Team & partners

Palacký University Olomouc

Arnošt Svoboda

Dr. Arnošt Svoboda finished his Ph.D. study at the Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, after defending the thesis “Top-Level Sport and Authenticity: Sport Stars Outside Interest of Media”. Since 2014, he has been with the Faculty of Physical Culture, where he lectures sociology, sociology of sport, sociology of leisure and methodology of social research. In his research, he focuses on the sociology of sport, e.g. sport as a part of the contemporary popular culture, sporting subcultures and lifestyle sports. Arnošt also seeks to apply sociological theory to the field of sport to better grasp the relations between sporting participants and their interests.  Besides the academic work, he has more than ten years long experience in project management.

Simona Šafaříková

Dr. Simona Safarikova works as assistant professor at the Department of Development and Environmental Studies. In 2013 she finished her Ph.D. at the Faculty of Physical Culture (dissertation “The Influence of sport and physical activities on youth development within the context of developing countries (The Kids League, Uganda)"). Her teaching work focuses on qualitative research and sport and development. She is interested in the role of sport in international development and its impacts. She has been active internationally doing research about sport impacts in Uganda and Colombia. Since 2009 she teaches the subject "Sport and Development" to development studies students as well as to sport studies students. She is member of ISSA.

Jana Hoffmannová

Dr. Jana Hoffmannova works as an assistant professor at the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies (Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacky University). Her research area is the domain of action, extreme, adventure and lifestyle or X - sports and activities. She studies this postmodern phenomenon from the perspective of lifespan psychology and uses qualitative research methods. She is a member of the lecturer team and educational committee of Snowsports Education (APUL) - association which is the holder of ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) mark. In her teaching she specializes in the psychological aspects of physical recreation in nature, theory and practice of skiing, snowboarding and ski touring, and mountain biking. Together with Luděk Šebek, Jana co-founded Ride2sCool, z.s., a non—for-profit organization allowing young school age children to cycle to school  enabling by college student volunteers. She is a MTB enthusiast with an instructor licence from PMBIA (Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association). She is recently active in developing a professional education system for MTB instructors in Czech Republic and surrounding countries - a parallel to the established ski education industry.

Luděk Šebek

Dr. Luděk Šebek works as an assistant professor at the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. Since 2001 he has conceived and developed courses in the areas of education and physical recreation in nature. He has designed and implemented a number of international educational projects focused on outdoor sports and play activities in the urban environment. He is a member of international teams of experts dedicated to research on learning in outdoor sports and lifestyle activities. Together with Jana Hoffmannová, Luděk co-founded Ride2sCool, z.s., a non-for-profit organization enabling young school age children to cycle to school  under the guidance of college student volunteers. He is a passionate MTB rider holding an instructor licence from Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association. He is recently leading the efforts towards developing a professional education system for MTB instructors in Czech Republic and surrounding countries - a paralel to the long-established ski education industry. 

Julie Wittmannová

Dr. Julie Wittmannova works at the Department of Adapted Physical Activity (APA) at the Faculty of Physical Culture. She teaches special education courses; sport for athletes with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability; physical activity for elderly and active ageing. In her research, she focuses on quality of life of elderly and persons with disability connected with physical activity. She is involved in Special Olympics, organization which allows athletes with intelectuall disability to be active.

Lenka Dušková

Dr. Lenka Dušková has been working at the Department of Development and Environmental Studies since 12 years. In her teaching and research she focuses on development theories, conflict resolution, the nexus between security and development and international relations. She has done research on the impacts of civil society organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together with Simona Safarikova, they worked on internal evaluation of Czech project "Football for Development".

University of Paderborn

Sabine Radtke

Sabine Radtke is Professor for ‘Inclusion in Sports’ at the University of Paderborn. She received her Ph.D. in sports sociology from the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2006. After that, she was a research fellow at the University of Stirling, an external lecturer at the German Sports University Cologne, a research fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin and a visiting Professor at the University of Giessen. Her research interests include social inclusion in sport and physical education, paralympic and deaflympic sports, talent identification and development as well as cross-cultural comparison.

Marie A. Biermann

Dr. Marie A. Biermann is a sport and international development professional. Her main research areas include the supervision, monitoring and evaluation of sport-in-development projects all around the world. Marie graduated in 2011 at the University of Paderborn in English and Physical Education for teaching and holds a degree in sport sciences. After working in a EU-Project on physical illiteracy, she shifted her focus to sport and international development and conducted a year of ethnographic research on opportunities and limitations of sport-in-development projects in South Africa. Her PhD thesis, completed in 2016, is entitled: “… the power to change the world”? - Analysis of Sport‐in‐Development Programmes in Khayelitsha, South Africa and its Challenges for Research(ers).” After gaining experiences as a research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence in Sport and Development (University of the Western Cape in South Africa) in 2013 and assisting several NGOs in South Africa such as Amandla EduFootball or Girls & Football South Africa as a program evaluator afterwards, she was employed at the German Sports University from 2015 to 2018. During that time, Marie was co-responsible for the planning and coordination of the evaluation activities of various sport and development programs, e.g. ‘Girls Afterschool Leadership Clubs’ in South Africa; ‘Sport for Social Change and Education’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina and GIZ-Sektorvorhaben ‘Sport for Development in Africa‘. Currently, she is affiliated with the working group ‘Social inclusion in Sport and Physical Education’ at the University of Paderborn and simultaneously teaches P.E. and English at a German secondary school.

