The Collaboration

The researchers from the UK come from three universities: Coventry, West of Scotland and Worcester).

The Japanese network members are drawn from four universities based in or around Tokyo: Juntendo, Ritsumeikan, Tsukuba and Waseda, as well as one publicly-funded non-academic research body: the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Research Group.

The Japanese group also includes the founding Director of the Co-Innovation Laboratory (COIL) who acts as a stakeholder representative and a direct conduit to groups of PWD in Tokyo with whom COIL work towards achieving an inclusive society.

Both the UK and Japanese networks include experienced and early career researchers as the project is designed to make this area of research sustainable over the long term by involving and developing the capacity of young researchers who will lead the field in the years to come.

The two groups of researchers are following a programme of knowledge exchange and collaborative research planning (in both the UK and Japan), assisted by other key stakeholders including PWD and policy makers in Japan, to which various members of the overall network already have access.

This will culminate in a planned longitudinal programme of collaborative research to take place before, during and up to three years after the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games that will form the basis for a larger funding application to be written as the final part of the proposed project.

The Research Team

Dr Ian Brittain (Coventry University) is a sports sociologist and historian and highly experienced researcher in the field of disability and Paralympic sport. He has an international reputation in the field and has attended every summer Paralympic Games since Sydney 2000. He is also the Heritage Advisor to the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) and has been visiting Japan since 1992. He will be the project lead and principal investigator.

Dr Simon Gerard (Coventry University) specialises in sports management. He is an early career researcher who for his PhD applied organisational theory to a historical analysis of the Paralympic movement to try and explain its development. He will be supporting Dr Brittain to run the project and as well as acting as a co-investigator.

Professor David McGillivray (University of the West of Scotland) is a highly experienced researcher whose research focuses on the contemporary significance of sporting events as markers of identity and mechanisms for the achievement of wider economic, social and cultural externalities. For the last five years, he has been part of a major UK/Canada research project exploring the relationship between major parasport events and sustainable community outcomes, which has culminated in a new book, Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities (2018, Routledge). He will act as a mentor and co-investigator on the project.

Professor Gayle McPherson (University of the West of Scotland) is a highly experienced researcher whose interests revolve around the public policy interventions of the local and national state in events and festivity of all types and the social and cultural impact of events and culture on communities. She is also interested in the role of art, sport and culture in creating soft power change through cultural diplomacy, both through state and non-state actors. She will act as a mentor and co-investigator on the project.


Dr Andrea Faull (University of Worcester) is a sports psychologist and experienced researcher whose research focusses upon applied practice and the examples that this can bring to the classroom in order to make her classes exciting, relevant and interesting to her students, particularly in the area of inclusive coaching practice. She also designed and launched the Push2Health programme, a physical activity intervention programme aimed at individuals in the community with a physical impairment. She will act as a mentor and co-investigator on the project.

Miki Matheson is a member of the Education Committee of the International Paralympic Committee and a project manager at the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre. She is a certified teacher who believes that the combined power of sport and education can help create a better world. Matheson plays a key role in the creation, promotion and implementation of the I’mPOSSIBLE education programme. I’mPOSSIBLE is the official IPC Paralympic education toolkit of resources designed to engage young people in the Paralympic Movement. She has been passionate about sport all her life and knows the power of sport inside out. She suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of 20 in a traffic accident and became a wheelchair user. Sport has helped her put herself back together, and she became a three-time Paralympic Games gold medallist and world record holder in ice sledge speed racing at the Paralympic Winter Games 1998 in Nagano. Matheson was recently appointed a member of the IOC’s Olympic Education Commission. She aims to leave a positive influence in her home town of Tokyo – where the 2020 Games will be held – through both Olympic and Paralympic education to make new inroads for a better, more inclusive world for all.

Dr. Athanasios (Sakis) Pappous is a Reader (University of Kent)   His research interests focus on the social and psychological aspects of physical activity and health, with a special interest on using sport as an integrative tool to promote inclusion of disadvantaged groups. Dr. Pappous, is a multilingual academic with s strong European academic background which has been enriched by studies and professional experience in five European countries Greece, Spain, France, Bulgaria and the UK.    During the  Rio 2016 Paralympic Games he received a Newton Fund award and coordinated a project worked  aimed to use the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games to promote inclusion. He will is be co-investigator in this project, focusing on the media coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Dr Tadashi Watari (Juntendo University) is a sports sociologist and an early career researcher, with a strong interest in the area of disability and Paralympic sport. His research focusses upon the perceptions of people with disabilities regarding sport taking a qualitative life history approach as well as media discourse analysis of the way sport for people with disabilities is presented in a variety of mediums. He will act as a project assistant and co-investigator on the project.

Ms Hanae Endo (Nippon Foundation Paralympic Research Group) specialises in sports development. She is an early career researcher, who has been a research fellow with the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Research Group for nearly four years and has recently started as a part-time lecturer in community sports at Hosei University. She is also completing a PhD in sports development (part-time) at Waseda University. She will act as a project assistant, interpreter and co-investigator on the project.


Mr Daisuke Hashimoto (Founding Director – Co-Innovation Laboratory) specialises in diversity and inclusion and social participation through sports for people with disabilities – Stakeholder representative and direct conduit to people with disabilities. He have been engaged in activities to use sport and physical activity as a tool since 2013, especially to promote social participation of person with disabilities through sport and physical activities. His organisation undertakes instructor training by request of local sports organizations regarding how to introduce sports for the beginner with disabilities.

Yuta Saito (Hokkaido College of Medicine and Sport). Yuta specialises in the coaching of wheelchair sports. He currently works at the Hokkaido College of Medical and Sports and has an interest in adapted sports provision, and managing inclusive sport. He works with the Japan Wheelchair Softball Association and is also a contributor to the Japanese Society of Lifelong Sports. Yuta spend time in the US learning about adapted sport in 2018 at the University of Texas at Arlington. Yuta will act as a project assistant on the project