Nick Holt, PhD

Vice Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation - Academic Programs


Vice Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation - Academic Programs
(780) 492-7386
University Hall
8840 - 114 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2J9



I grew up in Wales and then completed by undergraduate and masters degrees in the UK, before coming to Canada to complete my PhD at the University of Alberta in 2002. My training included physical education, geography, sport science, and sport psychology. I worked at Leeds Metropolitan University and Brock University before coming back to the U of A. I am currently a Professor and Vice Dean.

I played rugby, cricket, and soccer (aka football). Eventually I focused on soccer, playing at various levels in Wales and England before joining the Golden Bears soccer team (and 'winning' two CIS silver medals) while I was studying for my PhD. I began coaching when I was 18, and spent five summers in the US working for Major League Soccer camps. I currently coach at youth and adult levels in Edmonton. For fun, I run ultramarathons, with my favorites being Sinister 7, Canadian Death Race, and Blackfoot Ultra. 

If you want to know what it is like to run an ultramarathon, click on this short documentary we made. 


I lead the Child & Adolescent Sport & Activity (CASA) lab. Our research examines psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity participation among children, adolescents, and their families. 

To learn more about the CASA lab click HERE

Currently there are three major (funded) projects in progress:

Positive Youth Development (PYD) Through Sport: PYD SportNET
Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), this project involves creating a network of evidence-based resources designed to promote PYD in Canadian sport. Follow us on Twitter >> @PYDsportNET 

Parenting in Youth Sport
Funded by a SSHRC/Sport Canada Sport Participation Research Initiative grant, this project involves a number of studies looking at parenting in youth sport. 

Changing Active Free Play
Funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health, this project involves both understanding changes in children’s active free play and creating changes to revive children’s engagement in active free play. 

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research
Undergraduate students (e.g., those on practicum placements) and graduate students work on studies related to one of more of the projects listed above. 
Graduate students often develop their own studies, which are typically qualitative research projects using concepts from positive psychology to study youth sport. 


KIN 541: Positive Youth Development Through Sport

Dr. Holt welcomes applications for undergraduate practicum placements. He is not currently taking new graduate students.