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Personal profile

Academic Biography

I’m a senior lecturer in sport and exercise and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I was previously a researcher at Teesside on an enhancing the physical activity of children project, and completed my PhD in the relationship between English national identity and football fans. I am passionate about the study of sport and its place in society and use my research publications and experience to inform all of my teaching. My main areas of research and teaching expertise are the sociology, theology and history of sport. My research interests revolve around Christianity; English/British national identity; globalisation; fandom; media; violence/hooliganism; disability; football; endurance sport (particularly running and cycling); and qualitative research methods (particularly those using new technologies). I am the author of four books, have published in a range of international peer reviewed journals and have chapters in other books on these topics. I became a Christian during my PhD studies and have recently been involved in developing a Christian Sociology of Sport. I am currently leading a research project aiming to enhance the inclusion of disabled children and young people in physical education in England.

Summary of Research Interests

Tom's research interests are in the sociology, theology and history of sport subject areas and revolve around: Christianity; English/British national identity; globalisation and European integration; fandom; media; violence/hooliganism; disability; football; endurance sport (particularly running and cycling); and, qualitative methods (particularly those using new technologies).

PhD and Research Opportunities

Dr Gibbons currently welcomes applications from potential PhD candidates in any aspect of the sociology, theology and/or history of sport.

External Roles and Professional Activities

Tom is a member of the British Sociological Association (BSA) Sport Study Group.

External Research Collaborations

Tom has collaborated with academics from HE institutions across the UK, Europe, North America, Canada and New Zealand on a variety of research projects which have led to both books and journal articles.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Tom is currently link tutor for some of the sport-related foundation degree programmes delivered at the university's partner colleges.

Tom is also the convener of the 'Sociology of Sport Research Group' which aims to provide a supportive environment to encourage, challenge and inspire students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) to further their research journeys into the exciting world of the sociology of sport.

Tom is a University Mentor and works with staff (both internal and external to the University) to help them develop their research. 


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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