OSS Forums

OSS convene a number of different sports related forums. Contact us if you are interested in getting involved in any of our forums

Research Advisory Group

Media Forum

Business Leaders Forum

Universities Forum

Research Advisory Group

Nick Rowe

OSS Research Advisory Group Chair

Nick Rowe MPhil (Edin) BA (Hons)

Nick took over in 2019 from Professor Davison as chair of the Research Advisory Group for the Observatory for Sport in Scotland, having supported the OSS with research and guidance since its inception. The former Head of Research Strategy at Sport England now provides consultancy services on sport and public policy across Europe, and is a Visiting Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University. His book setting out a new paradigm for sports development, 'Sporting capital: Transforming sports development policy and practice' was published by Routledge in November 2017. He recently published his first major research for OSS, 'Sports participation in Scotland: trends and future prospects', and is leading on the development of new research projects.

Nick was educated at Oxford Polytechnic, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Texas and joined the then Great Britain Sports Council (to become Sport England) research team in 1983 where he remained until June 2012. Whilst at Sport England Nick held the post of Head of Strategy, Research and Planning and Strategic Lead for Research where he was influential in shaping and delivering a world leading national research programme. Nick led the design and delivery of the Active People Survey - the largest sport survey in Europe and was lead author on the Sport England Strategy document ‘The Framework for Sport in England’. He has been influential in international research initiating and for 5 years co-directing the European wide COMPASS project on comparative sport participation statistics. Nick has been the invited speaker at international conferences in China, Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Israel and Spain.

Nick has completed 5 London Marathons and recently completed a 3, 600 bike ride around the cost of Britain. He is the current President of Woodford Golf Club near his home in Essex.

Professor Tess Kay

Jon Best

OSS Research Editor

“I am particularly interested in research that helps remove the barriers to sport access for more people and thoroughly enjoy supporting OSS with advice, research and editorial work.”

Jon Best is a former researcher at the Tourism and Recreation Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh and was then in charge of research at SportScotland for 20 years with a year out as head of research at the Hong Kong Sports Development Board.

He commissioned and managed over 100 substantive projects and edited their reports. These included major evaluations of the Active Schools initiative for some five years, and responsibility for an extensive range of research projects relating to the use of sports facilities; the role of sports clubs; and participation by different social groups that included the management of joint projects with Sport England and UK Sport. He implemented, designed, managed and reported on 20 years of national surveys of sports participation.

An independent consultant with Best and Randak since 2009, he engages in qualitative and quantitative research in the fields of sport and other physical activity including disability. He is on the Advisory Editorial Board of Managing sport and leisure: an international journal.

Henrik H Brandt

Leading European sport researcher

The former director of the Danish Institute for Sports Studies (Idan), Henrik has been at the heart of the development of leading sport research across Scandinavia, including the 'Play the Game' initiative and, since 2013, the Danish Institute for non-Formal Education (Videncenter for Folkeoplysning). In his capacity as a director Henrik was responsible for establishing and building an institute which is today an important knowledge and research centre in the field of Danish and international sports politics and non-formal education, with a large network among media, researchers and stakeholders in the Danish and international sports sector.

Professor Richard Davison

Professor of Exercise Physiology in the School of Science and Sport at the University of the West of Scotland.

Prof. Davison is an internationally-recognised exercise physiologist with over 25 years experience. Specifically he has an international reputation in investigating the factors that influence cycling performance and the physiological responses to cycle ergometry. Other areas of research interest include the use of exercise and physical activity to improve health and quality of life in the general population and clinical groups. He is also an editor of the Journal of Sport Medicine and the Journal of Science and Cycling, former editor of the Journal of Sports Sciences and has published in excess of 50 scientific papers and book chapters and is currently an expert reviewer for the Journal of Sports Sciences, the International Journal of Sports Medicine, European Journal of Sport Sciences, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise the Welcome Trust and the Medical Research Council. He is a Fellow and former Chair and Honorary Treasurer of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and currently a professor of Exercise Physiology and President of ECSS 2021 Glasgow in the School of Science and Sport at the University of the West of Scotland.
Richard was also a successful competitive cyclists winning 11 medals (6 gold, 2 sliver, 3 bronze) at Scottish Championships. He is a Level 3 Coach and Coach Educator for British Cycling (18 years) and has coached at Commonwealth and Olympic Games level.

