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Fit for purpose? Exploring the phenomenon of sports education

Special issue call for papers from Education + Training

Guest Editors:

Associate Professor Vanessa Ratten, La Trobe University, Australia
Professor Paul Jones, Coventry University, UK. Email:
[email protected]


Sports education addresses the increasingly popular relationship between health, wellness and fitness through educational programmes (Jones and Jones, 2014). More people are spending larger amounts of time on leisure activities and sport is a major recipient of this time. This has led to greater provision of education, training and employment programmes focusing on sport. The interrelationship between sport and education is complex due to sport being part of both the profit and non-profit sectors of the global economy (Foley et al., 2004). Due to the importance of sport to society this has led to educational institutions focusing on local, national and international sports education programmes.

There is increasing attention on education programmes aimed at coaching and professional development as well as health and nutrition. Greater consideration about different types of sports education is gaining traction in terms of employment opportunities especially self-employment and entrepreneurial business ventures. This is seen in sport entrepreneurs educating people through fitness apps in a way that brings a new kind of learning into the community (Macht and Ball, 2016).

Due to the increased emphasis on sport in the economy and also in education there has been educational partnerships aimed at linking sports programmes to social endeavors. This is due to the educational area of sport for development aimed at increasing sport participation and gender equality in less developed countries and countries in transition. There is also increasing acceptance of sport vocationalism and collecting learning in education studies (Monk and Olsson, 2006). This has led to more schools, universities and technical programmes addressing employability in the sports industry.

The curriculum about sport has also been evolving with more attention placed on entrepreneurship in terms of starting up a sport business to the development of technological innovations (Ratten and Ferreira, 2016). This has resulted in some innovative themes about sport within vocational education and training (Rothman and Sisman, 2016). Sport can also be viewed as a way to increase skills development and leadership in other occupations. The reason for this is due to there being more education-business partnerships and collaboration around sport.

As sport is an industry with a high practical application there are more work experience and placements focusing on sport. This is due to there being some educational providers incorporating elite athlete courses that have more flexibility in order to attract and retain professional sports people. In addition, there are new courses that are specifically tailored for psychology and work/life balance in sport being introduced into course curriculum. This has led to there being growing recognition of the need for management qualifications for coaches and athletes. This has resulted in a growth of Masters and Masters of Business Administration programmes designed specifically for people working in the sports industry.

This special issue seeks to focus on the variety of dynamics in sports education and training. Topics may include but are not limited to:

-           Emerging forms of sports education and applications in different country and industry contexts.

-          Entrepreneurial education programmes in sports.

-           Comparative studies of sports education across contexts.

-           Identity and context of sports education and its relationship to social media and other technological innovations.

-           New pedagogy and learning communities involving sports education.

-          Incorporation of ethical, environmental and social perspectives into sports education.

-           Self-employment and educational opportunities in sport.

Potential submissions may involve qualitative, quantitative or mixed method studies. Studies should include an empirical element and seek to evaluate and assess the impact and contribution of the phenomenon under investigation. The core theme of papers should be sports education and training.


Submission Procedure:


Submissions to this journal are through the ScholarOne submission system here:


Please visit the author guidelines for the journal at…  which gives full details. Please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop down menu on page four of the submission process.


Please direct any expressions of interest or queries towards Dr Vanessa Ratten at [email protected]


Submission Deadline:

31st December 2017


Guest Editorial Team

Vanessa Ratten is Associate Professor at the La Trobe University, Australia. She is the Programme Coordinator of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation degrees at La Trobe Business School. She has previously been on the business faculties of Deakin University, Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland. She has guest edited journals including “Team Performance”, “Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing”, “Journal of Management and Organization”, “Thunderbird International Business Review” and “International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal”. Dr Ratten has coedited six books about Entrepreneurship including Sports Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Her current research focus is on sport, education and entrepreneurship.

Paul Jones is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Coventry University. He is an experienced academic with over 50 peer reviewed journal publications and two edited books. His current focus of research is entrepreneurial activity within different and emerging contexts. Dr Jones has published his work in leading international journals such as “International Small Business Journal”, “Environment and Planning C”, “Omega” and “Journal of Business Research”. Dr Jones is currently Editor-in-Chief for the “International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research” and Associate Editor for the “International Journal of Management Education”. Dr Jones has previously co-edited special editions with the “Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development”, “Education + Training”, “Strategic Change”, “International Journal of Management Education” and the “Journal of Systems and Information Technology”.


Indicative References
Foley, M., Frew, M., McGillivray, D., McIntosh, A. and McPherson, G. (2004) ‘Problematising “education” and “training” in the Scottish sport and fitness, play and outdoor sectors’, Education and Training, 46(5): 236-245.

Jones, P. and Jones, A. (2014) ‘Attitudes of sports development and sports management undergraduate students towards entrepreneurship: A university perspective towards best practice’, Education and Training, 56(8/9): 716-732.

Macht, S.A. and Ball, S. (2016) ‘” Authentic alignment”- a new framework of entrepreneurship education’, Education and Training, 58(9): 926-944.

Monk, D. and Olsson, C. (2006) ‘Modern apprenticeships in English professional football’, Education and Training, 48(6): 429-439.

Ratten, V. and Ferreira, J. (Eds) (2016) Sport Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Routledge, United Kingdom.

Rothman, M. and Sisman, R. (2016) ‘Internship impact on career consideration among business students’, Education and Training, 58(9): 1003-1013.