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Wednesday 15 - Thursday 16 April 2020

Hosted by Solent University

The venue

The Spark

The Spark Atrium set up for an event

The Spark is home to Solent University's award-winning conference centre. Set in the heart of Southampton on the University's main East Park Terrace campus, the conference centre's attention-grabbing central atrium and excellent conference facilities will help add a wow factor to the conference proceedings for this event.

Take a 360 virtual tour of The Spark

New sports building

Supporting activities, such as workshops, practical and specialist activities, will take place in our brand new £28m sports building, adjacent to The Spark, which is due to open summer 2019. Take a look at the video.

Keynote speakers

Proposed keynote speakers and their sessions are:

Dr Emma Ross

Dr Emma RossEmma is head of physiology at the English Institute of Sport (EIS). She joined the EIS in August 2013 from the University of Brighton, where she was a senior lecturer in sport and exercise physiology. Alongside teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students, she has led research projects investigating the mechanisms of exercise tolerance in heat and hypoxia, neuromuscular fatigue and neural adaptations to training.

Session: Athlete wellbeing (chaired by Associate Professor Adam Hawkey)

Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE

Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBEPaul is the founder of Parkrun. He developed the now famous Parkrun from just 13 amateur runners and one park to a community of over 1,000,000 and 543 parks worldwide, all in the space of 10 years. As an advocate of the huge benefits of physical activity, Paul is dedicated to ensuring the continued success of Parkrun as a vehicle for providing free, safe and inclusive events for everyone to enjoy.

Session: Physical activity for all (chaired by Matt Fleet)

Read Paul Sinton-Hewitt's full profile

Dr Emma Kavanagh

Dr Emma KavanaghEmma is a senior lecturer in sports psychology and coaching sciences and a BASES-accredited sport and exercise scientist (physiology). She is a world-leading researcher in safeguarding and abuse within athletic populations, in both virtual and face-to-face environments and is a member of the BASES safeguarding and athlete protection task group responsible for the development of education programmes in safeguarding for trainee sport and exercise scientists.

Session: Demystifying the duty of care in sport: Integrity and safeguarding in sport and exercise science (chaired by Professor Zoe Knowles)

Dr Philippa Velija

Dr Philippa VelijaPhilippa is Head of Sport Education and Development, in Solent University's School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences. She researches sport policy, sport and the body, and gender in sport. She is committed to raising awareness of issues relating to equality and diversity in sport.

Session: Gender, homophobia and racism in sport (chaired by Dr Richard Elliott)

Read Dr Philippa Velija's full profile

Dr Rory McGrath

Dr Rory Magrath, course leader at Solent UniversityRory is a senior lecturer in Solent's School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences. His interests lay predominantly in gender and sexuality, particularly within football fandom and young athletes. He has conducted research in professional football clubs, where he has investigated homophobia and inclusivity of sexual minorities. 

Session: Gender, homophobia and racism in sport (chaired by Dr Richard Elliott)

Read Dr Rory McGrath's full profile

Osei Sankofa

Osei SankofaOsei is a former Premier League footballer and England youth international. He is currently the lead educator in the South East of England region for the anti-racism campaign Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC), delivering teacher training on how to combat racism and facilitating workshops for thousands of young people. Osei has also delivered workshops for Kick It Out and is a trained tutor for the Professional Footballers Association.

Session: Gender, homophobia and racism in sport (chaired by Dr Richard Elliott)

Read Osei Sankofa's full profile

Invited speakers (division-related)

Professor Joanne Wakefield-Scurr

Professor Joanne Wakefield-ScurrJoanne is a professor in biomechanics at Portsmouth University. She is head of the research group in breast health, which is internationally renowned for research on the biomechanics of the breast and bras, achieving over £1m of collaborative funding since 2005.

Session: Biomechanics and motor behaviour (chaired by Lynsey Northeast and Dr Andrew Mitchell)

Professor Simon Jobson

Professor Simon JobsonSimon is a BASES-accredited sport and exercise scientist known for his work in the field of cycling science. His research applies mathematical techniques to optimise the effectiveness of athletic training to maximise benefits for both elite athletes and recreational exercisers alike.

Session: Physiology and nutrition (chaired by Dr James Wright)

Dr Zoe Wimshurst

Dr Zoe WimshurstZoe is a senior lecturer in psychology at AECC University College. She researches the cognitive and biological aspects of psychology and is especially interested in vision, using eye-tracking to enhance informative uptake, prevention and management of concussion through cognitive/visual measures.

Session: Psychology (chaired by Dr Emma Mosley)

Dr Charlie Foster OBE

Dr Charlie Foster OBECharlie is a reader in physical activity and public health at the University of Bristol and was recently awarded an OBE for his work championing the development of new physical activity guidelines for previously overlooked groups, including pregnant women and those with disabilities.

Session: Physical activity for health (chaired by Dr David Brown)

Aaron Phipps

Aaron PhippsAaron is a former Great Britan wheelchair rugby player and London 2012 Paralympic athlete. In 2016 he set himself the ultimate challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - the highest mountain in Africa - to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation. It was the first time a disabled British person had climbed Kilimanjaro without assistance.

Session: Sport and performance (chaired by Dr Adam Grainger)


Biomechanics and motor behaviour

Guided Knowledge: In this session, Dr David Jessop will demonstrate the Guided Knowledge system, which aims to provide elite golfers and their coaches with a brand new view of the player's unique swing.

Physiology and nutrition

Fuelling Flapjacks: In this session,  Dr Ali Hill will teach delegates how to make their own flapjacks - great for slow-release energy during those long training sessions. Home-made flapjacks are usually healthier than shop-bought ones, and you can control what goes into them, meaning you can tailor them to your needs. Quick and easy, and they'll save you money too!


Eye-tracking and Quiet Eye: This workshop will explore how Quiet Eye can improve sporting performance and discuss which methods psychologists can implement to train Quiet Eye using the mobile Tobii eye trackers, concluding with a live practical session on putting performance.

Physical activity for health

FitQuest: A health-based physical fitness workshop hosted by MiE Medical Ltd and Solent PT. In this session, staff from MiE and students from Solent's PT programme will demonstrate the cutting-edge FitQuest system.

Sport and performance

Aaron Phipps: This session will demonstrate the support Aaron Phipps has been given by Solent University staff and students prior to preparation for London 2012 and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The session will include a live demonstration of a typical laboratory-based testing protocol, eg, VO2max.


Run in conjunction with the Society for Sports Therapists, this sports rehabilitation workshop, hosted by Iain Littlejohn MCSP and Lynsey Northeast MSST, will offer insights into techniques used to treat and manage sports injuries.

Supporters and contributors

Main conference sponsors

MiE logo          FitQuest logo


Southampton Football Club logo               Kick it Out logo               Reading FC logo

Association for Nutrition logo               Southampton City Council logo               Help for Heroes logo

Swindon Town FC logo               Society of Sports Therapists logo

Other conference sponsors

Cranlea logo               Perform Better logo               Catapult logo

Delsys logo               Physique logo               Tobii logo

Summit Medical logo

Sponsoring speakers, refreshments and prizes

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group logo               Human Kinetics logo               Bloomsbury logo

Wolter Kluwer logo

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