Dr. Andrea Bundon’s Research Group

Our research spans the fields of the sociology of sport and critical disabilities studies. Using qualitative and participatory research methodologies, we explore the intersections of sport, physical activity, health, disability and social inclusion/exclusion.

Welcome and we hope you enjoy learning more about the work we do!

– Andrea Bundon, PhD

Current Projects

Invisible Me: A Socio-Cultural Exploration of Women in Paralympic Sport

Women have been part of the Paralympic Movement since the first sports games for the disabled were held at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948. Historically, there are many examples of women taking on central roles in the movement as athletes, coaches, policy-makers and ambassadors. Yet there are growing concerns that women’s progress in all roles within disability sport is in decline. This project, funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) explores the involvement of women in Paralympic sport in the past, present and future.

Currently wheelchair basketball is a 5 versus 5 sport, however, the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) are keen to explore alternative game formats for inclusion in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The purpose of this research is to develop research evidence to support the decision regarding which game format to adopt for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. This includes soliciting input from athletes, coaches and sport officials currently involved in the sport at an elite and international level.

This research project is being carried out by the Peter Harrison Centre (PHC) for Disability Sport at Loughborough University. Leading the research are Professor Vicky Goosey-Tolfrey and Dr. Marry Mason. Dr. Andrea Bundon, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia (Canada) and an affiliate of the PHC is leading the interview component of the study.

Barriers and Facilitators Encountered by Canadians with Disabilities when Pursuing Sport Coaching Opportunities

A key element of the integration of para-sport within the mainstream Canadian sport system included ensuring that coaches were in place to support para-athletes. Accordingly, in recent years, the Coaching Association of Canada has worked with National Sport Organizations to develop and implement training models and other resources specific to coaches working with para-athletes. However, a significant deficit in these approaches is an assumption that the coaches themselves are able-bodied. This research explores the experiences of people with disabilities who pursue coach training and certification. This work is funded by a Hampton New Faculty Research Grant (UBC).

We are currently recruiting participants for this project – please see bit.do/CWAD for more information.

People with Disabilities and Employment in the Fitness Industry

This research will provide novel insights into the barriers and incentives that people with disabilities encounter when pursuing fitness industry employment opportunities. This project will include people with disabilities who are interested in working or currently working in the fitness industry. The aims of the research are (1) to identify the barriers and facilitators that people with disabilities encounter when pursuing fitness industry employment opportunities; (2) to develop recommendations for how to make a gym or fitness studio accessible to and inclusive of fitness professionals with disabilities; and (3) to identify how clients (with or without disabilities) respond to fitness professionals with disabilities.

We are currently recruiting participants for this project – please see bit.do/pwd-FI for more information.

Completed Projects

Para-Athlete Retirement: Insights, Support, Management (Project PRISM)

[Project PRISM update] – Project PRISM is now complete. A big thank you to all the para-athletes who generously shared their stories and experiences with us. You provided the EIS PL team with a wealth of information that will be used to inform their practices and support future para-athletes as they transition out of sport. Below is a link to a visual summary of (some!) of the findings from the research.

PRISM Summary (Final copy)

Athletes retire from sport for a number of reasons. Some leave sport having achieved their goals and ready to pursue new opportunities. Others have ‘unplanned’ retirements due to injury or deselection from the team. Whatever the reason, the Performance Lifestyle Practitioners at the English Institute of Sport endeavour to support athletes in their transition ‘out of sport.’ A key aspect of supporting athletes in their transitional journey involves exploring ‘what is next’ and assisting athletes to consider all the opportunities available to them. Project PRISM engages with retired para-athletes seeking to learn more about their transitions out of sport so that their knowledge and experiences might be used to benefit those para-athletes still in sport. This work is funded by the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport and the English Institute of Sport.