Laureen Mary Gerhardt

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Laureen is the co-founder and Managing Director of Bom Combat NPO and has been involved in multiple spheres of the NGO sector in Southern Africa for more than 10 years. After her initial involvement at Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Women Abuse, Laureen began her academic career at the University of the Western Cape and graduated with a B.A. in Sports, Recreation and Exercise Science in 2012. In her studies and in her research, Laureen was mainly invested in capacity building and organizational development in the field of sport for development and peace. While completing an additional diploma with The Fundraising Academy in 2014, Laureen worked in different capacities within the NGO sector, predominantly with children and youth in at-risk environments. In this time, Laureen focused her academic and research interest on prevention and intervention programmes for structural inequalities and gender-based violence. In 2015, Laureen furthered her studies and obtained a postgraduate Honours degree in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape and simultaneously set up a structural peer-education programme as project manager for BOXGIRLS South Africa. While being directly involved with monitoring and evaluation of project effects, peer-educator training and curriculum development for best-practice GBV programmes, Laureen’s research focused on the intervention and prevention effects of peer-education programmes and gender-based violence. Recently, her work focused on developing the impact of Bom Combat NPO in tackling violence and violence-related social problems through sport-based interventions in disadvantaged communities in South Africa.

Ferdaus Nayebi

My name is Ferdaus and I’m studying English and Physical Education at the University of Paderborn. Currently I’m working on the Erasmus+ project to share and spread my passion with sport and find many like-minded people from all over the world.

University of Brighton

Mark Doidge

Mark Doidge is Senior Research Fellow in the School of Sport and Service Management at the University of Brighton. He is also currently a trustee of the British Sociological Association and convenor of the Sport Study Group. His current research focuses on the role of sport and leisure in supporting refugees and asylum seekers. Dr Doidge’s research also focuses on political activism among football fans across Europe, particularly anti-racism, supporting refugees, anti-discrimination, anti-violence, and the broader political identities associated with football fandom. He is the author of Ultras: The Passion and Performance of Contemporary Football Fandom (2020 forthcoming, Manchester University Press, with Kossakowski and Mintert), A Short Guide to Sociology (2020 forthcoming, Policy Press, with Saini), Football Italia: Italian Football in an Age of Globalization (2015, Bloomsbury), Collective Action and Football Fandom: A Relational Sociological Approach (2018, Palgrave Macmillan, with Cleland, Millward and Widdop); and co-editor of Sociologists’ Tales (2015, Policy Press, with Twamley and Scott) and Transforming Sport: Knowledges, Practices, Structures (2018, Routledge, with Carter and Burdsey).

Alex Lagutova

She is currently working as the Football 4 Peace Project Officer at the University of Brighton. I am responsible for administratively supporting the team leading the Football 4 Peace project and the Erasmus+ partnership.”


Ansley Hofmann

Ansley is a project coordinator and is an experienced professional with extended expertise in nonformal education, especially with the use of sport as a tool for social development. Since 2016 he coordinates the international side of the project “Fotbal pro Rozvoj” (Footbal for Development). Along his function of project manager he also runs workshops and coaching sessions for educators and youth in the field of non-formal education. He is also a long-term volunteer, with involvement in youth development activities and is co-leading various international projects in the field of development through football. He has grown up in Belgium, studied in the UK and now lives in Prague since 2011.

Sonia Ennafaa

Sonia is the national project coordinator of the project “Football for Development”. She has extensive experience in the management of complex projects and coordination of inter-regional activities. Within her current agenda, she is also in charge of the communication with universities throughout the Czech Republic.

Football for Hope Peace & Unity web

Eric Murangwe Eugene

Eric is a former professional footballer and survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Eric has been one of the leading members of UK Rwandan community since his arrival in the UK in 1997. He has coordinated a number of community programmes that have delivered tangible community results in the area of community cohesion, peace building, community health and wellbeing, and active citizenship both in the UK and Rwanda. Eric is an accomplished speaker and facilitator. He leads UK peace-building workshops during the commemoration period of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda every year in London. He also contributes to and participates in Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations every year, using his story to raise awareness of genocide and inspire hundreds of thousands of young people in the UK. These activities often involve talking to the press and Eric has featured in articles in the Guardian, the Evening Standard and the BBC amongst others.

