STEPS - Advancing Sustainable Youth Performance Sport: an interdisciplinary research collaboration network

Research project
Active research
Project period
2022 - ongoing
Project owner
Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science

Short description

The ambition of this initiative is to address the paucity in research on sustainable youth performance sport.

Purpose and aim of STEPS

The scientific purpose of this research collaboration is to advance the current state of knowledge on sustainable development of performance in and through organized youth sport by integrating multi-disciplinary, multi-paradigmatic, and practitioner perspectives in this research field. 

To reach our aim, we will:

  • establish a multi-disciplinary collaboration network with researchers who hold the expertise of relevance for the development of sustainable youth performance sport,
  • discuss the integration of multi-disciplinary and multi-paradigmatic knowledge on youth performance sport to create a common ground for joint research,
  • develop a research plan for sustainable development interventions in youth performance sport to prepare for joint research grant applications, and
  • establish a network with clubs and federations to collaboratively develop sustainable development interventions in selected sports.  

Looking for collaboration

In 2023 a set of meetings and activities aims to promote new collaborations and establish a more comprehensive network with stakeholders from all sectors interested in increased sustainability in youth performance sports.

To know more about participating in the project and the future network, please reach out to Astrid Schubring (Project leader). 


2023-09-27  Conference: Sport Coaching for Sustainable Youth Sports
Collaboration network meeting #2 for coaches, leaders, athletes and researchers

The conference is hosted at Gothenburg university. Ulrika Sandmark, CEO Swedish Swimming Federation, Karin Torneklint, CEO Swedish Bandy Association, and Associate professor PhD. Shane Pill (Flinders University, Australia) are the guest speakers who will inspire and share research within the topic of the conference.

Past activities

2023-01-27  Conference: Sustainable Youth Performance Sport
Collaboration network for coaches, leaders, athletes and researchers

2022-12-14  Hybrid workshop 4: Methodologies for sustainable youth sport research
A critical viewpoint on injury prevention: what works best for whom under which circumstances
Rasmus Østergaard Nielsen, Assoc. Professor Aarhus University, Denmark

Research collaboration with practitioners 
Stefan Grau, Professor, Gothenburg University

2022-11-24  Hybrid workshop 3: Learning Environments and Coaching
Conceptualising sustainability: a socio-ecological/educational perspective
Arjen Wals, Professor of Transformative Learning for Socio-Ecological Sustainability, Wageningen UR UNESCO Chair Social Learning for Sustainability

Towards sustainable sporting cultures: Some reflections
Natalie Barker-Ruchti, Assoc. Professor Örebro universitet

Coaching and sustainable athlete development 
Christian Thue Bjørndal, Associate professor at Norwegian School of Sport Science

2022-10-28  Hybrid workshop 2: Injury prevention
Protecting athletes' health - a multi-level task. Swedish Athletics
Dr. Jenny Jacobsson Guest researcher at the Athletics Research Center, Linköping University

2022-09-30  Hybrid workshop 1: Sustainability and youth sport
Health for performance: why we must flip the focus
Dr. Boris Gojanovic, Medical director at Swiss Olympic Medical Centre, Geneva, CH

Youth sport and sustainable development: conceptualisations, policies and practices 
Dr. Iain Lindsey, Associate professor in sport policy, and development with focus on youth sport policy, at Durham University, UK

2022-09-29  SDG workshop
Sustainability officer at Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development 
Eddi Omrcen, Göteborgs universitet

2022-05-06  Workshop: Conceptualising sustainability

2022-03-25  Kick-off workshop: Conceptualising Sustainability: An interdisciplinary perspective on Youth Performance Sport

Read more about past activities ( (in swedish)

Logo of STEPS project

Collaboration partners

  • Askims BC
  • Athletics Research Center Linköpings Universitet, Svensk Friidrott
  • BK Häcken
  • Göteborgsjudoförbund
  • IFK Göteborg
  • IK Wega skridsko
  • Kaidi Taekwondo Klubb
  • Katrinelundsgymnasiet
  • Riksidrottsförbundet
  • Swedish Bandy Association
  • Swedish Swimming Federation
  • SweSports 
  • Tanner Speed Academy
  • Västra Götalands Parasportförbund
  • Västra Götalandsregionen
  • Önnereds HK