Symposium 3

Health and Wellness in the Youth: A focus on Sports, Dance, Well-being and Exercise

Five international presenters from South Africa, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Lithuania present their experiences in health and wellness in the youth with a special focus on sports, dance, the well-being and exercise in the younger generation. The first presentation: Children, Sports and Exercise: Myths VS the Facts”, distinguish facts from myths in sport and exercise in children and also emphasizes the fact that it is very important to find physical activities and sports that the child enjoys and that encourage a lifetime of staying active and fit.  In the second presentation: Dancing with the World: Aim for Globalize Harmony with Holistic Health Through Performing and Education”, the presenter from Hong-Kong introduces us to a series of 8 different dances for reflecting the source of the martial arts, principle of  movement, Yi philosophy, the five elements of nature, health and living philosophy. Through explanations and videos, this presentation may lead students and professionals to understand what these dances may offer them: Chinese culture, Chinese philosophy, good health, spiritual state via contemporary dynamic movement. The third presentation: “It’s worse than a break-up: COVID and Filipino College Athletes”, the focus is on student-athletes whose classes, training routines, and sport competitions were cancelled due to Covid-19 and the accompanying lockdown. Student-athletes from 12 Philippine colleges responded to an online survey that examines their experiences during the Extended Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed by the government.  Of the 16 moods assessed in the study, the same group of athletes scored highest in feeling uncertain and angry. In the last presentation of the Symposium: Health and Well-being in Lithuanian Youth: the Interaction Effect of Health-related Behavior, Pychological Distress and Social Capital”, the presenters provide a scientific evidence for illustration how health-related behaviors, including infection prevention behavior, psychological distress and social capital interact determining health and well-being in the Lithuanian youth. The research results will outline the targets for health policies and educational interventions in order young generation to be the foundation for future’s productive and healthy part of society.

Chairperson and Presenter

Prof. Dr. Hans DE RIDDER 
Founder Secretary-General and current President, BRICS Council of Exercise and Sport Science (BRICSCESS)
Senior Vice-President, ISAK
Board of Directors, Foundation for Global Community Health (GCH)
President, GoFPEP 2014
President, BRICSCESS 2019-Cape Town
Director, School of Human Movement Sciences
North-West University-Potchefstroom
South Africa

Prof. Dr. Hans de Ridder is the Director of the School of Human Movement Sciences at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. He is currently a C1 rated researcher of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. He was the receiver in 2002 of the Stals Award for Human Movement Sciences from the South African Academy for Science and Art for his exceptional contribution to kinanthropometry. In 2011 he was the receiver of the Albert Strating Award for Preventative Medicine, also from the South African Academy for Science and Art. At the age of 39 years, he was one of the youngest recipients of the Stals award and also the first in the history of the School of HMS at the North-West University in South Africa. In 2010 he reached a milestone in his research career, when his 50th post graduate student (M’s and Ph.D.’s) graduated. Currently a total of 66 students have completed their masters or doctoral studies under his guidance. He was the author or co-author of a total of 76 research articles published in subsidised academic journals. He is the Senior Vice-President, ISAK; Member of the Board of Directors of the GCH Foundation; President, GoFPEP 2014 and the Founder Secretary-General and current President of the BRICS Council of Exercise and Sport Science. He was also the president of the BRICSCESS 2019 congress in Cape Town.  He is married to Elsie, a math teacher, and they have three children Elé, De Wet and Maret.

Children, Sports and Exercise: Myths VS the Facts

There are many myths surrounding children participating in sport and physical activity. These myths can mean that kids can miss out on the important opportunities and benefits of playing sport and being active. It is therefore important to distinguish facts from myths in sport and exercise in children, at a very young age.  Myths are sometimes very convincing at first glance, very persuasive to many parents who want only the best for their kids. Sadly, in far too many communities they have become the status quo and are very unrealistic. It is sometimes very difficult to convince parents that this path is less likely to help your child become a better athlete, and far less likely to help him or her develop as a human being. Myths are killing youth sports, damaging our kids, and making athletics a toxic environment for far too many children. Therefore it is very important to find physical activities and sports that the child enjoys and that encourage a lifetime of staying active and fit.  If children get enough encouragement and support, chances are that a physical activity or even a few sports will spark the child’s interest. Take children to local sporting and fitness events and ask parents to share their own interests in sports and exercise with their children. This may just fan the flame. Many children are likely to show natural preferences for certain sports or activities. Start there, keeping the child’s age, maturity and abilities in mind.  Before allowing a child to participate in a contact sport, consider his or her age, maturity, and physical size. Also ask the question if the physical contact, aggressiveness and competition involved, are developmentally appropriate for the child.  Avoid early specialization in a single sport. Focusing on one sport could prevent the child from testing his or her skills and experiencing other enjoyable sports. Sports specialization can also lead to stress and burnout.  Overall, be positive and encouraging when it comes to sport and exercise choices in children. Emphasize effort, improvement and enjoyment over winning or personal performance. Last but not the least, parents and coaches must act as a good models of sportsmanship themselves. They must always lead by example.

