Mobility and philanthropy
: embodied practices, fundraising and charity sport events

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis investigates the embodied movements and practices involved in charity sporting events, examining the motivations of those that take part, the training regimes pursued, and the significance of these practices for philanthropic organisations. This research responds to the growing popularity of such charitable sporting events over the past few decades, examining the cultural significance of these philanthropic and leisured mobilities. The focus of the study is on the participants of these mobility events, examining their motivations for taking-part, their embodied training regimes, their sense of identity, and the implications that participation within these events has on interactions for both charities and more broadly for civil society. Data was collected using a mixed methods approach based around ethnography, auto-ethnography and semi-structured interviews, which allowed for an in-depth exploration of the motivations, experiences and embodied practices entailed in event participation. The thesis reveals how there are many different reasons why individuals take part in these events, with individuals often going through a process of becoming charitable, as their sense of self is shaped through their embodied movements, philanthropic engagements and their immersion in particular event spaces. The thesis reveals how charity sport events can alter participants’ lifeworlds, and it exposes a series of relatively under-studied movements which have received little or no attention within the mobility studies literatures.
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorGareth Hoskins (Supervisor) & Peter Merriman (Supervisor)

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