Emeritus Professor David Sugden originally trained in Physical Education at Loughborough and then taught in a secondary school. He then he moved to California where he completed his masters and PhD degrees at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). While studying, he worked at a variety of schools and clinics with children with severe and profound learning difficulties, physical difficulties, autism, visual disorders and behavioural problems. Upon his return to the UK, David initially lectured and later supervised numerous PhD students as a Professor at the University of Leeds. He also quickly developed impressive leadership skills becoming Head of Department, Dean of the School, Pro-vice Chancellor and Acting Vice Chancellor.
His research was focused on the acquisition or the performance of motor skills in children with and without disabilities. His work has examined atypical groups such as children with cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and those with developmental coordination disorder.
His publications range from pure research through to applied and practical applications. He co-authored the internationally-used and highly acclaimed Movement Assessment Battery for Children – first and second editions, and the accompanying Ecological Intervention for Children with Movement Difficulties, together with books on motor development and impairment such as Sugden and Wade, Typical and Atypical Motor Development; Sugden and Chambers, Children with Coordination Disorders; Sugden and Wright, Motor Coordination Disorders in Children; Sugden Cognitive Approaches in Special Education and six other books plus over a 120 journal articles published in educational, psychological and paediatric journals, and professional outlets. His long and distinguished academic career has highly influenced many clinicians working within the field of motor development and impairment with children.
Professor Sugden passed away on 13 March 2019. Co-authors Sheila Henderson and Anna Barnett have dedicated the Movement ABC-3 to his memory.