Sport Leadership and Management

Our research activities and outputs create opportunities for public and private-sector organisations operating at local, regional, national and international levels to make stratetgic, cost-effective, evidence-based decisions that will allow them to improve on past performances, increase current capabilities/capacities and build a platform for a more sustainable future.

We connect our research and postgraduate students with industry.

Featured projects

Our activities and students

A selection of current research projects:

  • National Sport Club Survey (Mel Johnston)
  • “A crisis like no other”: assessing the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on sport event entrepreneurship and venues in Aotearoa-New Zealand, England and Japan (Richard Wright)
  • Glory Days: Sports Reminiscence & Recreational Therapy Research in Aotearoa New Zealand (Richard Wright)
  • Diversity and Inclusion on Sport Boards (Lesley Ferkins)
  • Avenues 2 Independence: Codesigning rehabilitation and well-being resources for NZ contemporary veterans (Richard Wright)

PhD candidates

  • Chris Barron
    The Use of Corporate Social Responsibility to Design and Implement Socially Sustainable Sport for Development Programmes in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Richard Wright
  • Debbie Curgenven,
    Alternative delivery models for women’s participation in mountain biking
    Supervisors: Lesley Ferkins, Katie Rowe, Jenny Fleming
  • Emmnauel Aboagye
    Gender Dynamism in football, Wright & Johnston
  • Gaye Bryham
    Exploring the social construction of leadership: A study of rugby in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Lesley Ferkins, Julia Ioane
  • Hafsa Ali
    The Impact of the Global War on Terror on Pakistan sports policy and practice
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Geoff Dickson
  • Javeed Ali
    Topic: Exploring the experiences of New Zealand rugby referees
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Lesley Ferkins
  • Kelly McCallum
    Inclusive leadership practice in sport governance through an emotional intelligence lens
    Supervisors: Lesley Ferkins, Charlotte Jelleyman
  • Linden Moore
    Ambassadorship in women and girls’ sport: The case of women’s basketball in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Melody Johnston
  • Olivia Baudinet,
    Exploring the influence of sport participation on the wellbeing of people with limb deficiency
    Supervisor: Lesley Ferkins, Katie Rowe
  • Ranjan Kumara Weerakoon Mudiyanselage
    The Unique Selling Points of Major Sports Events: Measuring Consumer Expectation and Experience in the aftermath of the COVID19 crisis
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Melody Johnston
  • Rebecca Lee
    Women's sport fans, technology and delight
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Melody Johnston
  • Siona Fernandes
    When culture speaks: Exploring Indian migrant PA and sedentary behaviour in Australia (and New Zealand)
    Supervisors: Erica Hinckson, Lesley Ferkins
  • Sriharan Srianganathan
    Adolescent physical activity and mental well-being in Sri Lanka and New Zealand: A comparative study
    Supervisors: Kath Godber, Richard Wright, Denise Atkins
  • Tracy Molloy
    Topic: The emergence of the board nomination committee as a governance feature of New Zealand national sport organisations
    Supervisors: Lesley Ferkins, Geoff Dickson
  • Trevor Meiklejohn
    Exploring governance design in new and emerging sports: The case of stand up paddling in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Lesley Ferkins, Ian O'Boyle

Master's students

  • Braityn Callaghan
    Coach Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Sport Injury Prevention in Youth Basketball
    Supervisors: Chris Whatman, Patricia Lucas
  • Brooke Pryor
    Understanding the sport participation organisational environment: Squash in New South Wales
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Michael Naylor
  • Caron Orelowitz
    What is happening to me?  Children’s perceptions of injuries sustained through participation in school based cross-country activities
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Kath Godber
  • Daniel Martin
    Community Club Perceptions of High Performance Sport Pathways
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Michael Naylor
  • Jared Gravatt
    Exploring Drop-out and Sustained Participation in Youth Sport: A Club’s Perspective
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Murphy
  • Jayson Jooste
    Factors influencing competitive sport withdrawal in youth athletes
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Adrian Farnham
  • Marhas Pawan
    Pasifika Youth, Sport, and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Aotearoa New Zealand
    Supervisors: Denise Atkins, Michael Naylor
  • Susana Sututu
    Pasi-strong: The makings of a meaningful sporting experience for young Pasifika girls in rugby
    Supervisors: Gaye Bryham, Lesley Ferkins
  • Teigan Bond
    Women in Sport Governance: Perceptions of Inclusion in Cricket in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Lesley Ferkins
  • Yuval Eyal
    The role of secondary school sport academies  in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Patricia Lucas, Simon Walters

Master's students

  • Karyne Ross (Graduated 2021)
    How is culture perceived, understood and experienced by members of a community sports organisation
    Supervisor: Michael Naylor
  • Mark Cameron (Graduated 2021)
    Mixed ownership in sport – the case of Super Rugby in New Zealand
    Supervisor: Lesley Ferkins, Trevor Meiklejohn
  • Zerui Chen (Graduated 2020)
    Perceptions about the 2022 Winter Olympics in China
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Kath Godber
  • Gary Putt (Graduated 2020)
    Fun playing rugby! Exploring the meaning of fun in youth sport
    Supervisor: Lesley Ferkins, Michael Naylor
  • Chris Barron (Graduated 2021)
    Selling the City of Sails: Destination branding through the 2021 America's Cup
    Supervisor: Richard Wright
  • Sabio Chai-Udom (Graduated 2021)
    New Zealanders attitudes and perceptions towards sports event tourism in Thailand
    Supervisors Richard Wright, Sally Rae
  • Ying Zhu (Graduated 2021)
    Turning international students into active sport tourists
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Richard Ajiee
  • Liam Hunt (Graduated 2022)
    Organisational Change: The future of community football club capability within the Northern Region
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Gaye Bryham
  • Daniel Capeto (Graduated 2022)
    The Motivational Profile of Older Sport Participants
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Melody Johnston
  • Fiolla Jashari (Graduated 2019)
    The influence of stadium sponsorship on consumer behaviour. A case study of Eden Park, Auckland
    Supervisor: Richard Wright

PhD students

  • Dwayne Wooliams (Graduated 2022)
    Dyadic Relationships in the Leadership of Sport Organisations
    Supervisors: Simon Walters, Kirsten Spencer, Lesley Ferkins
  • Katharine Hoskyn (Graduated 2021)
    Increasing club membership in golf and lawn bowls: An action research approach
    Supervisors: Geoff Dickson, Michael Naylor
  • Richard Ajiee (Graduated 2021)
    The Contribution of Community Sport Programmes to Immigrants Inclusion and Integration
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Geoff Dickson
  • Shima Beynoosh (Graduated 2018)
    Celebrity athlete endorsement and social marketing: Promoting participation in sport and physical activity
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Geoff Dickson

Our team are experts in a number of areas and can supervise students in these fields:

Tricia Lucas

Work Integrated Learning and Cooperative Education, Learning and Teaching, Reflective Practice, Physical Activity and Health

Mel Johnston

Events, Marketing, Clubs, Women in Sport, Sport Development

Gaye Bryham

Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Athlete Life Management, Sport Development

Richard Wright

Active Ageing, Serious Leisure, Events, Tourism, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, Facilities, Creative Analytical Practice

Lesley Ferkins

Leadership, Management, Governance, Action Research, Sport Development

Michael Naylor

Marketing, Management, Consumer Behaviour, Sponsorship Participants, Fans and Clubs

Jenny Fleming

Cooperative Education, Work Integrated Learning

Dion Enari

Leadership, Management, Mental Health, Pacific Studies, Indigenous Studies, Trans-nationalism

Research group leaders