Dr. Miranda Sau Lin CHIN, MFA, MBA
Artistic Director, Miranda Chin Dance Company
Principal, Danceland School
Past Vice-Chair, Hong Kong Dance Federation Ltd.
Beijing Dance Academy Graded Examination on Chinese Dance
Hong Kong-China

Dr. Miranda Sau Lin Chin is the artistic director of Miranda Chin Dance Company and the principal of Danceland School. Chin was listed as a modern dance choreographer of the first generation in Hong Kong by a book entitled Dance History of Hong Kong in 2001. There were over 100 pieces of creative dance work choreographed by Chin and tour performed over 10 countries. She was a Vice-president of Hong Kong Dance Federation. Chin won the dancer of the Year Award from the Hong Kong Artists’ Guild in 1989. She was listed in the Who’s Who of Centemporary Achievement and received the World Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Biographical Institute. Since 2001, she has created a series of contemporary Chinese cultural dance “Martial Arts & Tai Chi” which embodied chinese philosophy, martial arts and the harmony with the nature. She was a senior Visiting Scholar at the Beijing Sport University since 2004. Chin wrote a book to share with readers the process and experience of her exploration, realization and experimentation during the creation of the dances for Wuji in 2001-2008. In 2011, Chin gave touring lectures at universities of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 2017, Dr. Miranda Chin was awarded as one of the ‘Top 100 Artists’ in the areas of Dance, as an Artistic Director & Choreographer granted by the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, the United Kingdom.

Dancing with the World: Aim for Globalize Harmony with Holistic Health Through Performing and Education

              Chin’s Dance = Chinese culture + Chinese Philosophy + Health + Martial art +  Contemporary Arts

The Chinese culture and philosophy got over 5,000 years in history, while Martial Arts and Tai Chi is one of the most representative elements in it. Through applying these elements into simplified contemporary dances, the general public can easily get in touch with dances and getting good health and be able to sense the spirit of Chinese culture particularly the feeling of harmony with the nature. Chin had produced  eight series of martial art and  dances for reflecting the source of the martial arts, principle of  movement, Yi philosophy, the five elements of nature, health and living philosophy. Chin will explain the creation process of these eight series of dance including how she did the research and development. We see and feel then we dance, we dance to show what we see and feel, that means dance is a body language. It is therefore dances are the history of people’s culture and philosophy. Thus Chin’s dance tells the contemporary ways, shows the culture and spirit of Chinese. Through explanation, video, this presentation may lead students and professionals to understand what Chin’s dances bring to them …… Chinese culture, Chinese philosophy, good health, spiritual state via contemporary dynamic movement. Then she will share her concept and process of her recent artistic development is on mergering Chinese culture into simplifed dances for promoting Chinese culture and health and is now has over 56 countries applying it.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maria Luisa GUINTO
Research Director, College of Human Kinetics
University of the Philippines, Diliman
Treasurer: Asian South-Pacific Association of Sport Psychology (ASPASP)
Board Member: International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Women and Girls (IAPESGW)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marissa Luisa Guinto is one of the forerunners of Sport Psychology in the Philippines.  As a founding member of the Association of Sport and Exercise Psychology of the Philippines (ASEPP), she was the main proponent behind the recognition of Sport and Exercise Psychology as a Special Interest Group (SEP-SIG) in the national organization of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP).  She is also the current Treasurer of the Asian South-Pacific Association of Sport Psychology (ASPASP).  Furthermore, she is a member of the Women in Sports Commission (WiSC) of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Board Member of the International Association of P.E. and Sports for Girls and Women (IAPESGW), and scientific advisor at the Foundation for Global Community Health (GCH).  At present, she is Associate Professor, Research Director and Sport Psychologist at the College of Human Kinetics of the University of the Philippines.

