Dr. Matthew Walker (WRG founder, and Principal) was recently awarded the designation of “Research Fellow” by both the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) and by the Research Consortium for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD). The Research Fellow designation recognizes scholars by honoring their achievements in sport-related scholarship and is intended to: (a) be one of distinction within the academic community, and (b) encourage high standards of research and other forms of scholarly activity. Dr. Walker will be honored by NASSM at their upcoming annual conference in Seattle, WA and by AAHPERD at their annual conference in Charlotte, NC. Walker has provided extensive leadership and service to both organizations and has also been awarded three funded projects for his outstanding research efforts:
- NASSM’s Janet B. Parks Research Grant
- AAHPERD’s Early Career Investigator Grant
- AAHPERD’s Graduate Student Research Grant
The WRG was contracted by Golf 20/20 and the World Golf Foundation to assess the health and wellness benefits of golf participation and involvement. The results revealed that a walked 18-hole round, carrying a bag or using a hand/pull cart, is approximately equal to a 5-mile walk; the total caloric expenditure for an 18-hole round is approximately 2,000 calories for walking while carrying clubs and 1,300 calories when riding in a cart; when walking 18-holes, blood glucose levels fall by up to 20% for the young, 10% for the middle-aged, and 30% for the elderly player; and, regardless of handicap, sex, or course played, walking 18 holes exceeded 10,000 steps during a typical round of golf – meeting the recommended standards of a physical activity plan.
Follow-up research is in production…results are forthcoming.
Empirical research by WRG scientists found that tourist knowledge of FIFA’s socially responsible program in South Africa (in conjunction with the World Cup) enhanced the event’s overall image. This is good news for those organizations who use CSR as public relations mechanism. It was also revealed that the World Cup – only marginally – influenced the national and ethnic identity of South African residents. This result runs in contrast to prior research suggesting that mega sport events are powerful sources for identification. This result could carry some sweeping implications for public policy development and community integration for future events – particularity those staged in developing nations. It will be interesting to see whether similar results manifest in Brazil. The WRG will certainly be there to find out.