Event highlights wide field of sport and rec research

30 September 2022 | News

Esports, altitude training, Northern Ireland sectarianism and the resilience of trampers all featured at last week's 11th Annual Lincoln University Sports and Recreation Forum.

Master of Applied Science-Parks, Recreation and Tourism student Jenn Benden (pictured above), with game console in hand, shared how she is examining public attitudes and perceptions of Esports in New Zealand, and how their popularity may not be reflected in the media, or in the public recreation facilities we have.

She also dismissed some of the stereotypes about the genre, such as gamers being unhealthy, and that it dominated their time.

The wide gamut of work highlighted at the event followed a presentation by keynote speaker Commonwealth Games Federation CEO, and Lincoln alumna, Katie Sadlier.

The former Olympian related her journey from synchronised swimmer, Parks and Recreation Management student, and world women's rugby boss to her current position, and emphasised being open to opportunity.

Dr Tom Kavanagh, a lecturer in the Department of Tourism Sport and Society, related some of his research while playing for a rugby club in Northern Ireland. He studied his team mates to gauge their wider societal attitudes and how the sporting culture influenced them, particularly in regard to other ethnic groups and religions, and with the history of sectarianism in the country.

Dr Tom Kavanagh, left, Lydia Michela-Maireriki, Hoani Smith, Katie Sadlier, and Jenn Benden in a question and answer session led by Professor Mike Hamlin.

PhD student Hoani Smith discussed his research into how women basketballers performed when variables such as altitude changed and how this can be used to maximise future performance.

Finally, Lydia Michela-Maireriki, also a PhD candidate, asked how resilient New Zealand outdoor recreationists were, and found most were confident in their own abilities, and thought they could cope with adversity.

The event also featured a presentation for 2021 and 2022 DOC Parks and Outdoor Recreation Major Scholarship recipients with Lynnell Greer, Lincoln alumni and DOC’s Visitor Advice Manager, handing out certificates.

The University has a long history in the delivery of parks and recreation programmes, and introduced the revamped degree major in 2018, largely in response to a widely acknowledged skill shortage in the parks management sector. DOC launched the scholarship to support Lincoln students at the same time.

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