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 and activities

Our activities and students

A selection of current research projects:

  • National Sport Club Survey (Mel Johnston)
  • Leadership in Sport Governance (Lesley Ferkins)
  • NZOC Wāhine Toa Leadership Development Program (Lesley Ferkins)
  • Translating Pacific Health Research to improve Pacific Housing (Dion Enari)
  • Leadership in nonprofit sport boards (Lesley Ferkins)
  • Gender Equality Playbook (Mel Johnston)
  • Leadership Research Directions in Sport Management: Synergising the Locker Room and the Boardroom (Lesley Ferkins)
  • Looking for the ‘ah ha’ moments in action research understanding (Lesley Ferkins)
  • The Wellbeing of Work-integrated Learning students (Jenny Fleming)
  • WILspace – global conversations for WIL practitioners (Patricia Lucas)
  • Quality frameworks for reflective practice (Patricia Lucas)
  • Moving Manuwera Programme Evaluation (Sport NZ) (Mel Johnston, Simon Walters)
  • “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

  • Emmnauel Aboagye
    Gender Dynamism in football,
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Melody Johnston
  • Hafsa Ali
    Pakistan sport: The Impact and implications of a decade of international disconnect
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Geoff Dickson, Simon Walters
  • Tammy Bezuidenhoudt
    The impact of women's sport leadership programmes
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Lesley Ferkins
  • Gaye Bryham
    Cultivating leadership capability in sport organisations: A Study of Rugby in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Lesley Ferkins, Sierra Keung,
  • Kelly McCallum
    Inclusive leadership practices in sport boards through an emotional and cultural intelligence lens
    Supervisors: Lesley Ferkins, Charlotte Jelleyman
  • Linden Moore
    Marketing women's basketball in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Melody Johnston
  • 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

Master's students

  • Mark Atkins
    Explicit development of life skills within the New Zealand football junior framework
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Kirsten Spencer
  • Amber Campbell
    Leveraging Major Event Legacy: establishing the expectations of community sport clubs in Aotearoa New Zealand
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Melody Johnson
  • Yuval Eyal
    The role of secondary school sport academies  in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Patricia Lucas, Simon Walters
  • Donna-Lee Harris
    Sport Participation and Wellbeing Among Māori Women in Western and Traditionally Māori Sport
    Supervisors: Dion Enari, Charlotte Jelleyman
  • Warren Ji
    The Impact of Cancelling New Zealand Badminton Open: a stakeholder analysis
    Supervisors: Richard Wright
  • Pawan Marhas
    Pasifika Youth, Sport, and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Aotearoa New Zealand
    Supervisors: Denise Atkins, Michael Naylor
  • Manish Nand
    “Winners are grinners”: a deep dive into the multiple stressors affecting a Super Rugby players’ ability to perform in training.
    Supervisors: Dion Enari, Richard Wright, Kirsten Spencer
  • Gurpreet Singh
    Recruitment philosophies in talent identification in Australian Rugby League pathways systems.
    Supervisors: Dion Enari, Richard Wright, Kirsten Spencer

Master's students

  • Caron Orelowitz (Graduated 2023)
    “If You Can Run a Marathon…”; the Pandemic Inspired Autoethnography of a Problem-Solving Podiatrist
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Kath Godber
  • Max Henderson (Graduated 2023)
    Identifying Unique Brand Associations for a Women’s Major Sporting Event
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Melody Johnston
  • Nathan Thompson (Graduated 2023)
    Understanding the objectives, fit, and leveraging of Touch New Zealand’s sponsors
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Melody Johnston
  • Brooke Pryor (Graduated 2022)
    Understanding the sport participation organisational environment: Squash in New South Wales
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Michael Naylor
  • Braityn Callaghan (Graduated 2022)
    Coach Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Sport Injury Prevention in Youth Basketball
    Supervisors: Chris Whatman, Patricia Lucas
  • Daniel Capeto (Graduated 2022)
    The Motivational Profile of Older Sport Participants
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Melody Johnston
  • Daniel Martin (Graduated 2022)
    Community Club Perceptions of High Performance Sport Pathways
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Michael Naylor
  • Jayson Jooste (Graduated 2022)
    Factors influencing competitive sport withdrawal in youth athletes
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Adrian Farnham
  • Liam Hunt (Graduated 2022)
    Organisational Change: The future of community football club capability within the Northern Region
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Gaye Bryham
  • Susana Sututu (Graduated 2022)
    Pasi-strong: The makings of a meaningful sporting experience for young Pasifika girls in rugby
    Supervisors: Gaye Bryham, Lesley Ferkins
  • Teigan Palmer (Graduated 2022)
    Women in Sport Governance: Perceptions of Inclusion in Cricket in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Melody Johnston, Lesley Ferkins
  • Chris Barron (Graduated 2021)
    Selling the City of Sails: Destination branding through the 2021 America's Cup
    Supervisor: Richard Wright
  • 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
  • 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
  • Gary Putt (Graduated 2020)
    Fun playing rugby! Exploring the meaning of fun in youth sport
    Supervisor: Lesley Ferkins, Michael Naylor
  • Zerui Chen (Graduated 2020)
    Perceptions about the 2022 Winter Olympics in China
    Supervisors: Richard Wright, Kath Godber
  • Fiolla Jashari (Graduated 2019)
    The influence of stadium sponsorship on consumer behaviour. A case study of Eden Park, Auckland
    Supervisor: Richard Wright
  • Siona Fernandes (2017)
    When culture speaks: Exploring Indian migrant PA and sedentary behaviour in Australia (and New Zealand)
    Supervisors: Erica Hinckson, Lesley Ferkins

PhD students

  • Olivia Baudinet (Graduated 2023)
    Exploring the influence of sport participation on the wellbeing of people with limb deficiency
    Supervisor: Lesley Ferkins, Katie Rowe
  • Tracy Molloy (Graduated 2023)
    Topic: The emergence of the board nomination committee as a governance feature of New Zealand national sport organisations
    Supervisors: Lesley Ferkins, Geoff Dickson
  • Javeed Ali (Graduated 2022)
    Topic: Blowing the whistle: Exploring the experiences of early-career rugby referees in New Zealand
    Supervisors: Michael Naylor, Lesley Ferkins
  • 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