Staff profile

Jo Clarke

Jo Clarke

Graduate Teaching Assistant

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Jo Clarke is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD student with a professional background working in sport development and coaching. Jo gained her undergraduate degree from Birmingham in 2003, before completing a MA in Sport, Culture and Community at Sheffield Hallam University in 2013.

Previously Jo worked as a practitioner within sport development and coaching in a variety of management and leadership roles in the UK, Spain, New Zealand and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to her PhD Jo managed the sports volunteer programme and coach education programme. Jo continues to work as a Visiting Lecturer at Leeds Trinity.

Prior to Leeds Trinity University, Jo worked for a Natonal Governing Body (Badminton England) managing and leading a regaional team of staff an volunteers to deliver the 2009 – 2013 Whole Sport Plan in Yorkshire and North East working closely with Yorkshire & North East Universities and other key strategic and delivery partners.  

Outside of work, Jo works as the Cameroon Country Manager for a UK based Sport for Development NGO Cricket Without Boundaries. The NGO uses Cricket as a tool to deliver HIV/Aids awareness messages in partnership with national Cricket Associations and health NGOs in five countries across Sub-Saharan Africa; Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Jo's role involves managing and leading the relationship with the Cameroon Cricket Federation, Ministry of Sport & Physical Education, Schools, Universities, British High Comission and other key stakeholders in Cameroon. 

Outside acadmia, Jo is an active level 2 tennis coach and participates in running, cycling and tennis.  

Research interests

Jo is currently working towards a PhD which is provisionally titled: How discourses are organised, embedded and resisted: a case study of Sport for Development in Cameroon


Synopsis: In the past two decades there has been a dramatic rise in the number of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) that use sport for the purposes of development. Increasingly, INGOs deliver educational social and health based messages (e.g HIV/AIDS awareness, gender equality, leadership skills) in combination with sports participation as their key delivery tool. Despite an increasing breadth of study within this area to date, academic analysis rarely considers the dual views of international NGOs and local stakeholders.

The aim of the study seeks to critically explore the discourses associated with Sport for Development policy and practice in Cameroon. The study exploreshow discourses are organised, embedded and resisted from the dual perspective of  Sport for Development INGOs and local Cameroonian stakeholder organisations at various organisational levels. 


Rationale: Global Sport For Development policies and practices tend to endorse the concept of 'bottom-up planning' and 'local ownership' by communities in the developing countries they are supposed to serve. However such local voices have historically been given less academic attention as existing literature tends to privilege voices from the so called 'Global North' (i.e. governments, international agencies, INGOs, academics). This research study aims to build on existing literature in the sector which has investigated discourse and issues of power by offering a multi-level investigation of discourse at different levels (i.e. governance/management and delivery levels) and from varying perspectives (i.e. INGOs from UK an US and local Cameroonian stakeholders). It investigates how INGO policy discourses are organised, embeded and given meaning by Cameroonian stakeholders and volunteer staff within their communities. 


PhD supervisors:  Dr. Polly Wilding (University of Leeds, POLI​S) and Dr. Chris Rowley (Leeds Trinity University).

Teaching and Administration

Jo's teaching mainly includes sport development and sports coaching based modules focusing on UK and international perspectives of policy and practice. 

Level 4

Coaching Process and Practice

Research Methods

Level 5

Event Management

Organising and Managing Sport

Research Methods

Level 6

Community Sports Development

Sport in Society

Management and Development of Sports Coaching


Membership of University groups/comittees:

Academic Board (2013 - 2014)

Sport Development Committee (2014 - 2016)

Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee (2015 - present)