Lincoln experts feature in new book on sport

26 January 2022 | News

A team of Lincoln academics have contributed to a new book examining New Zealand's sporting landscape and some of its challenges.

Sport in Aotearoa New Zealand Contested Terrain is a collection of chapters from a range of social scientists around New Zealand who investigate the sporting traditions, successes, systems, "terrains" and contemporary issues underpinning sport here.

It is co-edited by Lincoln University Professor Roslyn Kerr, who also contributes to the introduction, which focuses on New Zealand's reputation as an incredibly successful sporting nation despite its small population and location. However, it also points to a range of challenges beneath the surface, particularly in relation to race, ethnicity and gender.

Although there have been a range of government interventions to help address these issues, they have “largely been hampered by the strength of Aotearoa New Zealand’s neoliberal orientation.”

Professor Greg Ryan contributed a chapter on British Traditions and New Frontiers for New Zealand Cricket which looked at how Māori and Pasifika sport participation was dominated by the rugby codes, netball and softball, and explored contexts around and the motivations of those who embraced cricket, and evaluated "competing explanations for the choices of the many who have not".

Associate Professor Stephen Espiner, and Associate Professor Emma J. Stewart, along with former student and researcher Megan Apse, wrote Outdoor Recreation in an Age of Disruption: Change, Challenge, and Opportunity, which looked at how new technology, natural disasters, socio-demographic change and climate change, as well as the pandemic, have affected outdoor recreation.

It shows that periods of great disruption had the potential to prompt innovation, creativity, and behaviour change, and posed interesting questions for how recreation is undertaken and managed.

Dr Thomas Kavanagh and adjunct associate Professor Robert E. Rinehart contributed The Neoliberal Context and Conditions of New Zealand Sport, which described how the professional sports model that dominates New Zealand sport came about and how public money is used for private profit in sport.

Adjunct Senior Lecturer Koji Kobayashi examined Global/Local Celebrity and National Sport Stardom: Examining Sonny Bill Williams, Brendon McCullum and Lydia Ko in a co-authored chapter.

It discussed how the trio are all viewed differently, with Ko often under public pressure to "renew, reconfirm and recommit her national allegiance".

Find out more about studying Sport and Recreation at Lincoln here.