The European Union Sport Unit has identified the societal and educational role of
sport as a central topic in its new research agenda. It is argued that European Union
(EU) citizens should be supported to learn continuously across the life course. In the
sport/physical activity (PA) context, the role of teachers, coaches and exercise
instructors (among others) is pivotal to the delivery of this aspiration. Yet, in this
paper, we argue that entrenched barriers between teaching, coaching and exercise
instruction and the lack of a well-developed, integrative underpinning knowledge
base centred on pedagogy are serious impediments. We suggest that the development
of a new integrative subdiscipline in the Academy may help pedagogy, and pedagogy
academics, to make a stronger contribution to addressing these barriers and gaps.
‘Sport & Exercise Pedagogy’ (SEP) is proposed as an education-based, boundarycrossing,
multi/interdisciplinary area of study located in the field known variously as
‘Sport & Exercise Sciences’, ‘Kinesiology’ and ‘Human Movement Sciences’. SEP
places individuals and their life course learning at its core. A new cross-border1
policy initiative from the island of Ireland illustrates the potential for SEP to
contribute to PA/public health agendas.