cathy van Ingen is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Brock University. Her research focuses on gender-based violence and the relationship between sport, inequality, and social change. She is one of the founders of Shape Your Life (SYL), a free, non-contact, trauma-informed boxing program for female and trans survivors of violence. The SYL project in Toronto has been running since 2007 and has worked with over 2600 participants. She is also the founder of Shape Your Life Youth, and works with youth agencies, to bring free, non-contact, trauma-informed boxing programs to youth. Her academic and activist work is informed by cultural studies, feminist, and critical race studies.

Dr. Francine Darroch

Dr. Francine Darroch is an Assistant Professor in Health Sciences at Carleton University. Her participatory action research focuses on equity-oriented health promotion with populations experiencing marginalization. Her work specifically examines social determinants of health, maternal health, and the intersections of sex, race, gender, and violence. Her current research aims to address inequities in physical activity for purposely marginalized groups to improve quality of life and overall health.

Dr. Mitch McSweeney

Dr. Mitchell McSweeney (he/him) is an assistant professor in Sport Management at the University of Minnesota. His research agenda focuses on social entrepreneurship, innovation, sport for development, and livelihoods, and he often utilizes postcolonial theory, institutional theory, and diaspora to critically investigate these areas. 


PhD Students

Jeanette Steinmann

Jeanette (she/they) is a PhD student in the School of Kinesiology at UBC. She completed an MA at UBC (Kinesiology, 2020) which focused on the perspectives and experiences of cyclists experiencing homelessness in Vancouver, BC. Prior to that they completed a B.Kin at the University of Calgary (2017). Jeanette’s doctoral work explores topics at the intersection of poverty, physical activity, environment, and transport. Jeanette is also the Research Coordinator for the UBC Centre for Sport and Sustainability.

Jessica Nachman

Jess (she/they) is a PhD student at York University, studying under the supervision of Dr. Lyndsay Hayhurst. Jess’ research interests include decolonial methodologies, arts-based methods, physical culture, and mobility. Jess completed their undergraduate degree of Kinesiology at the University of Toronto, and their MA degree of Kinesiology and Health Science at York. Jess’ MA research involved collaborating with a non-profit mutual aid bicycle organization to support racialized and 2SLGBTQ+ cyclists.

Julia Ferreira Gomes

Julia (she/her) is a PhD student in Kinesiology and Health Sciences at York University, studying under advisor Dr. Lyndsay Hayhurst. Her research interests include intersectional feminist methodologies, participatory action research methods, trauma-informed sport and physical activity, and health equity. Julia approaches critical issues in kinesiology and health by integrating sociocultural and psychosocial perspectives.


Masters Students

Natan Levi

Natan (he/they) is in the final year of his MSc with Dr. Jessica Fraser-Thomas. In 2013, he graduated from Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto with a specialization in management.

Prior to starting his studies at York University, he spent 5 years working with Tennis Canada, Ontario Tennis Association and Jane/Finch Community Tennis Association delivering and evaluating grassroots sport for development programs.

Natan came to Canada as refugee from Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia, which shapes his anti-oppression perspectives. His research interests explore the intersections of sport for development, social justice, and governance.

Tayler Sinclair

Tayler Sinclair is a second year MA student in the Development Studies program at York University. Having interned in the humanitarian and development space, this has informed her perspective on issues including gender equality, refugee resettlement, trauma- and violence-informed approaches and sport for development. Through her own research on Caribbean immigrant women, she is exploring the intersections of health, well-being, social support and time poverty.


Past Research Assistants

Madison Ardizzi

Madison Ardizzi (she/her/hers) acquired her MA from the University of British Columbia’s Socio-cultural Kinesiology department. Her Master’s research focused on Bicycles for Development (BFD) in the Ugandan context– with particular attention to how activities at the micro/ local level influence, and are influenced by, the macro/ global community. She spoke to people involved in BFD who occupied various positions within the movement (i.e., organizational founders, employees, volunteers and beneficiaries) and discovered that different people in different places had different perspectives on bicycles and how they could be used as an international development tool. Upon finishing her Masters, Madison worked with Red Fox Healthy Living Society as a Program Manager for 3 years managing recreation programs and employment training for youth that face barriers. In 2021, she left Red Fox and became an Outreach Coordinator with Simon Fraser University in the Faculty of Applied Sciences, supporting the inclusion of traditionally under-repesented folks in STEM.

Emerald Bandoles

Emerald (she/her/siya) is in the final year of her MA degree with Dr. Lyndsay Hayhurst. Her MA research focused on the nexus between surfing, well-being and the environment in the Philippines. Her research interests include postcolonial feminist theory, community-based research, critical race theory, critical sports history and culture, and action sport for development. Emerald’s research interests inform her work as a community organizer for a Filipino democratic youth organization that challenges various social issues that impact Filipino/a/x communities in the GTA and the Philippines. 

Shawn Forde

Shawn Forde (he/him) is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia. His research is concerned with the variety of ways that sport and physical activity have historically been, and continue to be, used for the purposes of community development, political engagement, and social change.

Devra Waldman

I’m a PhD candidate in the School of Kinesiology and a Liu Scholar at UBC. My research interests sit at the intersections of sport/leisure, politics of space, urban (re)development, and (post)colonialism. My dissertation focuses on the emergence, impacts and implications of gated, sport-focused, residential developments being built around suburbs of Delhi in India. In India, and especially in the areas around Delhi, there is a growing phenomenon of international and domestic real estate developers using sport/leisure brands and identities to anchor large-scale urban development projects. For example, there are large scale gated-communities called ‘Sports Cities’ which have PGA regulation golf courses, cricket stadiums, NBA regulation (and branded) basketball courts, Olympic-sized swimming pools and stadiums, and ‘world class’ facilities in badminton, squash, tennis, and soccer. Some of these spaces have private hospitals and schools within the gates as well. My study is centred around questions regarding how space and is produced — and contested– by public and private actors, how the communities are experienced by those living/working around the boundaries, how the politics of exclusion/inclusion relate to shifting relationships between citizens and the state, and how the development of space is connected to broader financial capital and legacies of colonialism. Prior to starting my PhD, I completed my MA in the School of Kinesiology at UBC. My MA focused on how and why decisions are made at the highest levels of sport organizations to support and engage in international development work — and the potential implications of these decisions. I also hold a B.Ed from the University of Toronto.