Olympic Research Network

Victoria University’s Olympic Research Network is a member of the global Olympic Studies Centres following approval by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Australian Olympic Committee. 

VU is only the third university in Australia and the only one in Victoria to receive approval after a rigorous selection process. Some 22 countries worldwide host more than 50 Olympic research networks and Olympic study centres as a focus for Olympics education, and for research topics related to the Olympic Games and the Olympic movement.  

About the Olympic Research Network

Victoria University’s Olympic Research Network (ORN), established in 2021, is endorsed by the International Olympic Committee and the Australian Olympic Committee, and one of 53 Olympic Studies Centres located around the world. There are also centres in Sydney and Brisbane, and all three work collaboratively to foster academic insights into the Olympic Movement.

A distinctive feature of the ORN is that it encompass social science research, writing and informed critiques associated with the Paralympics, the Winter Olympics, the Youth Olympics and other closely related mega multi-sport events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Gay Games. The ORN is also closely aligned with various research groups and programs in the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University.

Members of the ORN include academics, postgraduates, adjuncts and alumni directly associated with Victoria University, along with external domestic and international Research Associate members.  The ORN is also an official exchange partner with the Olympic Studies Centre at the German Sports University, Cologne, and the International Centre for Olympic Studies at Western University, London, Canada.

Objectives/ Mission Statement

Objective 1 - Communication

The establishment and nurturing of informed communication with members, associates and partners with an interest in Olympic-related teaching, education and research, with relevant notable activities and achievements by Victoria University students, staff, adjuncts and alumni collated and highlighted in a regular Olympic Research Network newsletter.  

Objective 2 - Engagement

The fostering of internal and external engagement via means of in-person and virtual seminars on Olympic-related themes, suitable for, and featuring, students, staff, adjuncts, and external personnel (including visiting scholars and high performance athletes) working on, or associated with, Olympic topics.

The Olympic Research Network aims to support the teaching of Olympic-related education content and units in the College of Sport, Health and Engineering at Victoria University as well as externally. To assist engagement with media organisations and the public, the expertise of members and associates will be displayed on the Olympic Research Network website. 

Objective 3 - Outputs

The production of scholarly research outputs on Olympic-related themes, produced by students, staff, adjuncts and visiting scholars, and the generation of internal or external income by, for example, supporting internal and external grant applications, undertaking commissioned works and/or research, and hosting conferences. 

Our areas of expertise

  • History and development of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games
  • History and development of the Paralympic Games and the Commonwealth Games
  • History and development of the Gay Games, including issues related to human rights/LGBTQ rights
  • History and development of women’s sport at the Olympic Games
  • Gender aspects at the Olympic Games, especially women’s Olympic cycling
  • Socio-cultural aspects and impacts of sport, with a particular focus on the intersections of diversity, social cohesion and sport
  • Planetary health and the Olympic Games
  • Philosophical and ethical aspects of the Olympic Games
  • Sociological aspects of the Olympic Games
  • Sport participation and policy related to the Olympic Games
  • Australia at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games
  • Australia Olympic organisation management
  • Strategic organisational development for women as players and leaders
  • Legal aspects of mega-sporting events
  • Information and management systems of mega-sporting events

People at the VU Olympic Research Network

Our leadership group consists of:

Contact us

For any media enquiries or for information about finding a media expert, please visit the research news & publications page.

Contact our co-directors for any enquiries about the Olympic Research Network:

Dr Matthew Klugman
Email:  [email protected]  
Phone: +61 3 9919 5979

Dr Richard Baka
Email:  [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 4358 or mobile 0403 031 295