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Natalie Barker-Ruchti

Position: Senior Lecturer School/office: School of Health Sciences


Phone: +46 19 301042

Room: G2142

Natalie Barker-Ruchti
Research subject Research environments

About Natalie Barker-Ruchti

Natalie Barker-Ruchti is Associate Professor in sport management and sport coaching, Örebro University, since February 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Otago and a MA in Recreation and Leisure Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, both New Zealand. Natalie gained her PhD in Human Movement Studies at The University of Queensland, Australia in 2007.


Natalie Barker-Ruchti’s research focuses on how sport participation at the junior and senior levels of elite sport affects athletes’ learning, identities, and lives, also upon retiring from sport. She has extensively researched the history and current situation of women’s artistic gymnastics and continues to examine how the health and wellbeing of gymnasts can be ensured.

Natalie currently conducts the project ‘#gymnastalliance: An international study on women’s gymnasts speaking out about abuse’, which aims to examine the recent global outpour of gymnasts disclosing abusive behaviours and practices (started January 2021).

Since the social media movement #gymnastalliance, Natalie’s gymnastics research has featured in the media internationally (e.g., New York Times and The Guardian). This research also informed Die Magglingen Protokolle, a large investigative journalism report published in Switzerland in 2020. Natalie was then invited to collaborate in the external investigation, which Federal Councillor and Sports Minister Viola Amherd requested (Rudin Cantieni report). The recommendations from this report are now changing the Swiss sport system.


Natalie Barker-Ruchti teaches in sociology and pedagogy of sport, mainly in the sport management and sport coaching education programs. Key themes in her teaching are sustainability and ethics. Natalie supervises at all levels of education. 

Networks and collaborations

  • Founder and leader of the International Socio-Cultural research group on Women's Artistic Gymnastics (ISCWAG).
  • Member of the research group Reshape, Örebro University.
  • Member of the advisory board SafeSport Sweden.
  • Director of Research Gymnasts for Change.


Articles in journals |  Articles, reviews/surveys |  Chapters in books |  Collections (editor) |  Conference papers |  Other | 

Articles in journals

Articles, reviews/surveys

Chapters in books

Collections (editor)

Conference papers