A University of Portsmouth University lecturer has won an award for ground-breaking research in the field of applied sport psychology.

Dr Chris Wagstaff, in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, has been presented with an early career researcher award by the Association of Applied Sport Psychology, the field’s leading practitioner society.

Dr Wagstaff won the Dorothy V Harris Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to innovation, the impact his work has in the field of sport psychology, and the importance of this work in applied settings.

Dr Wagstaff’s work focuses on the organisational psychology of sport and provides insights into the influence of sport organisations and their employees on sporting performance and welfare at the highest level. Collectively, his work ­­– which includes research on employee attitudes and emotions, stress and wellbeing, leadership, and the characteristics of high performance environments – has influenced research, applied practice, and curricula development.

Psychological testing may identify individuals who are resilient and likely to better perform, and those who are more susceptible to increased risk of heat-related illness.

Dr Chris Wagstaff, Sport and Exercise Psychology Pathway Lead

As part of his award, he has been invited to present on his work at the organisation’s annual conference in Florida in October, where he will be officially presented with the award.

Dr Wagstaff said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been chosen as a recipient of this prestigious award. It reflects the supportive research environment that early career researchers enjoy in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science.

“Unfortunately elite sport, like many other areas of life, can include highly challenging circumstances, such as the recent revelations of toxic cultures characterised by allegations of racist and sexual abuse, and it is increasingly apparent that people need to be better prepared for and protected when working in such environments.

“Given this, it is wonderful that our research focused on addressing such challenges has been recognised for its impact on the applied field.”