Specialities: Exercise physiology teaching and research, Higher Education management, change management, coach education, elite cycling coaching, Chromosome 18

John Taylor

John Taylor is a graduate of Heriot-Watt University (BA Hons Recreation) and the University of Edinburgh (MSc Social and Educational Research). With over 20 years experience as a researcher and research manager from the Centre for Leisure Research (CLR) to Research and Evaluation Manager at sportscotland and the University of Stirling, John has experience of monitoring and evaluating a wide range of sports initiatives. These include evaluations of the 'Girls on the Move' Programme, the SFA's Football Academy and Community Club Officers Project and research for Scottish Golf exploring the career pathways of Scottish Professional golfers. John has also supported evaluations of International Development through Sport (IDS) and International Inspirations sport-for-development projects in India and Africa. John has been a Director (Strategy and Governance) on the Board at triathlon scotland and is currently working on his PhD exploring the evaluation of sport for development programmes in Scotland and assessing the efficacy of logic models as an evaluation tool.

Dr. Remco Hoekman

Co-Director, Mulier Institute

With my experiences as a senior sport researcher, policy advisor, lecturer in sport policy and sport sociology, and former local sport manager and sport club advisor, I am looking forward to contribute to the development of OSS. Working for the Mulier Institute almost since the early days, gives me an understanding of the challenges and barriers the organization has faced in the process of becoming the leading policy relevant social science sport research institute. Where needed I will share these experiences, other relevant knowledge and good practices from the Netherlands to contribute to a strong sporting future for Scotland.

Dr. Remco Hoekman is a senior research at the Mulier Institute and affiliated to the Radboud University. Furthermore, Remco is president of the European Association for Sociology of Sport (EASS) and co-editor of the European Journal for Sport and Society. His research interests include sport policies, sport facilities, sport participation and financial aspects of sport. He has an extensive national and international publication list, including both policy-oriented and fundamental research, and is a frequently asked expert, advisor and speaker on the abovementioned topics. Remco is like no other capable of connecting science and practice and is a recognized expert in both fields. Consequently, he holds several advisory positions and is, amongst others, columnist for SportAccom (a journal on sport facilities), and member of the evaluation committee for the election of 'Sport municipality of the year’ and 'Best sport policy initiative’ in the Netherlands. Internationally, he is known as the founder of the expert group on sport facility databases and related research, and as one of the initiators of the ‘Measure’ network, a network with the aim to enhance knowledge on sport participation. In addition, he is an expert member of networks on sport organisations (SORN) and sport policy and politics (POLIS).

Remco breaths sports and is in his leisure time an active sport participant and sport volunteer. He enjoys to play tennis, visit the gym and cycle with his friends. In addition, he contributes as a volunteer to the sport activities of his children and he is the chairman of a tennis club.

Media Forum

  • Richard Bogie (News UK Managing Director)

  • Magnus Llewellin (Times & Sunday Times Scotland)

  • Frank O’Donnell (Scotsman Publications)

  • Alan Muir (Sun Editor)

  • Graham Bean (Scotsman & Scotland on Sunday Sports Editor)

  • Alasdair Reid (Times sport journalist)

  • Mark Woods (freelance sport journalist)

  • Bill Lothian (freelance sport journalist)

  • Paul Kiddie (freelance sport journalist)

  • Chris Deerin (Reform Scotland)

  • Robin McAlpine (Common Weal)

  • Lesley Wood (Digital Media consultant)

Business Leaders Forum

  • Martin Gilbert (Chairman, Aberdeen Standard Investments)

  • Geoff Aberdein (Global Director of Public Affairs, Aberdeen Standard Investments)

  • Fanchea Kelly (MD, Blackwood Housing)

  • Angus Tulloch (Chair, Tam O’Shanter Trust)

  • Susan Jackson (Joint MD, Campion Homes)

  • Keith Oliver (business consultant)

  • Kirsty Macpherson (Partner, Brodies)

  • Russell Dalgleish (Scottish Business Network)

  • Hector Tulloch (Sports marketing consultant)

  • Barry Rose (Accountancy consultant)

  • Malcolm Robertson (Founding Partner, Charlotte Street Partners)

  • Douglas Smith (finance consultant)

Universities Forum

  • Abertay University

  • Edinburgh Napier University

  • Glasgow Caledonian University

  • Heriot-Watt University

  • Queen Margaret University

  • Robert Gordon University

  • Sheffield Hallam University

  • University of Aberdeen

  • University of Edinburgh

  • University of Stirling

  • University of Strathclyde

  • University of West of Scotland

  • Mulier Institute

  • Royal College of Physicians

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