Call for Papers | Frontiers Research Topic: “The impact of COVID-19 on Social Inequalities in Sport and Physical Activity”. Call ends November 1, 2022

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About this Research Topic

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s participation in sport and physical activity has been profound. Governments, governing bodies of sport, the media and academic research have suggested that existing barriers to inclusion and equality in physical activity have been enhanced and further complicated by the socio-economic and cultural impacts of the pandemic. Government enforced lockdowns required many sport and leisure facilities and clubs to close their services, meaning opportunities to access physical activity changed dramatically. Whilst there was some evidence of an increase in the number of children participating in physical activity online during the pandemic, Internet access and availability of devices posed a challenge for many.

The goal of the collection is to bring together research that explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nature and extent of the social inequalities that exist in sport and physical activity settings. Such research can identify specific problems that need to be addressed by organisations and practitioners involved in promoting physical activity to social groups both in-person and online who have historically low participation levels and those who have been particularly effected by the pandemic social conditions. This will help to further our understanding of the barriers to participation in physical activity that have been enhanced by the pandemic and, in turn, identify ways in which such barriers can be addressed.

The key issues for submissions to address are how the pandemic has impacted on specific sociological barriers to inclusion and equality in various forms of physical activity including organised sport, leisure activities, forms of exercise and physical education. Specific sociological barriers for contributors to address might include one or more of the following broad areas: socio-economic class, poverty, ‘race’ and ethnicity, disability, gender, age and geography. We are interested in theoretically and/or empirically informed essays from a critical social science perspective that provide new insights into the topic of potential interest to sports organisations and practitioners.

We welcome submissions addressing, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:

      • Physical activity case studies based on the lived experiences of minoritised communities during COVID-19.
      • Organisation / policy responses to widening inequalities in access to physical activity during COVID-19.
      • Innovative methodological approaches to researching the physical activity of minoritised communities during COVID-19.
      • Explorations of the impact of online physical activity interventions during COVID-19.

We particularly welcome submissions by scholars from minoritised communities


Social inclusion, Social exclusion, Barriers to participation, Equality, Inequality, Sport, Exercise, Physical Activity, COVID-19

Topic Editors

Submission Deadlines

      • 1 November 2022 Abstract
      • 20 February 2023 Manuscript

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