Section: Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Sociology of sport
  • Sport for Development and Peace
  • Sport Gender and Development
  • Community development

Not available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Sarah Oxford

Dr Sarah Oxford is a sociologist whose research focuses on the application of sport and active recreation as a community development resource to address the social exclusion of marginalized groups and gender relations. Through her work, Sarah challenges researchers in the fields of sport, gender and inclusive communities to address power relations through decolonial theory and praxis. She strives to improve power relations in research and practice, and to pluralize epistemologies. She is an active member of the Sport, Diversity and Social Change Research Group at Victoria University.

Sarah completed a PhD at Victoria University in 2018, receiving a Citation for the 2018 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research and Research Training (Research Degree Graduate). Her PhD explored the extent young women’s participation in Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) organisations disrupts gendered stereotypes and sensitises communities to the capabilities of girls and young women. Sarah’s research has been published in numerous international journals and scholarly books.

More recently, Sarah collaborated on a research project examining the barriers and enablers of participation in sport and active recreation for women in Melbourne’s west. She is currently exploring the settlement of girls and women with refugee and migrant backgrounds through sport and physical activity.

Sarah joined VU as a lecturer in 2018 and teaches a range of Sport Management units including Sociology of Sport and Active Recreation (SSM2205) and Research and Evaluation in Sport (SSM3104).


  • PhD, Victoria University, Australia, 2018
  • MA, University of Bradford, United Kingdom, 2012
  • BA, Sewanee: University of the South, United States, 2005

Key publications

Year Citation
2018 Oxford, S., Mclachlan, F., Jeanes, R., Hanlon, C., Eime, R., & Spaaij, R. (181114). Women s participation in sport and active recreation: Issues and Opportunities Paper. Victoria University.
2018 Broerse, J., & Spaaij, R. (181003). Fostering Belonging and Cultural Literacy through Sport- Based Interventions: Designing a program logic model for the Ready Settle Go program.
2018 Oxford, S., Mclachlan, F., & Jeanes, R. (180515). Women s participation in sport and active recreation: a desktop review of literature.
2018 Oxford, S., Mclachlan, F., & Jeanes, R. (180515). Women's participation in sport and active recreation: a review of academic literature. Victoria University.
2017 Oxford, S., Storr, R., Symons, C., & Spaaij, R. (171207). Combatting Homophobia in Victoria: Research Report for Might Serious Games.

Year Citation
2019 Oxford, S. (190603). You look like a machito! : a decolonial analysis of the social in/exclusion of female participants in a Colombian sport for development and peace organization. Sport in Society, 22(6), (1025-1042).

doi: 10.1080/17430437.2019.1565389

2019 Oxford, S., & Spaaij, R. (190101). Gender Relations and Sport for Development in Colombia: A Decolonial Feminist Analysis. Leisure Sciences,

doi: 10.1080/01490400.2018.1539679

2018 Oxford, S., & McLachlan, F. (180901). "You have to play like a man, But Still be a Woman": Young Female Colombians negotiating gender through participation in a Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) organization. Sociology of Sport Journal, 35(3), (258-267).

doi: 10.1123/ssj.2017-0088

2018 Spaaij, R., Schulenkorf, N., Jeanes, R., & Oxford, S. (180201). Participatory research in sport-for-development: Complexities, experiences and (missed) opportunities. Sport Management Review, 21(1), (25-37).

doi: 10.1016/j.smr.2017.05.003

2017 Oxford, S. (170706). The social, cultural, and historical complexities that shape and constrain (gendered) space in an SDP organisation in Colombia. Journal of sport for development, 6(10),

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Fostering Belonging and Cultural Literacy Through Sports-Based Interventions: A Program Logic Model.
From: APR Intern
Investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij
For period: 2018-2018
Not disclosed

Women's participation in sport and active recreation in Melbourne' West
From: Wyndham City Council
Investigators: Prof Ramon Spaaij, Aspr Clare Hanlon, Dr Fiona Mclachlan, Aspr Rochelle Joyce
For period: 2017-2018

Supervision of research students at VU

Not available to supervise research students

Available for media queries


Year Award

Vice Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Research & Research Training (Research Degree Graduate) - Victoria University


International Post-Graduate Research Scholarship - Victoria University


Rotary World Peace Fellowship - Rotary International

Professional memberships

  • Academic Member, The Australian Sociology Association