Nicholas de Cruz

Nicholas de Cruz

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

PhD Title: A Qualitative Exploration of Sport Psychology and Elite Sport in Singapore

Supervisors: Professor Brett Smith and Dr Sarah Williams

Nicholas’s research is centred around cultural sport psychology and elite sport in Singapore. He has particular expertise in sports coaching and qualitative research methods.


  • MSc Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Loughborough University (2015 – 2016)
  • MSc Psychology, University of Westminster (2014 – 2015)
  • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, Loughborough University (2011 – 2014)


Having experienced first-hand the difficulties and challenges elite athletes in Singapore face as a national sailor of 8 years and 2006 Byte World Champion, Nicholas decided to pursue his interest in sport science at Loughborough University. It was only during the process of completing his undergraduate dissertation on exploring the motivations of elite athletes in Singapore in his final year at Loughborough University that he discovered that he was drawn to the field of psychology.

In pursuit of becoming a professional sport psychologist, Nicholas went on to complete a general Masters in Psychology at the University of Westminster and then a more specific Masters in Psychology of Sport and Exercise at his alma mater, where he obtained a distinction.


Nicholas intends to explore the psychosocial issues of elite sport in Singapore using cultural sport psychology as a theoretical and guiding philosophy. He aims to shed light on the cultural differences and similarities that exist in relation to the extant literature and investigate how an understanding and appreciation for various cultural perspectives can shape sport psychology in both practice and academia. In so doing, he hopes to understand the role of sport psychology within Singapore’s environment from the perspective of its stakeholders and provide an alternative Asian perspective of individual values and experiences within a specific cultural context.


de Cruz, N. P., & Duncombe, R. (2016). Qualitative inquiry of the Singapore environment and motivation of elite athletes: A self-determination perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science, 5(3), 1-19.