The BCU Research for Athlete and Youth Sport Development (RAYSD) Lab aims to collaborate with industry partners, in order to help create evidence-informed organisational structures and more equitable youth sport settings so every young person can achieve their potential.

Our Mission

  • Design, implement, and evaluate equitable approaches to create more effective and efficient youth sport settings

  • Help better understand the various underpinning mechanisms of athlete development across the lifespan

  • Collaborate and co-create with key partners to facilitate evidence-informed policy making and practical applicability

  • Focus on positively impacting the performance, participation, and personal development of young athletes


BESTA Project

This project will aim to investigate the most effective ways of integrating diverse talent into the current pathway structures by evaluating the procedures of two mono-ethnic academies working with elite players. 

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FIFA Project

This project will focus on designing, implementing, and evaluating best practice guidelines across the six dimensions of the FIFA Talent Development Scheme’s knowledge framework.

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The research is around talent identification and development within youth sport, working with various international, national, and regional organisations (such as FIFA, SACA, England Cricket Board, Take Her Lead and ACE) to identify how we can better identify and develop young athletes, with the hope of creating better organisational structures and settings for athletes to identify their potential. We are working with these organisations to understand how we can support those from diverse communities, from male and female perspectives. We want to widen the pool of potential talent and give young players a chance. 

New research project boosts BCU mission to make cricket more inclusive

Birmingham City University will continue to break down barriers in cricket by partnering with the sport’s national governing body and a number of leading UK charities to make the game more accessible for players from Black and Asian backgrounds.

Warwickshire are the first professional County Cricket Club to use video trials

Meet the PhD Researchers

Working within RAYSD lab across the BESTA and FIFA research projects are four BCU postgraduate researchers. Find out more about them and their journeys to PhD study here. 

Hina Shafi

Meet Hina

Omar Green

Meet Omar

Achuthan Shanmugaratnam

Meet Achuthan

Johann Lux

Meet Johann

Meet the Lab Lead

Adam's research interests explore organisational structures in youth sport to better understand the athlete development process and create more appropriate settings.

He has generated over £1m in research funding and presented at over 50 international conferences, and is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters as well as three journal editorials, and two edited books, including the recent release of Talent Identification and Development in Youth Soccer: A Guide for Researchers and Practitioners.

Meet the lab team

Daniel Jackson (PhD Student)

Alex McAuley (Deputy Lab lead)

Mark Jeffreys

Kevin Braybrook