Evariste Mabimana

Evariste is a Geography and Sports teacher at NYANZA Secondary School in Rwanda. He is also the Head of Community Impact Coaches Program and Southern Region Programme Coordinator for FHPU in Rwanda. Evariste joined FHPU managing team following his successful completion of 3 years training of Play For Hope: Rwanda20; a programme designed to help community leaders, sports coaches and teachers learning how to use football to address topics such as Conflict Resolution and Peace building, Female Empowerment, Child protection & human rights respect, Health and Wellness, including HIV behaviour change as well as alcohol and drug abuse. Evariste gained his Level 2 Certificate in Sport for Social Impact and was qualified as International Community Impact Coach (ICIC) under Coaches Across Continents (CAC) and FHPU training standard.

Zoe Norridge

Zoe is Chair of the Ishami Board of Trustees. A Senior Lecturer at King’s College London, she has spent the last ten years researching cultural responses to the genocide in Rwanda. In 2014 for the twentieth commemoration of genocide she curated the exhibition Rwanda in Photographs at Somerset House, London and presented the award-winning BBC Radio Documentary Living with Memory in Rwanda. Before her career in academia she worked in the voluntary sector with Cancer Research UK, Terrence Higgins Trust and VSO. She is skilled in facilitating educational groups (Oxford, York, King’s), training courses (GRADschools UK) and stakeholder discussions (VSO).

MSIS web

Arkadiusz Kamil Mierkowski

Arkadiusz Kamil Mierkowski works as manager at MSIS he is also a non-governmental activist, promoter of sports volunteering, football3 and non-formal education in sport. He is an active member of the international football4good movement coordinated by streetfootballworld. In the years 2013-2016 he co-authored and manageed the nationwide project "Animator Academy" implemented by the Foundation of Physical Culture Development, financed by the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. In 2013 he won "EDUInspirations" contest organized by the Foundation of the Education System Development. In 2014 Arek completed the prestigious program The Academy of Non-Governmental Organizations Managers - ProMengo. In 2017, European Commission awarded him the title "European Changemaker". He is currently engaged in the implementation of strategic projects of Fair Play Program.

Beata Mierkowska

Beata Mierkowska is a graduate of European Studies at Gdańsk University of Technology and Economics, University of Warmia and Mazury. She has 4 years of experience in sport volunteering. She deals with development sports volunteering among young people, creating sports partnerships in the local arena and international and the promotion of an innovative team game - football3. In the years 2009-2013 was co-organizer and participant of international projects of the European program "Youth in Action. From 2013 to 2016 she was employed at the Foundation for the Development of Physical Culture, which together with the Ministry Sport and Tourism is carried out by the Polish program “Our Orlik”. In the years 2016-2018 she coordinated project Football can make a change - strategy and development of sport social programs in Poland and Czech Republic financed from the Erasmus+ program. Since 2017 she has coordinated the project “Football3 for respect", implemented in cooperation with organizations from Germany, Italy, England, the Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Ireland, France supported by Erasmus+ Sport.

Paweł Zembura

Paweł Zembura is a researcher at the Center of Social Challenges at the University of Warsaw and since 2017 also at MSIS. He conducted the first large studies of consumer behaviour of mixed supporters’ martial arts in Poland. He has been involved in many evaluation projects of the Ministry of Sport and Recreation regarding sport, and co-authored the publication of Poland's Report Card on Physical Activity. He is the first author of the report prepared for this project for 2018. He graduated from master's studies in economic geography at the University Warsaw and Master's and PhD students at AWF Warsaw. During his doctoral studies at the University of Physical Education, he completed internships at the University of Lisbon and at the University Economics in Prague, also co-organized the conference of the European Association for Sport Management 2016 in Warsaw. He co-organized 1 year-long research about Fair Play Program impact. He runs an education platform about the impact social sport called

Play Handball web

Nicola Scholl

Nicola Scholl is the founder of Play Handball, the first Youth Development Organisation through Handball in South Africa. She has started the organisation in 2013 and is developing it to an international organisation operating in South Africa, Kenya and Germany since then. Within this position, Nicola has driven the development of the Play Handball Super Cup as the first climate neutral, zero-waste handball tournament worldwide, as well as created and published the “The Play Fair for The Environment Manual”, a game based environmental educational training programme. In 2018, she worked for the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) as a sport for development expert for a co-operation project with the GIZ in Jordan to compile a Handball & Life Skill Manual for the region. Her mission is to bring handball as a tool for development on the international agenda, help more children and youth to reach their fully potentials through sport and promote good values such as equality, diversity, inclusion, enjoyment in sport and sustainability. Before her engagement in social work, she has gained over seven years of experience in both advertising and retail sectors in Europe, as a business consultant, project manager and media analytics researcher. Nicola holds a Master degree in Science, majoring in Business Administration & Management from the Westfälische Wilhelms-University in Münster, Germany, furthermore possess the Handball Coach B-Licence (of the German Handball Federation) and a Certificate in Fitness and Nutrition.

