Personal profile

Research interests

Sarah is a Cultural Sport Psychologist. In her research, she adopts a narrative approach, studying how sports people draw upon culturally available narratives to make sense of their experiences and to construct their identities.  In her PhD, Sarah utilised narrative as a way of studying peak experiences in sport, analysing how positive subjective experiences are constructed, understood and shared through cultural story-telling. Post PhD, Sarah has continued to engage with narrative psychology, exploring how narratives serve as guides across various transitions in sport, including becoming a student athlete and dealing with sporting mid-life. Most recently, Sarah has been working within the broader context of athlete mental health, using narrative to understand the positive and negative impact of cultural stories on athletes’ identities and health. In particular, she is interested in the intersectional nature of identities, the power dynamics around cultural resources and the opportunity to use narrative to decolonise problematic cultural stories to support behaviour change for health. Current research projects are focused upon the use of narrative to explore the alcohol-sport nexus. Sarah is also currently contributing to a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to design an app to monitor athlete mental health.


Sarah has lectured in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Northumbria University since 2001. During that time she has occupied several leadership roles, including Director of Programmes and Head of Department. Sarah is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 5 accredited coach, a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and is on the Health and Care Professions Council Register (Practitioner Psychologist).  She is also a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP).

Sarah has worked as a sport psychology consultant for athletes and coaches across a range of sports at both National and International level. In particular, she has provided sport psychology support to England Badminton, England Athletics and professional rugby.  Sarah has expertise in narrative psychology and uses this perspective to research and support the mental health and well-being of athletes.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Sports Science, PhD

30 Jun 200131 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2001


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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