Professor Tess Kay

Deputy Dean and Head of Sport

Sport Pathfoot E20 University of Stirling FK9 4LA

Professor Tess Kay

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About me

I joined the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport at Stirling in 2019 and I am currently Head of Sport and Deputy Dean of the Faculty. Prior to this I spent most of my career at Loughborough University, where I was a director of the Institute of Youth Sport, before moving to Brunel University London in 2010. I have been researching and lecturing in sport and health since the 1980s, with a particular focus on sport, health and social inequality. I engage with practitioner groups and policy makers to make sure my work is relevant and informed by their expertise, and draw on this real-world knowledge in my lecturing where I contribute to our taught courses in sport policy and health inequalities, and supervise student dissertations and project work.

I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and my research into the social benefits of sport has been conducted in the UK and internationally. It includes a decade of work researching the capacity of sport to contribute to international development goals and support HIV-AIDS education for young people, through projects funded by Sport England, DfID and British Council. Since 2010 I have focused on sport, health and well-being, and the challenges that social inequalities pose for promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Between 2016-19 I was Associate Director of the ESRC-funded Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership, a collaboration between the University of Oxford, Brunel University and The Open University.

Event / Presentation

“Poor people! How austerity and deprivation undermine health(y) behaviour". Keynote, BASES and Yorkshire and Humber Physical Activity Knowledge Exchange Network

Keynote to the Yorkshire and Humber Physical Activity Knowledge Exchange Network (YoHPAKE), January.

“Informing sport and physical activity guidance: hearing the voices of austerity”. Observatory for Sport in Scotland and sportscotland "Many voices, one big conversation" Think Event, December.

Presentation to the Observatory for Sport in Scotland and sportscotland "Many voices, one big conversation" Think Event, December, Edinburgh

“Time's up: acting now to put health inequalities at the centre of PA research, policy and practice”. Keynote, FUSE Tenth Anniversary Physical Activity Symposium, FUSE Centre for Translational Research in Public Health: Newcastle University

Keynote, Physical Activity and Health Inequalities, FUSE Tenth Anniversary Physical Activity Symposium, FUSE Centre for Translational Research in Public Health: Newcastle University, April

"Getting people active through sport: overcoming inactivity". Plenary, 7th Annual Sport and Exercise Medicine Conference, London, March.

Getting people active through sport: overcoming inactivity. Plenary presentation to the 7th Annual Sport and Exercise Medicine Conference, London, March 2017

“Leisure for health: the ultimate challenge for social change”. Keynote, 17th Biennial Internatif Tasmania, Hobart.

Keynote to the “ Leisure for Social Change” 17th Biennial International Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart.

“Irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status”: how national PA guidance fails older adults . ESRC Seminar series, Physical activity among hard-to-reach groups, Brunel University London.

Plenary presentation to the ESRC Seminar series, Physical activity among hard-to-reach groups: Issues of research, policy and practice, Brunel University London, November

Poor World: redressing policy failings through sociological analysis of sport and health; keynote, 10th Conference of the European Association of Sociology of Sport, Cordoba.

Women, sport, development Keynote, ‘Adelante Muchachas: moving together for a better world’, 17th Quadrennial Congress IAPESGW, Cuba, April

‘Sport in the service of international development: contributing to the Millennium Development Goals’, Plenary speaker United Nations/IOC forum of sport for development and peace, United Nations, Geneva, May

External Examiners and Validations

External examiner, BA Sport and Social Science, Bath University
University of Bath

ESRC Review College, Doctoral Training Partnerships

External examiner, MSc Sports Management, University of Stirling

External Examiner, BA (Hons) Sport and Recreation Management, University of Edinburgh.

Other Academic Activities

Associate Director (Brunel) ESRC Grand Union DTP

Theme lead, Physical activity and inequalities, 7th International Society for Physical Activity and Health Congress; Public Health England, International Society for Physical Activity and Health and Sport England.

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Co-facilitator, British Council (Newton Fund) international early career Researcher Links Workshop, Sport and Social Transformation in Brazil; San Paulo, March 2015

Led by the University of Bath and funded by Newton Fund and FAPESP (the São Paulo Research Foundation).

Professional Career

Dean of Research, Brunel University London
Brunel University

Professor of Sport and Social Sciences and Director, Brunel Centre for Sport, Health and Wellbeing (BC.SHaW)

Professor of Sport and Social Sciences and Director, Brunel Centre for Sport, Health and Wellbeing (BC.SHaW)

Deputy Director, Institute of Youth Sport, Loughborough University
Loughborough University

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University

Lecturer, North Staffordshire Polytechnic

Research Assistant, Loughborough University

Professional membership

Elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

Research programmes

Research centres/groups