ISPAR Conference 2020

This year, our 5th Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research (ISPAR) annual conference was hosted online across three days from the 9th-11th September 2020. With the theme ‘Getting Back on Track: Moving forward from COVID-19 with sports performance, physical activity, health and wellbeing’ we embraced the virtual world of conferencing. Each day was hosted by one of our three Research Centres of ISPAR packed with excellent speakers, working in novel and exciting areas of research and practice.

Day one (9th September) was hosted by the ISPAR Centre for Health, Wellbeing and Behaviour change, led by Professor Angel Chater. It focused on ‘Physical activity and behaviour change for the benefit of long-term conditions and psychological well-being’. Whilst day two (10th September) led by Dr Joanne Hill was hosted by the ISPAR Centre for Physical Education, Sport and Human Movement, covered ‘Distanced physical activity and physical education: pedagogy, relationships and sense of belonging’. The final day (11th September) was hosted by the ISPAR Centre for Physical Activity and Sports Performance, led by Dr Iain Fletcher reflected on ‘The lessons learned and the plans for Sport’s return to a new normal’.

The conference included a variety of oral presentations from our keynote speakers, collaborators, staff, alumni and postgraduate students from across ISPAR, in areas including: exercise physiology, nutrition, health psychology, behaviour change, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, pedagogy and the social sciences. Further details of the conference, including the speakers, can be found in the programme and abstract booklet at the top of this page.

The conference was also streamed live through YouTube, where it is now available to view:

In total, 314 delegates registered for the conference including academics, research students, taught postgraduate and undergraduate students, representatives from public health authorities, charities, community sports partnerships, nutritionists, personal trainers, teachers, health professionals and members of our local community. The event was a tremendous success, with feedback indicating that the delegates were ‘extremely satisfied’ with the organisation of the conference, the range of topics, speakers and the programme. Particular highlights noted by the delegates were: ‘the broad range of knowledge and topics covered’, ‘the topics were really interesting with a wealth of knowledge from those delivering’ and ‘I loved hearing about the impact ISPAR research is having on individuals. The work that you guys are doing is so beneficial to our local community’.

We thank everyone who made this event a success and look forward to welcoming you at our 6th annual conference next year.


Institute for Sport & Physical Activity Research
University of Bedfordshire
Pollhill Avenue
MK41 9EA



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