Portrait of Dr Sakis Pappous

Dr Sakis Pappous



Dr Athanasios (Sakis) Pappous' research interests focus on the social and psychological aspects of physical activity and health, with a special interest in using sport as an integrative tool to promote inclusion of disadvantaged groups.

Dr Pappous, a former elite athlete, has a strong European academic background which has been enriched by studies and professional experience in five European countries Greece, Spain, France, Bulgaria and the UK. After completing his PhD at the University of Granada (Spain), Dr Pappous was employed as a Supervisor for the Organizing Committee of the Athens 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games and he was also involved in London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games. In 2006, he became the first researcher with a sports science background to be awarded the prestigious Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellowship in the Social Sciences section financed by the European Commission.

Before joining the School of Sport and Exercise Science at Kent University, Dr Pappous worked as a lecturer until August 2009 at Montpellier 1 University in France. Dr Pappous’ international background has given him the opportunity to teach and publish his work in five different languages. He recently led an international research project in collaboration with the Brazilian Paralympic Committee aiming to use the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games to promote inclusion of disabled athletes. 

Currently Dr Pappous is the UK co-ordinator of two major Erasmus + European projects, one focusing on the inclusion of refugees through sport and another one that focuses on physical activity and mental health.

Research interests

One of my research lines focuses on sport participation legacies after big sport mega events, such as the Olympics.

Do the Olympic Games increase grass root sport participation? I have tried to answer this question by looking at previous Games. I am also working with the Social Psychology department to identify interventions to change attitudes towards sport for those with different physical abilities.


Dr Pappous teaches sports event management, sport marketing and sport and exercise promotion.

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