‘Are We Inspired Yet?’ Digital Stories by Young People about Sport and Disability

The motto of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games was Inspire a generation. In fact, it is frequently claimed that a key reason for hosting major sports events is so that young people will be ‘inspired’ by the performances of elite athletes. This project involves working collaboratively with schools, sports and recreation associations and national organizations to host workshops where young disabled people create digital stories related to their experiences of sport and physical activity. These stories will make a unique contribution to the growing body of research documenting the less tangible, non-economic outcomes of hosting mega-sport events and are intended to shape policies and initiatives in the area of inclusive physical activity programming.

This research was funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada and is based out of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport at Loughborough University (UK).

AthletesFirst: Authors, Audiences and Advocates… but Athletes First

This project formed part of my doctoral research at the University of British Columbia. Working collaboratively with five Canadian Paralympians, we created a blog called AthletesFirst where current issues related to the Paralympic Movement were debated. Over 14 months, the blog attracted more than 6,500 readers from 90+ countries and articles originally posted on the blog were regularly shared on the websites of key disability sport stakeholders including that of the International Paralympic Committee. Though the project has ended, the blog is still up and running and we welcome contributions from guest authors. This project was supported by a CGS doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and was conducted in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia.


Andrea Bundon, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education

As an Assistant Professor at UBC in the School of Kinesiology since January 2016, I carry out research in the area of people with disabilities and sport participation. As a critical disabilities scholar, I am committed to work that challenges ableism in the sport sector and that promotes more inclusive practices.
Visit my School of Kinesiology Profile Page here.
View my Curriculum Vitae (Bundon - CV).

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Nikolaus Dean
Research Assistant

Master of Arts (School of Kinesiology)

Current projects:
Invisible Me: A Socio­Cultural Exploration of Women in Paralympic Sport, Past and Present

Mobile Methods For Researching Bodies in Motion seminar series

Research interests:
sociology of sport, concussions, lifestyle sport, sport and subcultures, injury, risk, media, gender.

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Natalie Scadden
Research Assistant

Program: Bachelor of Kinesiology (graduated 2015)

Current projects:
Invisible Me: A Socio­Cultural Exploration of Women in Paralympic Sport, Past and Present

Barriers and Facilitators Encountered by Canadians with Disabilities when Pursuing Sport Coaching Opportunities

Research interests: sports media/journalism, women's sports, socio-cultural sport studies.

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Zeina Elkarsh
Research Assistant

Program: Bachelor of Science (Faculty of Science)

Current projects:
Developing an International consensus statement on wheelchair basketball rules for inclusion in the Commonwealth Games 2022

Joseph O'Rourke
Research Assistant

I am at UBC's School of Kinesiology for the summer from Brisbane, Australia on a Mitacs Globalink Research Internship. I am working on one project full-time in Dr. Bundon's group. I hope to build a strong sport network in Canada - you can view my LinkedIn profile here.

Program: Bachelor of Business - Sport Management/Marketing (Griffith University, Australia)

Current projects:
People with Disabilities and Employment in the Fitness Industry

Research interests: elite athletes, lifestyle sports, high performance sport, sport and subcultures, sociology of sport, gender.

Alex Tham
Research Assistant

Program: Bachelor of Kinesiology

Current projects:
People with Disabilities and Employment in the Fitness Industry

Research interests: sport sociology, sport history, physical activity and disabilities, and health promotion.

Wafa Asadian
Sustainability Scholar

My role in Dr. Bundon’s group is to conduct a literature review regarding the evaluation methods that are being used in social planning for newcomers, particularly in sports and recreation of children and youth. I use the findings from my literature review to develop an evaluation framework for the SocialSport projects. SocialSport is a community integration program for engaging the new Canadians in the society through the sports.

Program: PhD candidate in Human Development, Learning and Culture (Faculty of Education)

Current projects:
Developing an evaluation framework for SocialSport

Research interests: program evaluation, curriculum evaluation, community voices and engagement, health professional education.



