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Andy Smith is Professor of Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health and Director of the Centre for Mental Health, Sport and Physical Activity at Edge Hill University. He is also a REF UoA Coordinator and Chair of the national Mental Health and Wellbeing group hosted by the Sport for Development Coalition.

Research interests

Andy’s research focuses on the links between sport, physical activity and mental health in local communities and educational contexts, and in professional sport settings. In so doing, his research explores how place-based and systems-level change can help narrow mental health inequalities and promote positive mental health. Andy's work has informed the work of community and professional sport and health organisations, the UK Select Committee’s Suicide Prevention report (2017), Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s MBE Duty of Care in Sport Review (2017), and the government policy brief, Moving for Mental Health, which he co-authored with Dr Florence Kinnafick and Dr Eva Rogers. His research also underpinned the receipt of several awards, including in the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community award at the 2016 Times Higher Education Awards, silver medal at the 2020 Sports Business Awards, the Mental Health and Wellebing award at the 2022 Educate North Awards, and the 2022 Tackling Health Inequalities award from the NIHR ARC North West Research and Innovation Awards.


Andy manages the undergraduate sport management and coaching programmes, and is Programme Leader for the MSc Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health.

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
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Liverpool

… → 2006

Sociology of Sport, MA, University of Leicester

… → 2002

Sports Studies, BSc, Staffordshire University

… → 2001

Other positions

Reader in the Sociology of Sport, University of Chester


Research Institutes

  • Institute for Social Responsibility

Research Centres

  • Sport and Mental Health Research Centre

Research Groups

  • Sport, Work and Health Research Group
  • Sport, Physical Activity, Health & Wellbeing


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