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Experiences of pregnancy in elite female athletes on the World Class Programme

A female athlete doing sit ups while holding a baby
Date and Time
30th July 2024, 12:30 - 13:30
National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, Room 1.39
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU
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In the last few years, there have been significant advancements in the maternity support offered by Sport Governing Bodies and Federations for elite female athletes. Leading the way has been UK Sport – the Sport Governing Body responsible for managing and investing in Olympic and Paralympic Sport in the United Kingdom. Following an 18 month consultation with athletes, coaches, medical practitioners, sports scientists, regional sporting institutions and academics from Loughborough University, UK sport published a wide-reaching maternity policy to better support elite female athletes funded through their high performance programme.

This public lecture, delivered by Dr Emma Pullen, will highlight the key findings from research led by Loughborough University in collaboration with UK Sport as part of UK Sport consultation process. The findings documented the experiences of female elite athletes who were considering pregnancy and/or had experienced pregnancy whilst a member of UK Sports high performance programme. The presentation will explore the key issues raised by female athletes and reflect on the implications of the study findings in relation to wider debates around female athlete reproductive health and gender/sex inequities in performance sport culture.

Dr Emma Pullen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University. Her research interests are broadly focused on gender/sex equity in sport and exercise contexts with a particular focus on intersectionality, disability, female health and wellbeing, feminist debates, and transdisciplinary approaches. Emma has led on research projects funded by UKRI, UK Sport, and Central Government and has published in leading academic journals including Qualitative Research for Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Sociology of Sport (SSJ) and Social Science and Medicine.

This public lecture will be delivered in person and online, when booking please indicate how you will be accessing the talk.

If you choose to join online details of how to access the talk will be emailed to you the day before the event.

This talk will be recorded and the recording will be made available online after the event.

If you have any questions about this event please email