Dr Laura Purdy

Senior Lecturer in Coach Education

Research Group and Institute

  • Sport, Work & Health Research Group


Laura Purdy is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sport and Physical Activity and is also a member of the Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport (CPSS).

Laura was awarded a PhD from the University of Otago (New Zealand), an MSc (Leisure Studies) from the University of Illinois (USA) and a Bachelor of Recreation and Leisure Studies (Hons.) from Brock University (Canada).

She joined Edge Hill University in 2013 having previously worked at the University of Worcester (UK) and the University of Limerick (Ireland).


Laura Purdy’s research interest in sports coaching stemmed from her involvement in the sport of rowing. Her work with elite coaches and athletes in several countries (Canada, New Zealand and Ireland) led her to consider the interactions between coaches, athletes and administrators and their contribution to the coaching climate. This scholarship drew attention to power and interaction in the coaching process, coaches’ pedagogical actions and identity construction.

Laura’s subsequent interactions with coaches and athletes led her to consider the various conditions and contexts in which elite/professional coaches and athletes/players operate. As such, her recent projects focus on welfare, representation and advocacy of sport workers (e.g. coaches, athletes/players, etc.) in diverse European contexts.

External Engagement

Laura has contributed to coaches’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in a range of sports and international settings, including the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), Basketball Federation of Kosovo and the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI).

She is on the Editorial Board of Sports Coaching Review and a former Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Graduate Journal of Sport, Exercise & Physical Education Research.

Selected Publications

    • Purdy, L.G. (2018). Sports Coaching: The Basics. Abingdon: Routledge.
    • Kohe, G.Z. & Purdy, L.G. (2018). Analytical attractions and the techno-continuum: Conceptualising data obsessions and consequences in elite sport. Sport, Education and Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2018.1467398.
    • Purdy, L.G., Kohe, G.Z. & Paulauskas, R. (2018). ‘Climate’ change and career identities: Professional basketball players’ experiences of mid-season coach turnover. Sport in Society.
  • Purdy, L.G., Kohe, G.Z. & Paulauskas, R. (2017). Coaches as sport workers: professional agency within the employment context of elite European basketball. Sport, Education and Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2017.1323201.
  • Kohe, G. & Purdy, L.G. (2016). In protection of whose ‘wellbeing’?: Considerations of ‘clauses and a/effects’ in athlete contracts. Sport and Social Issues. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723516633269.
  • Molnar, G. & Purdy. L.G. (eds.) (2016). Ethnographies in Sport and Exercise. Abingdon: Routledge.