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Movement Science and Sport Performance

We focus on the importance of movement skills to facilitate engagement in physical activity, exercise and sport through the life course.  We develop and implement interventions with application to physical education, physical literacy, talent identification and development, community sport amongst others.

Focus of our research

Movement Science and Sport Performance undertakes high quality research and consultancy that is meaningful, impactful and aims to educate, encourage and create positive trajectories of health and performance through movement development, sport involvement and physical activity.

We have a focus on the importance and development of movement skills as enablers for engagement in sport, exercise and physical activity and the associated benefits to health and performance that accompany increasing movement skill development.  Our work spans  laboratory and community based research working with schools, community sports groups, professional sports clubs, national governing bodies of sport, public health and local governments.

Encompassing the whole life cycle, but with specialist expertise working with children and youth, we draw upon the disciplines of motor skill, strength and conditioning, exercise physiology, psychology, biomechanics and implementation science in order to better understand movement and how to get people to move more effectively.


Key researchers

Professor Mike Duncan

Theme Lead

Mike Duncan is a BASES-accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist with research interests in the field of children, physical activity, exercise. He has experience in working with elite athletes in prescribing exercise programmes and evaluating performance and has worked extensively with community groups on topics such as movement skill development, strength and conditioning and physical activity interventions in children and adolescents.

Dr Matteo Crotti

Matteo Crotti is a Research Fellow in Physical Activity and Exercise Interventions with interests in the field of children’s motor competence, physical education pedagogy, assessment of movement, particularly using accelerometery. He has extensive experience working in schools with children and related stakeholders developing and evaluating interventions.

Dr Ricardo Martins

Ricardo Martins is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with a research interest in the field of cognition and affective responses to exercise in childhood. As an early career researcher, his current project focuses on understanding how cognitively demanding exercise might influence general executive function, brain responses, using neuroimaging techniques (i.e., fNIRS), and how to create activities that induce physiological and psychological benefits in childhood.

Dr Sam Oxford

Sam Oxford is an Applied Sport and Exercise scientist and UKSCA accredited strength and conditioning coach who specialises in biomechanics and Strength and conditioning with extensive knowledge and experience in developing and accessing training interventions with both elite and recreational athletes across a wide spectrum of sports and activities.


Project spotlight


Project Name Project Information Project Link
Fundamental Movement Skills, Physical Activity and Obesity in British Children To understand how early development of fundamental movement skills (FMS) might impact on physical activity and body fatness in British children. The Effectiveness of a Primary School Based Badminton Intervention on Children’s Fundamental Movement Skills | Coventry University

The Effectiveness of a Primary School Based Badminton Intervention on Children’s Fundamental Movement Skills

This project examines the effect of engaging in the BWF Shuttle Time programme in relation to children's psychosocial functioning and their current and future engagement in sport and physical activity and health.

Fundamental Movement Skills, Physical Activity and Obesity in British Children | Coventry University

The Effect of Nonlinear Pedagogical Approaches to Enhance Motor Creativity in Early Years Children This project seeks developed and piloted an innovative intervention in early years children. Co-developed with teachers, this intervention evaluates the potential of nonlinear pedagogy (NLP) to support the development of the three pillars of the Early Years Foundation Stage. N/A

Teacher Training intervention to deliver student-centred motor learning pedagogical approaches and improve primary school children’s motor competence and motivation in physical education

This project seeks to implement a pilot trial to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of an online teacher training intervention targeting teacher’s competence in delivering student-centred pedagogical approaches that focus on improving MC and motivation in primary school children.

Coventry University Young Footballers Project We offer the opportunity for children who are involved in grassroots football teams aged 8-16 years to work with us together to better understand movement. Please contact Mike Duncan to express your interest.  N/A
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023