The Sport and Physical Activity Research Institute (SPARI) has over a decade of outputs, funding applications, and REF submissions. In REF2021, half of our outputs were considered world internationally excellent, while a further almost a fifth were considered world-leading. We contributed internationally excellent 3* impact case studies and provided an internationally leading environment, ranked as the highest in UWS. The internationally recognised Shanghai Rankings place us as the highest-ranked Sports Science research institute in Scotland and 4th in the UK.
SPARI exists to supports staff in their research ambitions and helps develop funding submissions, impact case studies, collaboration, and network building. We conduct research into the physiology, psychology, and sociology of sport, exercise and physical activity. This research encompasses a variety of domains, including basic mechanistic science, applied sport performance, and the role of physical activity in health and well-being. The Institute has a strong track record of outputs and funding and has received support from NIHR, CSO, and various regional and national charities.
SPARI Research themes are organised into Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Currently we have three main SIGs:
mHealth refers to the use of mobile devices to support individual or population-level wellbeing and public health. The ubiquitous nature of mobile technology means that mHealth has the potential to provide scalable improvements in health outcomes. The mHealth special interest group focuses on how we can best use this approach in a variety of conditions, evaluates the benefits and limitations of using mHealth, and seeks to develop new and validated instruments for use in remote health monitoring.
Sport Performance Interest Group (SPIG)
The SPIG promotes elective research and disseminates evidence-based and best-practice knowledge to improve athlete health, fitness, and sports performance. In line with the broad scope of SPARI, the SPIG targets include a broad range of multidisciplinary, theoretical/basic (i.e., mechanistic), and applied (i.e., on-field) research pertaining to both individual and team-sport disciplines. The SPIG also provides an active forum for networking, discussion, activities, knowledge sharing and debate both among members (i.e., staff development) and external collaborators/partners (i.e., creating REFerable impact) who share mutual interests.
Qualitative Research Network
The QRN aims to support staff who utilise qualitative approaches in their research. This work ranges from work embedded in sociological and socio-cultural perspectives to research trials using qualitative methods to evaluate how sports performers, or patients, respond to a particular intervention. As a result, the QRN has an active and diverse membership who meet regularly to host external speakers and consider different research paradigms underpinning qualitative approaches.
Name: Prof. Nick Sculthorpe
Position: SPARI Lead
Tel: 01698 283100.
PURE profile link: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/nicholas-sculthorpe
Name: Prof Vish Unnithan
Position: SPARI Vice Lead
Tel: 01698 283100
PURE profile link: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/viswanath-unnithan
Name: Dr Lawrence Hayes
Position: mHealth SIG Convenor
Tel: 01698 283100
PURE profile link: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/lawrence-hayes
Name: Dr Antonio Dello Iocono
Position: Sport Performance SIG Convenor
Tel: 01698 283100
PURE profile link: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/antonio-dello-iacono
Name: Dr David Carless
Position: Qualitative Research Network Lead
Tel: 01698 283100
PURE profile link: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/persons/david-carless
10 Most Recent SPARI papers
- Comparison of physical activity metrics from two research-grade accelerometers worn on the non-dominant wrist and thigh in children. Journal of Sport Science. Duncan Buchan.
- Concentric phase assistance enhances eccentric peak power during flywheel squats: intersession reliability and the linear relationship between concentric and eccentric phases. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. Antonio DelloIacono.
- Programming high-speed and sprint running exposure in football: beliefs and practices of more than 100 practitioners worldwide. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. Vish Unnithan, Antonio DelloIacono.
- Physical activity levels in asthma: relationship with disease severity, body mass index and novel accelerometer-derived metrics. Journal of Asthma. Duncan Buchan.
- The effect of dietary anthocyanins on biochemical, physiological, and subjective exercise recovery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Rachel Kimble.
- The relationship of oral health with progression of physical frailty among older adults: a longitudinal study composed of two cohorts of older adults from the United Kingdom and United States. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Rachel Kimble.
- Encouraging togetherness during a national lockdown: the influence of relationship-oriented personal-disclosure mutual-sharing on team functioning in academy soccer coaches. The Sport Psychologist. Harry Warburton.
- Differences in body composition, static balance, field test performance, and academic achievement in 10-12-year-old soccer players. Frontiers in Physiology. Lawrence Hayes.
- A worldwide survey on the practices and perceptions of submaximal fitness tests in team sports. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. Antonio DelloIacono.
- Reliability, familiarisation effect and comparisons between a pre-determined and a self-determined isometric squat testing protocol: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. Antonio DelloIacono, Vish Unnithan.