Physical Activity and Sport: Understanding the First Ten Years
11/22/2017 17:41

We know a great deal about the physical activity of children, but very little about how individual children experience it. So, we need to explore new ways of thinking about children, sport and physical activity.


Sport and physical activity can be good for children, but we also know that it can also harm them. We must learn to understand the difference that makes all of the difference.


Children are not mini-adults. Treating them as small adults is de-motivating, dangerous, and bad for sport.


These and many other themes emerged during an exciting three-day ICSSPE ‘think tank’ in Germany that attracted some of the world’s leading researchers in the field, as well as an enthusiastic group of representatives from the sport, health and education sectors to share problems and solutions.


ICSSPE’s unique international symposium was a response to research highlighting the great importance of the childhood years in the establishment of a positive physical activity lifestyle.


Participants included scientists, coaches, teachers, administrators, and representatives from non-government organisations. Interests included public health, sports performance, physical education, sports coaching, kindergarten and preschool settings, motor skill development, exercise neuroscience, and research methodologies, but all sharing a common commitment to improving children’s sporting, movement, and physical activity experiences during in the first ten years of children’s lives.


The presenters at this event included:

  • Jennifer Agans, Cornell University, USA
  • Shawn Arent, Rutgers University, USA
  • Richard Bailey, ICSSPE, Germany
  • Jean Côté, Queens University, Canada
  • Dong Jinxia, Peking University, China
  • Caterina Pesce, Italian University of Sport and Movement ‘Foro Italico’, Italy
  • Philip Tomporowski, University of Georgia, USA
  • Ulrike Ungerer-Röhrich, Deutsche Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft, Germany / University of Bayreuth, Germany

Sponsored by UNESCO, as part of its Participation Programme, this ICSSPE Symposium took place in the beautiful lakeside hotel, HausRheinsberg Hotel am See, near Berlin, in Germany. Following the main event, the speakers committed to continue collaborating on this fascinating topic, in the form of a book and other possible activities.