PhD student at the University of Sunderland and PGCE student at the University of Huddersfield
Communications Team member of the TGfU Executive Board
For me, I would say, I have had a good year, although it has been long and at times very stressful, it has been one of good fortune. I started off the year in this new role with the TGfU Sig with the intention of promoting games-based approaches and trying to reconnect with our community. Since May, we have had a monthly blog post about the latest developments in our field and I am so happy and grateful to those of you who contributed and to those of you who read them. We restarted and released our quarterly newsletter in November to share the events and latest news with the community. Celebrating our field by helping to create a central place where we can share ideas and continue to network is vital. I hope all of you can continue to engage with the Sig. I am proud and honoured that I can contribute to the TGfU Sig and wider community and I hope I can continue to improve our resources for everyone.
Some of you may know that Kelly Ann Parry, our very hard-working Executive Board member for Administration and Communications, added to her family in the past year. Subsequently Kelly has passed the baton to me and other members of the Board to allow her time to complete her PhD and spend more time with her family. We would like to thank her for all her efforts over the years and wish her and her family well for the future.
Towards the end of 2019, we lost a dear friend and colleague, Dr Joy Butler. Joy passed away on September 16th surrounded by close friends and family. Joy was a pioneer in so many things in her career and life– moving countries three times, developing innovations in teaching and learning, and most significantly leading, shaping and supporting an international movement around sport and physical education. Her research and teaching have been developed around constructivism, complexity thinking, situated ethics and community wellness. In comparison to many of you, I only had the pleasure of knowing Joy for a short amount of time, but I would like to share some of my thoughts. Every time I spoke with Joy, it was clear that she had so much passion for her work in TGfU, fairness and social justice and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. Despite her health issues, she was exercising daily and was a firm believer in getting moving. It was inspiring to see her commitment and determination in the face of adversity. She will be dearly missed, and her legacy will live on in her numerous interests including the graduate cohort program for practicing teachers. My hope is to include a commemoration page for Joy on our website shortly, and if you would like to contribute do please let me know.
On the 8th to 10th November we had the fifth International Game Sense for Teaching and Coaching Conference which was convened by the Tokyo Gakugei University, one week after the final of the highly successful 2019 Rugby World Cup. The conference was designed as small and friendly events that ran over two and a half days. They began with an opening keynote and welcome in the evening before with day 2 devoted to oral presentations and day 3 to demonstration of Game Sense by international experts. This conference attracted 140 attendee's from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US. The opening keynote was delivered by Professor Richard Light from the University of Canterbury and the other keynotes by Professor Stephen Harvey from Ohio University and Professor Karen Richardson from Bridgewater State University. There were two strands of oral presentations with one in Japanese and one in English. The Sunday workshops were delivered by experts from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the USA and Japan. Unfortunately, I was unable to make the event however I have been told that perhaps the highlight of the conference was the wonderful and warm conference dinner in a local izakaya. In the New Year, I hope to incorporate some more information from the conference and if any of our community attended, we would be happy to share some of your experiences so please get in touch.
Plans are well underway for our upcoming conference at the University of Worcester (28th to 30th July 2020), and I am looking forward to it being a big success. The overarching academic themes for the event will be: Inclusivity, Integration and Implementation. We already have confirmed keynote speakers including; Professor Linda Griffin, Professor Daniel Memmert, Professor Stephen Harvey and Professor Jean Côté. We also have extended seminar speakers including: Dr Jane Powell, Will Roberts, Dr Andy Cale, Stuart Armstrong and Dr David Gutierrez. If you are wanting to present at the conference, don’t forget abstract submission deadline is Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 4pm GMT (more details on our website and Twitter)! Conference registration will open in the New Year. On behalf of the Executive Board, we look forward to seeing many of you there.
As we get closer to the end of the year, I often find myself thinking about all the things I haven’t accomplished or regret. Personally, I often struggle looking back and thinking about all the amazing things I have done and am proud of, and some of you may be in similar positions. It is very important to celebrate our accomplishments no matter how small or big. So, I would like to invite you to think of at least one thing that you have done that you are proud of and share it with us either on here or on Twitter. For myself, I am proud to have passed the halfway milestone for my PhD, and I am looking forward to being able to share some of my work with you in the near future.
As the holidays and the end of the year fast approaches, the Executive Board would like to extend our warmest wishes to all our community for a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year. We look forward to celebrating with you all the amazing things that 2020 will bring.
Take care of yourselves.