Kate Dashper and Richard Wright, Lecturers in the UK Centre for Events Management, have been awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Travel and Conference bursary as part of the Sport Tourism Opportunities for Research, Mobility and International Networking Group (STORMING) Initiative.


Kate is one of seven recipients of an ESRC bursary of £750 assistance towards attending the 11th World Leisure Congress in ChunCheon, Korea, in August 2010, where she will present a paper entitled “The Olympic experience from a distance: The case of the equestrian events at the 2008 Games”. Kate’s research draws on interview data with Olympic and Paralympic riders to explore the unusual experience of these athletes at the 2008 Games where, due to strict quarantine rules for the horses, the equestrian events took place in Hong Kong, 1000 miles away from the centre of Olympic action. Kate will consider the extent to which these athletes still felt themselves a part of the Olympic experience and the wider British Olympic team, despite their geographical isolation. Kate’s research focuses on issues of identity, inclusion and exclusion, and considers the ways in which the Olympic and Paralympic Games are more than just sports mega-events: they can also be hugely rewarding social and cultural experiences for all those involved.