Dr Kitrina Douglas


Image of Kitrina DouglasKitrina has been based in the department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences since 1999 firstly as a PhD student and more recently as a visiting fellow. Since completing her doctorate she has continued to conduct research in the areas of exercise, health and sport, recently carrying out projects for the UK Sport Council and the Women’s Sport Foundation.

In the forward to “Cricketing Suicides” (David Firth, 2001) Michael Brearley, OBE said he felt he was fortunate to have had three careers, cricket, for which he probably acquired the most fame, was his second career. Michael now works as a psychoanalyst, which, he suggests, requires more dedication and willingness to learn when compared with his cricket. Michael’s story is little like Kitrina's. She has come to academia after 12 years playing professional sport and has combined interests in research with other work that she has had the opportunity to pursue such as commentating for BBC Radio 5 live, presenting for Eurosport, coaching and as a consultant.  Like Michael Brearley, Kitrina has found learning about people’s lives and trying to understand them from an narrative psychosocial perspective is “always difficult and can be burdensome” (p.10) However it is also, like professional sport, challenging, humbling and rewarding.


Ongoing research

Retirement, Drop out and transition in sport

Kitrina's PhD raised a number of issues pertinent to sport in our culture such as how might we provide better support to athletes during transitions. She is currently analysing data from women who have recently retired from professional sport to explore how retirement is experienced and what factors influence the individual maintaining their health and well being through this transition.

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Recent research projects

Performance environment research

Reflecting the growing awareness that sports performance, particularly at the elite level, is affected by many personal, lifestyle, and environmental factors, this research was conducted to explore the holistic performance environment. To date, little research has been conducted to explore how and through what processes lifestyle and environment factors impact athletes’ performance.

If you would like further information about the project please contact either Kitrina or David Carless at D.Carless@leedsmet.ac.uk.  The executive summary [PDF, 801Kb] can be downloaded or alternatively a full report and/or executive summary are available from UK sport

Physical activity and older women: Benefits and participation

Why is it that, despite the accepted health benefits of physical activity participation, so few older women are active? This research focussed on independently living older women in a rural area to explore the meaning and value of physical activity in their lives and help us understand why some women do or do not engage in physical activity.

The full report, Douglas, K & Carless, D (2005). Older Women’s Physical Activity in Rural Areas can be downloaded from Womens Sports Foundation UK.

Alternative representation of research

Having worked in radio and television Kitrina is aware of the potential for using these mediums to allow wider audiences to access research findings. Along with Dr David Carless who is currently at Leeds Met University, Kitrina is currently exploring the use of documentary, short film and theatre to present research findings, as well as songs, poetry and short stories which they believe are particularly suited to the type of research they have been involved with (such as life history and ethnography).

Across the Tamar CD: Kitrina Douglas and David Carless (2006)

Building on research funded by the Women's Sport Foundation to explore why older women do and do not engage in physical activity, Kitrina and David experimented with various forms of Creative Analytic Practice (Richardson, 2000) in an effort to provide an alternative perspective on the participants' stories. The goal of this process, for them, was a desire to communicate a distillation of the experiences of older women in an engaging, evocative, and personally meaningful way. The cd utilises songs, poetics and short narratives.

They have performed the findings live for participants, for other interested groups of older people and for those involved in similar projects. They were invited to perform “Across the Tamar” at the Second International Conference of Qualitative Research in Liverpool 2006, as a key note presentation, as part of the Leeds Metropolitan Univerity research festival at Leeds Town Hall and at Dartington at the Creative Methods workshop. They also recently performed here in Bristol as part of the ABER conference. Feedback from the above has demonstrated the powerful and beneficial affect of this type of presentation for disseminating our findings.

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Brief golf biography

Kitrina gained international acclaim as one of Europe’s top women professional golfers. As an amateur she represented England in over twenty internationals winning Gold Medal at the European U23’s Team Championships and Silver Medal at the Ladies European Team Championships.

When she turned professional in 1984 Kitrina won the first tournament she entered, the Ford Ladies Classic at Woburn.  Winning a pro event at the first attempt had been a record held solely by American Ben Crenshaw. Among her professional tournament wins are two European Masters Championships and the English Open Championship, she was also a member of the first European side to take the Solheim Cup in 1992.

Kitrina is a former Director of the Ladies European Tour and for over a decade was a regular commentator with BBC radio 5 live, she has also provided commentary for Eurosport the satellite channel and has written for various national and local newspapers. She is author of the book ‘100 tips for lady golfers’ as well as co author, with Dr. David Carless, of eleven teaching and coaching manuals for the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) including:

She is a qualified PGA professional and NCF Coach and has acted as a consultant to numerous governing bodies in golf as well as the PGA. During this time she has been instrumental in developing and delivering many of the most important PGA Professional Development Seminars including:*

In 2006 Kitrina became the youngest recipient of the PGA ‘Master Professional’ award.

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