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THE STATUS QUO The United Kingdom Sport Development Network (UKSDN) 2018 Conference took place recently, with delegates discussing community sport development research, policy and practice. UKSDN chair Dr Chris Mackintosh reports


n 2-3 July 2018, over 60 key

course provided at over 50 universities, in

of sport and physical activity. The clear

policy makers, practitioners

over 130 derivatives of the course.

parallels with wider social objectives were

and academics met to

As the network now includes over

immediately apparent and alongside talks

discuss, frame and shape

twenty international collaborators and

from The Alliance of Sport, Street Games

the landscape of sport

over 40 of the 50 providers of HEI sport

and others working in this field we saw

development at Hartpury

development that have engaged with

the powerful synergy of researchers and

University Centre in Gloucestershire

us, growth of the industry was not the

practitioners, and embraced Rosie’s ‘call

supported by the United Kingdom Sport

theme of the conference. Instead, fiscal

to arms’ for new ways of collaborating,

Development Network (UKSDN) partnered

tightening, renewed focus on budgets,

creating projects and collating

with ConnectSport. It is now over ten

targets and performance of key agencies

information to develop evidence.

years since the network was founded.

in this domain are drivers of our industry.

Numerous PhD students embedded within practice illustrated how the

New themes

Sport for social development

traditional PhD is increasingly available

The purpose of the two day conference

The keynote presenter that opened

in more innovative practice-facing or

was to revisit the founding principles of

proceedings was Professor Rosie Meek, an

even policy-led ways. This three-year

the collective, which has engaged over

advocate for considering the role of sport

model of sustained research that aims

1000 delegates in community sport

in prisons and prisoner rehabilitation.

to understand, evolve project learning

development in ten years at multiple higher

Fresh from undertaking a government

and draw upon and use theory to drive

education institutional (HEI) settings. Sport

review of the role of sport, Rosie offered

effective outcomes was apparent in

Development is an HEI undergraduate

12 key areas for improving prisons’ use

diverse fields within the industry.


Over 60 delegates attended the two-day conference


ISSUE 3 2018

Is a collective of NGB, CSP, third sector, HEI and community sport development organisations that offers a series of symposiums, and annual conference and face-to-face networking for professionals looking to bridge the academia-policy-practice gap. For further information on its work, contact c.mackintosh@mmu.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter @UKSDN


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