Associated Partners - Academic Associates

The below mentioned scholars were chosen in order to enrich the Consortium with their knowledge and research focus. Each year of the project two scholars will participate in the Intensive courses.

1st year - focus on sporting megaevents and extreme sports

Billy Graeff

Billy Graeff is lecturer at the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil, where he teaches courses on the sociology of sports and Olympic studies. He is part of the International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA), the International Olympic Academy Participants Association (IOAPA) and the Latin American Association of Sociocultural Studies of Sport (ALESDE). As a scholar-activist, Billy endeavours to connect his academic work to struggles around the world for social justice and human development.

Robert Rinehart

Robert Rinehart is a sport sociologist, earning his PhD from the University of Illinois in 1993. He has studied extreme, action, X sports since the first X Games were run in 1995. He's published Player's All: Performances in Contemporary Sport; To the Extreme: Alternative Sports, inside and Out; Inline Skating in Contemporary Sport: An Examination of Its Growth and Development, among other books. As well, he has written over 30 peer-reviewed articles and/or book chapters concerning alternative sport forms. He recently retired from the University of Waikato (NZ), and worked previously at Washington State University; California State University, San Bernardino; Idaho State University; and the University of Redlands.

2nd year - focus on peace and conflict

Dong Jin Kim

Dong Jin is Irish Research Council Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Co-fund CAROLINE (Collaborative Research Fellowships for a Responsive and Innovative Europe) Fellow at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin. He has taught at the University of North Korean Studies, Hanshin University, and Yonsei University as an adjunct Professor and a lecturer. He has also been working as a policy advisor for the Korean Sharing Movement (KSM). He obtained his PhD (North Korean Studies) from the University of North Korean Studies. His academic background also includes peace and conflict studies (MLitt, University of Sydney) and theology (MDiv & BA, Hanshin University). His research interests are in the area of peacebuilding, humanitarian and development cooperation in the Korean peninsula, and comparative studies of peace processes in the conflict affected countries including Korea and Ireland.

Nico Schulenkorf

Nico Schulenkorf is Associate Professor of Sport Management at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. His research focuses on the social, cultural and health-related outcomes of sport and event projects within and between disadvantaged communities. For several years, Nico has been involved in sport-for-development and health promotion programs in countries such as Sri Lanka, Israel and the Pacific Islands. He has been working with local and international NGOs, Government Agencies, Sport Associations and Ministries in developing capacities to implement, monitor and evaluate development projects. Nico is co-founder and past editor of the Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD) and currently serves on the journal's Advisory Board.

3rd year - focus on monitoring and evaluation and critical approaches to SfD

Cora Burnett

Cora Burnett is a research professor at the University of Johannesburg and holds a doctorate in Human Movement Studies on a topic related to dance ethnology and one in Social Anthropology related to the study of violence in the context of poverty. She is the Director of the UJ Olympic Studies Centre and a Vice-President of the International Association of Sport. She has published more 122 peer-reviewed articles, 65 chapters in books and completed more than 50 international and national research reports - mostly in the field of Sport for Development (SfD). Over the years, she conducted multiple national research project and international research funded by the IOC, Commonwealth Games Federation, European Union, the Australian Sports Commission, and CSI research projects such as the Sport for Social Change Network (SSCN) in more than ten African countries. She has lectured abroad at various universities in the UK, South Korea and Europe. In 2017, she received the Universitas 21 award for Excellence in the Internationalisation of Higher Education.

Simon Darnell

Simon C. Darnell is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto, Canada. His research focuses on the relationship between sport, international development and peacebuilding, the development implications of sports mega-events, and the place of social activism in the culture of sport. He has published widely on the topic of sport-for-development, including The History and Politics of Sport-for-Development: Activists, Ideologues and Reformers (with Russell Field and Bruce Kidd, 2019, Palgrave MacMillan) and Sport for Development and Peace: A Critical Sociology (2012, Bloomsbury Academic). He is currently an Associate Editor of The Sociology of Sport Journal and sits on the editorial boards of five other journals, including the Journal of Sport for Development.

Associated Partners - Other Associated Organisations

The Consortium also collaborates with associated partners who support the project:


Global Sport for Development
and Peace Knowledge Collaborative:
Using sport as a tool for social changes.

The aim of the project is to contribute
to innovation in the area of sport studies
and development studies. 

The project was supported by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union, the Grant Agreement number:


Arnošt Svoboda

Department of Social Sciences in Kinanthropology
Faculty of Physical Culture
Palacky University Olomouc


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