Dr Niki Koutrou

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Principal Lecturer (Research and Knowledge Exchange)

I joined the University of Sunderland in London in February 2022 with a teaching focus on tourism and events.

I hold a PhD in Sport Policy from Loughborough University funded by the Hellenic State Scholarships Foundation and the Alexander Onassis Public Benefit Foundation and am a qualified teacher and fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

In previous roles, I have been the Programme Leader for the BSC Sport Management and BA/MA Sport Management at the Universities of Bournemouth and Kent respectively.

Teaching and supervision

I currently teach on the following programme: 

- MSc Tourism and Hospitality


- Koutrou, N. & Kohe, G.Z. (2021) Transnational unities, challenges and            opportunities for sport volunteering:Lessons from the European Playgreen project, Sport in Society, DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2021.1925251

- Koutrou, N. & Berber, S. (2021). The impact of Role Ambiguity on future volunteering. The Case of the 2017 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19407963.2021.1950738

- Wise, N., Kohe, G., & Koutrou, N. (2021). Editorial: Sport Volunteering and Social Transformation. Sport, Education & Society

- Koutrou, N. & Kohe, G. (2020 Forthcoming). Conceptualising landscapes of learning in the United Kingdom’s volunteer football sector. Sport, Education and Society

- Hayday, E. J., Pappous, A., & Koutrou, N. (2019). The role of voluntary sport organisations in leveraging the London 2012 sport participation legacy. Leisure Studies, 38(6), 746-761.

- Koutrou, N. (2018).The impact of the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup on sustained volunteering in the rugby community. Sustainability, 10 (4), 1030.

- Ikramullah, A., Koutrou, N., & Pappous, A. (2018). Sportivate: a case study of sports policy implementation and impact on the sustainability of community physical activity programs. The International Journal of Sport and Society.

- Hayday, E., Pappous, A., & Koutrou, N. (2017). Leveraging the sport participation legacy of the London 2012 Olympics: Senior managers’ perceptions. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 9(2), 349-369

- Koutrou, N., Pappous, A. & Johnson, A. (2016). Post-event volunteering legacy: Did the London 2012 Games induce a sustainable volunteer engagement? Sustainability, 8 (12), 1221; doi:103390/su8121221

- Koutrou, N., & Pappous, A. (2016).Towards an Olympic volunteering legacy; motivating volunteers to serve and remain: a case study of London 2012 volunteers. Voluntary Sector Review, 7(3), 269-91. 

- Koutrou, N., & Downward, P. (2015).Event and club volunteering potential. The case of women’s rugby in England. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 1-24.doi:10.1080/19406940.2015.110275

- Koutrou, N. (2014). Measuring Olympic Volunteers' Motivation. In Intersections and Intersectionalities in Olympic and Paralympic Studies (pp. 55-61). International Centre for Olympic Studies, Western University. Retrieved from https://digital.la84.org/digital/collection/p17103coll10/id/13744/rec/12

- Koutrou, N., Burns, J., Claxton, G., Regan, L., MacDonald, D., Linsday, P., & Carey, L. (2012). What does the Olympics mean to you?. The Olympic Champion: A Role Model for Youth: Psychologist, 25(7), 508-517.. The Psychologist, 25(7), 508-517.

Book Chapters

- Koutrou, N. (2022). Enhancing Volunteer Skills Through Mega Sport Events. In Holmes, K., Lockstone-Binney,L., and Shipway, R. (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Volunteering in Events, Sport and Tourism. Routledge

- Bardocz-Bencsik, M., Koutrou, N., & May, R. (2020). Analysing the 'Position paper on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the sport sector'. In J. Krieger, A. Henning, P. Dimeo, & L. Parks Pieper (Eds.), Time Out: Sport and the Corona Lockdown. Common Ground Research Networks.

- Koutrou, N. (2018). Volunteer Satisfaction in Sport: Insights from Women Rugby Clubs in England. In Hak D [Ed]. An In-depth Guide to Sports. Nova Science Publishers. Hauppauge, NY.

