• Who am I?

    Who am I?

    Samantha-Jayne (Sam) Oldfield completed her PhD in 2014 within the area of sport history, analysing the expansion and decline of pedestrianism within Manchester through biographical exploration. Since her employment at MMU Cheshire in 2012, Sam has been instrumental in the development of undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum and research opportunities in the sport history sphere. She is the Book Review Editor for Sport in History and is an active member of the British Society of Sports History. With Dave Day, she is a founding member of the International Sport and Leisure History Group (SpLeisH), and is dedicated to advancing the group’s profile and impact within the sport and leisure history field.

    Sam is dedicated to the history of Victorian Britain, specifically nineteenth century sport, sporting entrepreneurs and biographies. She is continuing to expand her work on Manchester sporting publicans, currently completing a monograph surrounding the cultural and social aspects of Victorian sport; transnationalism and transatlantic sporting connections, amateurism and Northern resistance, female sporting entrepreneurship and sporting migration. Additionally, she is also developing her research surrounding the history of British netball, working with England Netball to construct a more comprehensive history of the organisation. Other work considers the sociological perspectives surrounding soccer spectatorship, specifically how the change in infrastructure has impacted on those who watch the sport, the Olympics and the development of technology, and social media as a tool to promote sporting mega events.

    How I’ll teach you

    My main philosophy is to ensure students are able to be open minded about sport, and that they start to challenge their beliefs, systems, values in order to understand the complexities of sport. My sessions tend to be open discussions whereby you are asked to consider the different aspects of sport from many different perspectives, opening up your "sociological imagination" and your own mind as a result. With a strong historical and sociological focus, most of my teaching revolves around building your understanding and knowledge around sport, as well as encouraging you to share YOUR opinions and interpretations so that you are able to go into industry and shape the future of sport.

  • Academic Biography

    Academic and professional qualifications

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Thesis in Sport History, entitled "Narratives of Manchester Pedestrianism: Using Biographical Methods to Explore the Development of Athletics During the Nineteenth Century" (Nov 2014)

    BA (Hons) Coaching and Sport Development (July 2008)

    Previous Employment

    Sessional Lecturer at Glyndwr University (Sept 2009-Jul 2011)

    Other academic service (administration and management)

    Programme Leader BA(Hons) Coaching and Sport Development (Sept 2016-present)

    Book Review Editor for Sport in History

  • Teaching & Research Supervision

    Undergraduate courses

    As a Senior Lecturer in Sport History/Sociology of Sport, I am currently teaching, supervising and leading units at Foundation, UG and PG Masters level. Undergraduate units include Understanding Sport, Performance and Participation, Sporting Cultures, and The Olympics.

    Undergraduate Project Supervision

    I am interested in supervising projects in the following areas:


    • Club/Team/Sport histories
    • Sporting biographies (desktop study and oral history/interviews)
    • Collective biographies that explores different communities and identities
    • Pub culture and sport
    • Netball projects (with support from England Netball) either archival or oral history based


    • Women's sport (historical and current climate)
    • Historical re-enactment
    • Technological revolution
    • Disadvantaged groups and sporting opportunities

    Due to my personal connections with different sporting organisations, specifically within netball, I am able to help in the recruitment of placement within both high performance and community sporting environment, as well as suppliying opportunities for coaching, sport science support and much more...

    Postgraduate teaching

    I teach on the MA Coaching Studies programme within the Historical Foundations of Coaching unit, and, as of September 2017, will be a core member of staff teaching on the NEW Masters programme: MA Sport and Leisure History.

    Postgraduate supervision (completed/in progress)

    I have supervised/am supervising postgraduate students in a range of historical sporting topics, including football, golf, boxing and athletics, as well as considering the impact of regional identities, amateur and professional debates, and transatlantic differences across different sports, professions and communities. I have a strong focus and expertise in biographical methods and provide teaching and guidance to students on the construction of sport history narratives.

  • Research Expertise, Publications & Grants

    Research expertise

    Regional sporting history; Victorian athletics; Pedestrianism; Biographies of sporting entrepreneurs and coaches/trainers; Netball histories; England Netball; Biographical methods

    Conference organisation

    February 2015 - International Sport and Leisure Symposium

    March 2014 - Manchester Histories Festival – SpLeisH stand and programme contribution

    September 2013 - British Society of Sports History annual conference

    June 2013 - MMU IPR International Conference Sporting Cultures

    May 2013 - NW Region Leisure and Sports Historians Symposium

    November 2012 - NW Region Leisure and Sports Historians Network Inaugural Workshop

    December 2011 - MMU Sporting Lives Workshop

    Expert reviewer for journals and publishers

    International Journal of the History of Sport; Routledge; Sport in History; The Journal of Entrepreneurship

  • Engagement & Knowledge Exchange
  • Awards, Honours & Distinctions

    Editiorial Board membership

    Editorial board for Sport in History (Book Review Editor)

    Membership of professional associations

    British Society of Sports History

    North American Society for Sport History

    Australian Society for Sport History