Bundon, A., Mason, B. & Goosey-Tolfrey, V. (in press). Expert Users’ Perceptions of Racing Wheelchair Design and Set Up: The Knowns, Unknowns and Next Steps. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly.

Smith, B., Bundon, A. & Best, M. (2016). Disability sport and activist identities: A qualitative study of narratives of activism among elite athletes’ with impairment. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 26, 139-148.

Bundon, A. & Hurd Clarke, L. (2015). Honey or Vinegar? Athletes with Disabilities Discuss Strategies for Advocacy Within the Paralympic Movement. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 39(5), 351-370.

Bundon, A. & Hurd Clarke, L. (2015). ‘Unless You Go Online You’re On Your Own’: Blogging as a Bridge in Para-Sport. Disability & Society, 30(1), 185-198.

Bundon, A. & Hurd Clarke, L. (2014). ‘Keeping Us from Breaking’: Elite Athletes’ Access to and Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 6(1), 121-138.

Hurd Clarke, L., Korotchenko, A. & Bundon, A. (2012). ‘The Calendar is Just About Up’: Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions Reflect on Death and Dying. Ageing & Society, 32(08), 1399-1417.

Bundon, A., Hurd Clarke, L. & Miller, W.C. (2011). Frail Older Adults and Patterns of Exercise Engagement: Understanding Exercise Behaviour as a Means of Maintaining Continuity of Self. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 3(1), 33-47.

Hurd Clarke, L. & Bundon, A. (2009). From ‘the Thing to Do’ to ‘Defying the Ravages of Age’: Older Women Reflect on the Use of Lipstick. Journal of Woman and Aging, 21(3), 198-212.


Bundon, A. (Ed.)(forthcoming 2017). Digital Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise. Routledge.


Bundon, A. (2016). The Web and Digital Qualitative Methods: Researching Online and Researching the Online in Sport and Exercise Studies. In B. Smith & A. Sparkes (Eds.) Handbook of Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise. Routledge.

Bundon, A. (2016). “Talking My Language”: The AthletesFirst Project and the Use of Blogging in Virtual Disability Sport Communities. In M. Kent & K. Ellis (Eds.) Disability and Social Media: Global Perspectives. Ashgate Publishing.

Bundon, A. & Smith, B. (2016). From Inspired to Inspiring: Community-Based Research, Digital Storytelling, and a Networked Paralympic Movement. In S. Gair & A. van Luyn (Eds.) Sharing Qualitative Research: Showing Lived Experiences and Community Narratives. Routledge.

Smith, B. & Bundon, A. (in press). Disability Models: Explaining and Understanding Disability Sport. In I. Brittain & A. Beacom (Eds.) Palgrave Handbook of Paralympic Studies. Palgrave.

Bundon, A. (in press). Blogging and feminist participatory research online. In Mansfield, Caudwell, Watson & Wheaton (Eds.). Handbook of Feminisms in Sport, Leisure and Physical Education. Palgrave.


Bundon, A., Rigas, A., Sparks, R. (September 2015). Paralympic Impacts and Legacies – Invitational Forum 2014, Technical Report. Published by the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Sport and Sustainability in cIRcle digital repository (http://circle.ubc.ca

Bundon, A., (Ed.) (February 2016). Para-Athlete Retirement: Insights, Support, Management, Research Report. Prepared for the English Institute of Sport (Performance Lifestyle division). Loughborough, UK: The Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport (Loughborough University).


Bundon, A. & Ashfield, A. (2016). Life After the Paralympics: Supporting the Out-of-Sport Transitions of Elite Para-Athletes. The Sport and Exercise Scientist. 49, 13.

Bundon, A. (2006). Medical Services Usage at the 2005 Canada Summer Games in Regina. Pulse: The Magazine of the Sport Medicine Council of Alberta, Spring 2006, 10-12.


Dr. Bundon is currently accepting MA and PhD students. To discuss opportunities please contact her at andrea.bundon@ubc.ca. For details on the School of Kinesiology's graduate programs and how to apply please see here.