Celia has conducted research with the understanding that advocacy for change needs a strong evidence base. Celia has produced academic and non-academic research that has influenced sport policy on both gender equality and child protection in sport. She has also influenced the development of research through her publications, mentoring, and support of other researchers working in both fields

Celia's work


Spoilsports: Understanding and Preventing Sexual Exploitation in Sport (1998-99) 

A groundbreaking publication by Celia. It presents a combination of theoretical perspectives and practical guidelines on addressing abuse in sport. In this book, Celia also writes about her experience as a researcher working on this difficult topic.

Some chapters of Spoilsports are included in a compilation on Safeguarding Children in Sport published by Routledge (pp37-71).

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A tweet by Sport and Leisure News after Celia's Sportswoman of the Year award, illustrating the impact of her research

2002 & 2003 FA Child Protection research reports

Research reports for the first two years (2002 and 2003) of the five-year research project investigating the impact of child protection policies, practices and advocacy within the Football Association. The reports provided evidence to the FA for change or continued implementation of child protection and related policies.

The FA’s Child Protection in Football Research Project 2002-2006: rationale, design and first year results

A research article published in Managing Leisure Journal in 2006. The article highlights the general context of child protection in sport and provides a background to the FA’s child protection research project.

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Celia receiving her professorship from Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education in 1995

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Celia listening to questions and comments during a panel discussion at a conference

Sex offending in sports: A whole new ball game?

A paper presented in 2003 at the 22nd Annual Research and Treatment Conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers held in St.Louis, Missouri in the USA. In this paper, Celia presents an overview of the complexities of dealing with abuse in sport such as the closed culture of sport and the various ways in which different stakeholders have constructed the problem.

Abuse in Sport: Selected writings by Celia Brackenridge

A compilation of some of the works that Celia produced between 1986 and 2016 that has not been published or broadly circulated before. The compilation includes research articles, rejected publication submissions, advocacy pieces and a chronology of Celia’s publications on Abuse and Sport.

Who rules sport? Gender divisions in the power structure of British sports organisations from 1960

A research paper co-authored with Anita White (co-founder of the AWF) and published in the International Review of Sociology of Sport in 1985. The article was ground breaking as it drew research attention to the under-representation of women in leadership of sport in Britain.

The Celia Brackenridge Collection

This collection of Celia’s works is housed at Brunel University. It includes reports, policy documents, research articles, and anonymised transcripts and data. This collection was established in order to maintain a record of resources and data about child protection in sport research, policy, and advocacy in the UK

Women and Sport - A Chronology of Outputs
A comprehensive list of papers and speeches by Celia on the subject of women and/or gender and sport

Dr. Helen Owton is a lecturer at the Open University and has published research on abuse in sport. Dr. Owton speaks about the support and influence Celia has had on her as a researcher working on this subject.

In Celia's words

"Whether or not sport is a distinctive setting for sexual abuse has yet to be demonstrated. What is clear right now, however, is that sex offending in sport has been overlooked for too long at the level of policy and prevention work and that more could and should be done to develop prevention programs"

An extract from Sex Offending in Sports: A Whole New Ball Game, a presentation by Celia o the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers in October 2003

Appreciation of Celia

Lucy Piggott and Lombe Mwambwa - former doctoral students at the University of Chichester

“'Who Rules Sport?’ was the first research paper of its kind that focused on the under-representation of women within British sports leadership. This paper was hugely important in identifying a lack of gender diversity within sports leadership as a problem which requires attention and change. The questions asked within this paper are still relevant today, and over 30 years later we are turning attention from who rules sport, to finding out more about why men continue to ‘rule sport’, and how we can change these patterns of female representation.”