Dr Kate Russell

BSc(Hons)(Lanc), SEDA(Coventry), PhD(Coventry), GradCertEdStud(HigherEducation)(Sydney), GradCert(Open(UK))

Honorary Senior Lecturer


Phone: +61 2 9351 7056

Fax: +61 2 9351 2606

Building.Room: A36.402

Research interests

Health and sport

  • Body image and identity

Social structures, inequalities and social justice

  • Gender relations and gender identity
  • Sexuality and sexual identity


Gender, body image, sexuality, sport, identity, sexual health education

Professional biography

See some of Kate's recent work and ideas on her blog 'SportAgender'.


Kate completed her PhD in 2002, investigating the development of body satisfaction and identity among women who play rugby, cricket and netball, and the role that context has in its formation. Key to her findings was the notion of the value attached to the body in terms of its functionality to complete a sporting task. Her work showed how elastic body satisfaction was between a sporting and social context. Subsequently, Kate was awarded a Fellowship of Social Sciences from the NZ–UK Link Foundation (2003), to spend six weeks in New Zealand collecting similar data and continues that work today.

Since joining the University in 2007 Kate’s research has developed to encompass a range of gender, health, education and sporting issues. Current research interests include the negotiation of gender in a range of sporting contexts such as swimming, snowboarding, men’s netball, female boxing, motor cross and BMX.

Kate is currently leading a research project on the 'self representation of female and male athletes', studying the impact of photographic representations of the sporting body on meanings of sporting identity for adult and youth sport participants. 

Kate is also currently involved in a research project looking at the impact of the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme on social inclusion. 

Kate is a chartered sport and exercise psychologist within the British Psychological Society's Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Kate also has extensive experience in delivering Motivational Interviewing to a variety of health professionals and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers MINT

Kate’s current teaching areas focus on sport sociology, sport psychology, community health issues and honours supervision. Kate is also supervising a range of post graduate research students in sport/health sociology and psychology. She has previously worked at the universities of Gloucestershire and Coventry in the UK, delivering a variety of health, exercise and sport related topics.


  • Faculty of Education and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award 2008

  • Faculty of Education and Social Work Teaching Excellence Award 2014

Professional and community roles

  • Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist (C.Psychol), British Psychological Society

  • Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers

Current projects

  • Young Endeavour Youth Scheme: A study to the ways in which social inclusion is embedded within the YEYS. Led by A/Prof Sue Goodwin, with Dr Wayne Cotton
  • The power of self representation of female and male athletes. This study seeks to explore the meanings given to photographic displays of the male and female sporting body, what this means for the athletes themselves and to younger athlete groups.
  • LGBTQI Pre-service teacher experiences. This study seeks to understand the experiences of those pre-service teachers who identify as LGBTQI. In particular it aims to explore the ways in which issues around gender and sexuality are addressed by their education program and practicum experiences in addition to exploring the ways they may have to negotiate their identity in a school context.
  • Media analyses of gender in sport. Including Olympic women boxers, Olympic women BMX riders and XGames motocross rider Ashley Fiolek.

Current research students

Project title Degree Research student
A post-structural Foucauldian analysis of obesity discourses in weight-loss centres PhD Brittany Johnson
Boys, masculinity and body practices in elite schools: The role of sport, health and physical education. PhD Rachel O'Brien (Scheuer)

Selected publications


Book chapters

Journal articles

  • Rawlings, V., & Russell. K. (2012). Gender control- (Re) framing bullying, harassment and gender regulation. University of Sydney Papers in Human Movement, Health and Coach Education, 1, 17–27.
  • Johnson, B & Russell, K. (2012). The construction of gendered bodies within competitive swimming: A Foucauldian perspective.. Psychology of Women Section Review, 14(2), 26–33.
  • Russell, K & J, Lemon. (2012). ‘Doing jibber’: female snowboarders negotiate their place in the snow . Asia-Pacific Journal for Health, Sport and Physical Education, 3(3), 239–252.
  • Brackenridge, C., Pawlaczek, Z., Bringer, J. D., Cockburn, C., Nutt, G., Pitchford, A., and Russell, K. M. . (2005). Measuring the impact of child protection through Activation States. Sport, Education and Society, 10(2), 239–256.
  • Russell, K. M. . (2004). On vs Off the pitch: The transiency of body satisfaction among female rugby players, cricketers, and netballers. Sex Roles, 51, 561–574.
  • Brackenridge, C., Bringer, J., Cockburn, C., Nutt, G., Pitchford, A., Russell, K. M., and Pawlaczek, Z. . (2004). The Football Association’s Child Protection Research Project 2002-2006: Rationale, Design and First Year Results. Managing leisure: An International journal, 9, 30–46.
  • Pitchford, A., Brackenridge, C., Bringer, J. D, Cockburn, C., Nutt, G., Pawlaczek, Z., and Russell, K. M. . (2004). Children in Football: Seen but not heard. Soccer and Society, 5(1), 43–60.

Conference papers

  • Rawlings, V., & Russell, K. (2012). Gender regulation and social realities in contemporary high schools. . In . Manchester, UK, 4-6 September 2012.
  • Attenborough, T., & Russell, K. (2012). Negotiating new sporting experiences: An inquiry into the factors influencing men’s participation on netball. . In Third International Conference on Sport and Society. Cambridge, UK, 23-25 July 2012.
  • Burns, K., & Russell, K. . (2009). Producing the self-managing girl-citizen in a climate of ‘healthy’ living . In North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. Ottawa, Canada, 4-7 November 2009.
  • Russell, K. (2009). Pre-service PE teachers: Femininity in the classroom. In North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. Ottawa, Canada, 4-7 November 2009.
  • Russell. K. M. (2002). Perceptions of femininity and the lesbian label: Positive and negative interpretations. . In Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology, 2002 Conference proceedings (pp. 109–109). Tucson, Arizona, 30 Oct - 3 Nov 2002.
  • Russell, K. M. . (2001). The impact on self-identity: female participation in cricket. In Journal of Sport Sciences British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Conference communications (19pp. 86–87). Liverpool, 29 Aug - 1 Sept 2000.
  • Russell, K. M. . (2000). Body on the line’: The impact of women’s participation in rugby. In Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology, 2000 Conference proceedings (pp. 54–55). Nashville, Tennessee, 18 - 22 Oct 2000.