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Northumbria sport management academic voted to international committee role

14th June 2021

Dr Ruth Crabtree from Northumbria University, Newcastle, has been appointed to the Development Committee of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education - a global umbrella organisation for sport, sport science, and physical education.

The International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) is the world’s largest network of organisations and institutions concerned with sport, sport science and physical education, representing millions of people worldwide. Established in the late 1950s, it seeks to encourage cooperation between scientists, policymakers and practitioners while integrating research in physical activity and sport and supporting the application of its results.

During ICSSPE’s 30th and most recent General Assembly, Ruth Crabtree, Principal Lecturer in Sport Management in Northumbria’s Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, was appointed to the Development Committee for four years. Recognised as the strategic and scientific drive of ICSSPE, the Development Committee is formed by representatives from international member organisations, universities and individual members.

Dr Ruth Crabtree

Speaking about her new role, Dr Crabtree said, “It is an honour to be elected to work within an internationally recognized organisation that aligns with my personal values of inclusivity, equality, and cooperation. I very much value the work that ICSSPE undertakes and will relish the opportunity to play a working role in helping to achieve their strategic vision.

“As with all work I undertake with external organisations, I also look forward to developing opportunities for Northumbria staff and students too, whether that be attendance to conferences and events or exploring the potential for work placement opportunities”, she added.

Dr Crabtree 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.

Throughout her career Dr Crabtree has been involved with many global sport organisations. As well as sustaining her role as a voluntary European Association of Sport Management (EASM) board member for 10 years, including the position of the EASM treasurer as well as the position of EASM Vice-President, she also recently received the EASM’s prestigious ‘Distinguished Service Award’ - only the second person to have ever received the accolade.

Dr Crabtree is currently the Vice-President of the World Association of Sport Management and also previously held the position of Advisor to the African Sport Business Association.

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, Dr Crabtree 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. She is also currently focusing on research around sport management pedagogy, including student engagement and excellence in learning and teaching.

Rosa López de D'Amico, ICSSPE Board member 2012 - 2021, former Chair of the International Committee for Sport Pedagogy and of the Editorial Board, said: “Dr Ruth Crabtree comes from the World Association of Sport Management - the first time that a member of this organization is part of the ICSSPE Development Committee - and she brings a lot of experience and expertise, particularly with regards sport management pedagogy.

“Ruth has extensive experience in international work with diverse academies and organizations across the globe, which will be of great benefit to developing and delivering the ICSSPE strategic plan.

“She has worked in many countries that are often under-represented on the world stage and is an advocate for inclusion and diversity, so it is an excellent opportunity to connect with and include the sport management movement from all regions.”

For more information about Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at Northumbria University please visit

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