About Us

We want to expand our research beyond the data and statistics by having you tell us about your real-life experiences of participating in sport and physical activity.

Furthering the Story...

Increased sport and physical activity participation is typically treated as an important legacy for hosting a major parasport event. Yet research that examines these claims of positive long-term impacts on sport participation post-event is almost non-existent.

In this research project, we examine the impact of major parasport events on sport participation for persons with disabilities in the host cities once the event is complete.

For purposes of comparison, two cities have been chosen – Glasgow, Scotland which hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada which hosted the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan American Games.

 

 

The Project Echo Research Team

The Project Echo Research Team has been working together since 2012. The team came together around a common purpose of conducting research on disability sport events and social change. The project that brought them together focused on two large scale events: the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Toronto PanAm/Parapan American Games. The project involved an examination of leveraging strategies around parasport opportunities and accessibility developed for each Games. The team conducted over 40 interviews, 7000+ surveys, 3000+pages of document analysis, and 20 days of onsite observation. The team was afforded unparalleled access to the events and personnel associated with the organizing committees and legacy organizations. Numerous scholarly publications, conference presentations, media spots, and invited presentations resulted from the project. This culminated in the publication of Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities in 2018. 

Laura Misener, Director and Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology, Western University of Western Ontario

Laura Misener

Director and Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology, Western University of Western Ontario

Laura Misener is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Kinesiology at Western University (London, Ontario, Canada). Her research focuses on how sport and events can be use as instruments of social change, with an emphasis how sport for persons with a disability can positively impact community accessibility and social inclusion. She serves as a research and policy advisor to a number of disability sport organizations focused on broadening the role of sport in postive social outcomes. Her most recent book publications include Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities (Routledge, 2018) and Global Sport Leadership (Routledge, 2019). Laura is a mother of two children – Bronwyn (8) and Alex (11) and is married to a rock hunter (Oz the geologist who also works at Western). As a family they spend as much time outdoors as possible climbing rocks, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing!
Gayle McPherson, Professor and Research Chair, Events and Cultural Policy and Director of the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events, University of the West of Scotland

Gayle McPherson

Professor and Research Chair, Events and Cultural Policy and Director of the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events, University of the West of Scotland

Professor Gayle McPherson holds a Research Chair in Events and Cultural Policy and is Director of the Centre for Culture, Sport and Events at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). Her research interests focus on the policy interventions of Governments in sport events and festivity and the social and cultural impact on communities, particularly in relation to creating public value. She is currently involved in an ESRC research study is Building Japanese research capacity around disability studies and sport to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities - 2020 and beyond. Her most recent book is as a Co-author: Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities (Routledge, 2018). She has a partner who is also a Professor and a 15-year old son who plays pro-youth football, keeping us busy. She enjoys running and walking in the hills of Scotland.
David McGillivray, Research Chair, Events and Digital Cultures, University of the West of Scotland

David McGillivray

Research Chair, Events and Digital Cultures, University of the West of Scotland

David McGillivray holds a Research Chair in Event and Digital Cultures at University of the West of Scotland. His research focuses on the significance of events and festivals (sporting and cultural) economically, socially and culturally. He is interested in the ways in which major and mega sport events can be more effectively leveraged to produce meaningful social outcomes. David also possesses expertise in the development of strategy and policy for organisations in their use of digital and social media, including digital storytelling techniques. He is co-author of Event Policy: From Theory to Strategy (Routledge, 2012), Event Bidding: Politics, Persuasion and Resistance (Routledge, 2017) and Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities (Routledge, 2018). He is married (to Claire) and has three (very) active young sons.
David Legg, Professor and Chair, Faculty of Health, Community and Education, Department of Health and Physical Education, Mount Royal University

David Legg

Professor and Chair, Faculty of Health, Community and Education, Department of Health and Physical Education, Mount Royal University

David Legg is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical and Health at Mount Royal University in Calgary. He is the Past President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and past board member for the 2015 Pan Parapan American Games in Toronto. David has also served on the International Paralympic Committee’s Sport Science Committee and is incoming President of the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity. More recently as a consultant, David worked with the Calgary BidCo for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games. David is married to Julie (for over 20 years), lives in Cochrane, Alberta where is attempting to help raise three teenage sons and provide enthusiastic support for their varied interests ranging from bagpipes to paintball and truck renovations.