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Academic the keynote speaker of international Japanese conference

Dr Elizabeth Pike

An ACADEMIC of the University of Chichester has presented a keynote speech at a major Japanese conference about how neoliberal societies can respond to the challenges presented by ageing populations through sport engagement.

Dr Elizabeth Pike, a Reader in the Sociology of Sport and Exercise, presented her research at the international event hosted in Japan, where one quarter of residents are aged 65 or older.

The senior lecturer, whose research focus explores ageing in sport, was the guest speaker of the Japanese Society for Sport Sociology conference attended by researchers and students from across the world. 

Dr Pike said: “One of the greatest demographic challenges facing most nations is how to respond to the increasing population of older people, and this is perhaps nowhere more relevant than in Japan which has a high population of people aged over 65.

“The public health discourse in neoliberal societies promotes individual responsibility to engage in ‘active ageing’ in order to ‘age well’.

“Using the ‘deficit model’ of ageing, the ‘heroic model’ of ageing, and narratives of ageing from my own research, I have outlined how older people can experience ‘authentic ageing’ through sporting activities."

Dr Pike had earlier addressed professors and students at Tokyo Gagukei University regarding her ongoing research about sporting physical activity in later life and gender issues in sport.

The University Reader, who leads the Department of Sport Development and Management at Chichester, also chairs the Anita White Foundation which supports the education and development of women in sport.

Dr Pike is currently in discussions with Tokyo Gagukei University about a possible collaborative research project that could include a staff and student exchange programme.

To find out more about Dr Elizabeth Pike and her research into ageing in sport as well as gender equality visit

Alternatively, for more about the Department of Sport Development and Management at the University of Chichester go to