Research Reports (External)

- Koutrou, N., & Kohe, G.Z. (2022). Reawakening Sport and Community Engagement in a previous Olympic Host City: Capitalising on the Athens 2004 Olympic Volunteer Legacy 17 years on. Olympic Studies Centre, International Olympic Committee. University of Kent and Bournemouth University. https://library.olympics.com/Default/doc/SYRACUSE/1447726/reawakening-sport-and-community-engagement-in-a-previous-olympic-host-city-capitalising-on-the-athen?_lg=en-GB

- Koutrou, N. (2017). Stepping out with Carers pilot project. An Evaluation report for Sport England. School of Sport & Exercise Sciences. University of Kent

- Koutrou, N., Pappous.A., & Horne, R. (2016). Keeping Up the Participation Levels in adult 11 v 11 football in Kent. An evaluation report for Kent Football Association (Kent FA). University of Kent and Kent FA. School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, University of Kent 

Guest Speaker/Keynotes

- Koutrou, N. (February 16, 2022).  Book Presentation: The Routledge Handbook of Volunteering: International Society for the Third Sector-  https://www.istr.org/page/OnlinePrograms#Feb%2016

- Koutrou, N. (December 2019). Volunteering at Major Sport Events and Beyond: New Opportunities. Panel Session.  The International Volunteer Forum, Sochi, Russia

- Koutrou, N. (November 2019). The Interplay of Volunteer Values, Circumstances & Experiences in Promoting a Volunteering Legacy: Learning from London 2012 Games. 2019 Dream Together Seoul Forum, Sport, Value & Diffusion. Korea Sport Promotion Foundation & The Ministry of Tourism of Korea

- Koutrou, N. (September 2019). Dynamics of Volunteer Recruitment, Motivation & Retention in European Sport Clubs. The European Sport Platform by ENGSO & The European Lotteries, Rome, Italy.

- Koutrou, N. (June 2019). Koutrou, N. (June 28, 2019). Building Japanese research capacity around disability studies and sport to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities-2020 and beyond. Policy Forum (ESRC & JSPS).House of Councillors, Tokyo, Japan

- Koutrou, N. (August 2018). The Volunteering Legacy of London 2012 Games.8th Olympic Studies and Sport Management Workshop (NIFISA), Sport for Tomorrow Kanoya, Kagoshima, Japan.

Expert Comments

- Koutrou, N. (2021). Expert Comment: Environmental Sustainability in Football. Daily Express

- Kohe, G., & Koutrou, N. (2020). Expert Comment: COVID-19 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games. Available at: https://www.kent.ac.uk/news/society/24613/expert-comment-covid-19-and-the-tokyo-2020-olympic-paralympic-games

- Koutrou, N., & Kohe, G. (2020). Expert Comment: Response to Scottish FA’s head contact ban. Available at: https://www.kent.ac.uk/news/society/24025/expert-comment-response-to-scottish-fas-head-contact-ban


My research focuses on events management and Olympic studies, alongside mega-sport event volunteering, participation legacies, volunteer management, sports programme evaluation and sustainability, supervising PhD projects in these areas.

Over the years, I’ve been engaged in various research and knowledge exchange activities aimed at bridging the gap between academia and the wider society.

Most recently, I have become a Project and Research Manager at PlayGreen, an Erasmus+ Sport-funded and EUFA endorsed pan European collaborative project on behalf of the European Sports NGO which aims to enhance the environmental sustainability of sport by developing volunteer capacities.

My work on volunteer legacies has also been featured in Geographical, the Royal Geographical Society Journal, and I have acted as the Workshop Facilitator and Coordinator at the European Sports Platform, European Youth Sport Forum and International Olympic Academy among others.

I was the Principal Investigator of a recently concluded project funded by the Olympic Studies Cente of the International Olympic Committee.

Along with my collaborator, Dr Geoffery Kohe (University of Kent), I produced a report on ‘reawakening sport and community engagement in a previous Olympic host city: Capitalising on the Athens 2004 Olympic volunteer legacy 17 years on’ (Lausanne: IOC, 2011). 

I have recently joined the Editorial Advisory Board of the Event Management Journal. 

I also hold practical, first-hand experience in sports event management and was employed by the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Games as Fleet scheduler and Volunteer Coordinator. 

I have had the honour of being a Torchbearer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Torch Relay and has also volunteered for Athens 2004 Games and Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games blending academic, research and professional practice effectively.

Last updated 21 March 2022