Skip to main content

The Celia Brackenridge Archive

Princess Anne and Celia Brackenridge web

The Celia Brackenridge Archive at Brunel University London Archives 

 In early March 2018 Brunel University London Archives took in the papers of Professor Celia Brackenridge, a pioneering campaigner and researcher into gender equality and child abuse in sport.

Celia Brackenridge studied at Cambridge and Leeds universities. She began her career as a Physical Education teacher but moved within one year into lecturing in higher education at Lady Mabel College (LMC) near Rotherham. LMC later merged into Sheffield City Polytechnic, now Sheffield Hallam University. 

Celia was selected for the England lacrosse team for the first time in 1969, and represented England for 13 years until 1982. She was then the national team coach from 1985 to 1986, including the Lacrosse World Cup in the USA. 

Celia was a founding member of WomenSport International.   In her international advisory roles on child protection in sport, Celia assisted in the development of safeguarding policies for both UNICEF and the International Olympic Committee. 

Celia worked from 2005 to her retirement in 2010 as Director of Brunel's Centre for Youth Sport and Athlete Welfare.  She then became research professor and a member of the Brunel Centre for Sport, Health and Welbeing.

Celia received an OBE in Jan 2012 for services to Equality and Child Protection in Sport. She has honorary degrees from the University of Chichester and Brunel University London.   Celia was awarded the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in December 2016. 

The organisation and re-cataloguing of the Celia Brackenridge Archive has now been completed, and the archive is once again open to the public for research.  It now meets archival standards and brings all the papers related to each project together, giving Celia’s work much more impact and making it far more accessible for research.

The Celia Brackenridge archive includes:

Celia’s PhD thesis and portfolio, research papers, articles, reports and book chapters and books by Celia, research correspondence on sexual abuse in sport;  

Celia’s papers on her work with the following organisations and events:

  • WomenSport International Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport
  • Work with the Council of Europe Committee for the Development of Sport
  • Nottingham County Council Study
  • Child Protection in Sport Unit
  • National Organisation for Treatment of Abusers Research sub-committee
  • Football Association Child Protection Project
  • ABISS (Abuse in Sport Statistics)
  • International Olympic Committee Consensus Statement conference Sexual Abuse and Harassment in Sport 2005 – 2012
  • International Children's Games Symposium on Child Welfare in Sport 2005
  • ICSEMIS 2012 International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport
  • UNICEF 2007 – 2012
  • Child Protection and the FIFA World Cup 2013
  • Secondary sources collected by Celia over 30 years:

Research papers and publications by others

  • PhD and Masters theses by others
  • Press cuttings
  • Policy documents
  • Training materials

 As Celia herself says:

“There is a great deal of secondary material about abuse cases [in the archive]: this is because the subject of abuse in sport was so poorly recognised and documented in the early years that I  felt compelled to collect case histories from the public domain. As described in [my book] Spoilsports and in the correspondence files, I was barred from conducting a prevalence survey in the UK so had to resort to amassing qualitative material that could then be used both for research analysis and for advocacy and lobbying. There are very obvious limitations to using media reports of abuse but when primary data are thin on the ground they are a very useful starting point.  I hope that you find this material of use and that it might impel you to use your own studies for advocating positive social change”.

The Celia Brackenridge Archive catalogue is available online on the Brunel University Archives website


 We welcome researchers to contact us about using this collection.  Full contact details and opening hours etc are on the Archives webpage