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International recognition for Northumbria sport management academic

15th October 2019

A sport management academic from Northumbria University, Newcastle, has been awarded a Distinguished Service Award by the European Association for Sport Management.

The European Association for Sport Management (EASM) was established as an independent association of people involved or interested in the management of sport.

It aims to promote and encourage scientific research into sport management and to develop professional practice, teaching and learning excellence in the subject. The Association works with many international sport federations, non-government organisations and higher education institutions, as well as the sport management industry.

The EASM Distinguished Service Award is intended to acknowledge the value and contribution made in fulfilling the aims of EASM within a voluntary capacity.

Only the second person to have ever received the accolade, Ruth Crabtree, Head of International Development for Northumbria’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, was presented the award during the 27th European Sport Management Conference in Seville.

Ruth has an international reputation and extremely strong academic credibility as a sport management educator and has been teaching in Higher Education for over 20 years. 

She is often asked to contribute internationally to strategically develop the discipline of sport management. Examples of this include designing academic curriculum for programmes across the world and advising international sport think tanks such as the Doha Goals Forum, which is the premier platform for world leaders to advance social initiatives through sports. 

Well recognised as having a deep understanding of inter-cultural views and how this can impact upon strategic development, Ruth is also often invited to conferences and symposiums to present her views and ideas on how to advance sport management across the globe.

Her research specialises in sport tourism, in particular how to manage national parks and tourism in countries such as Australia, North America and New Zealand. The Northumbria academic is currently researching student engagement within Higher Education and the changing nature of the student body and how this can impact upon student’s learning.

Throughout her career Ruth has been involved with many global sport organisations. As well as sustaining her role as a voluntary EASM board member for 10 years, including the position of the EASM treasurer as well as the position of EASM Vice-President, she currently holds the prestigious posts of Vice-President of the World Association of Sport Management and Advisor to the African Sport Business Association.

After stepping down from the EASM board last year, Ruth was thanked for her dedication to the organisation and honoured with the Distinguished Service Award.

EASM honorary President Per Göran Fahlström described the award winner as “one of the unsung heroes, who stays in the background while being one of the most important drivers for the development of the association.”

Fahlström continued, "The EASM Distinguished Service Award 2019 is presented to Ruth Crabtree as recognition for her significant involvement and outstanding service to the European Association for Sport Management. Ruth has worked for and helped develop EASM over many years and in different capacities. Her commitment, her leadership style as well as her collegiality and loyalty represent the highest standards for the work in voluntary organisations like EASM."

Speaking about her award, Ruth said, “It was a real surprise and honour to receive the award from EASM and it has been a privilege to work with leading scholars and academics from across the globe.  Working strategically and having the ability to implement good practice and help develop the academic discipline of sport management internationally has been a joy.”

Ruth added, “It has also opened up so many other opportunities for Northumbria staff and students too, who have attended many events ran by EASM including: conferences, summer school, PhD seminars, work placement opportunities, as well as the European Sport Management Quarterly academic journal produced by EASM”.

Northumbria University has an outstanding reputation for sports education. It was one of the first universities in the UK to offer sports degrees more than 40 years ago. The University provides students with state-of-the-art teaching facilities and holds a strong reputation for teaching and research in physiology, strength and conditioning, exercise science and sports management and coaching.

Many of the University’s sports courses are accredited and endorsed by professional associations and national governing bodies, with field trips and work placement opportunities available at organisations which have included the International Olympic Committee, Adidas and the Football Association.

Find out about our Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation courses at Northumbria.


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