“It’s worse than a break-up”: COVID and Filipino College Athletes

Government lockdowns associated with the coronavirus pandemic have forced populations into quarantine to restrict movement and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Among those who were severely affected were student-athletes whose classes, training routines, and sport competitions were cancelled. In this study, student-athletes from 12 Philippine colleges and responded to an online survey that examines their experiences during the Extended Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed by the government. Of the 1651 respondents, 53% are males while 47% are females, with most of them in the 18 to 20 years age group.  Although most of them continued to do some form of physical activity and exercise during the ECQ, it was much less in quantity and quality compared to what they used to do before the ECQ. Responses to items describing their sentiments revealed that the student-athletes miss their teammates the most, followed by missing training in their sport, missing competing in their sport, missing their coach and feeling bored without regular sports training. Athletes who did not complete their sport season before the ECQ scored the highest in regretting not reaching their sport goals this semester, worrying about getting back in shape for their sport, grieving the loss of opportunity to win medals or achieve success in their sport, feeling that their collegiate sports ended abruptly with COVID ECQ, missing the attention and recognition of fans and supporters and feeling angry about the disruption of their athletic activities. Of the 16 moods assessed in the study, the same group of athletes scored highest in feeling uncertain and angry. Implications to collegiate sport policy and intervention are discussed.

Assoc Prof. Dr. Brigita MIEZIENSE
Lithuanian Sports University
Lithuania

Assoc Prof. Dr. Brigita Mieziene focused on health-related behaviors (physical activity, nutrition), health indicators (physical fitness, self-rated health, psychological distress) and their related individual and interpersonal factors – motivation, attitudes towards physical activity, social capital and other psychosocial determinants. Research results are presented in a variety of international publications. She was the principal investigator in 20 scientific or experimental development projects. Among the recent projects were: „ The Relationships among Social Capital and School Physical Activity Policy with Physical Activity in High School Students “, funded by Lithuanian Research Council; „Registry and Monitoring of Physical Fitness in Lithuanian Schoolchildren (LitFit)“, funded by Lithuanian Ministry of Health Care; “The Examination of Health Determinants and Recommendations for Health Improvement in Conscripts and Compulsory Military Service Soldiers”, funded by Lithuanian Research Council. She had scientific fellowships at Harvard University (in 2018 and 2019), exploring research methodology and the role of social capital in health-related behaviors.

Prof. Dr. Arunas EMELJANOVAS
Department of Physical and Social Education
Lithuanian Sports University
Lithuania

Prof. Dr. Arunas Emeljanovas an author of over 80 publications in international scientific journals (about 40 on Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) data base with Impact Factor), has offered several keynotes and invited presentations, and over 90 conference paper presentations. He is an expert in the field of physical education for Lithuanian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.

Prof. Emeljanovas actively participate in scientific activities at the international level: was an opponent in PhD thesis defense in Latvia and Estonia; member of Scientific Expert Commission of Latvian Council of Science; member of several international scientific institutions: FIEP, ENSSEE, INSHS, CEREPS, Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance and Foundation of Global Community Health (GCH). He was a leader and member in a number of scientific, study and experimental development projects at national and international levels. Among them:2018 Grant for scientific research project “The examination of health determinants and recommendations for health improvement in conscripts and compulsory military service soldiers“, funded by Lithuanian Council of Science; 2016 Grant for the International Project “Development of Physical Fitness Testing and Assessment Methodology for Preschool and Primary School Children and Integration into the Physical Education Process” funded by Program Norway Grants (European Economic Area); 2013 – 2015 Grant for scientific research project “Health Related Physical Fitness, its Variation and Determinants”, funded by Lithuanian Council of Science. His main research interests include physical fitness and physical activity of adolescents and issues on school physical education.

Health and Well-being in Lithuanian Youth: the Interaction Effect of Health-related Behavior, Pychological Distress and Social Capital

Body of evidence suggests that a list of chronic as well as infectious (like Covid-19) diseases and related poor well-being are the outcomes of adverse health-related behaviors. Health-related behaviors are important factors for health promotion and disease prevention. The existing evidence in geographical ‘longevity hot spots’ – so called Blue Zones – indicates the complex of lifestyle factors like healthy nutrition, physical activity, low levels of stress, belonging to the family and community as the main determinants of well-being. The purpose of this presentation is to provide scientific evidence for illustration how health-related behaviors, including infection prevention behavior, psychological distress and social capital interact determining health and well-being in Lithuanian youth. Physical activity, nutrition, addictive behaviors, which have accumulative effect on health, will be discussed in the relation to risk of chronic diseases. However, infection prevention behavior is related to poor immediate outcomes that progressively spread within the community.  Recent epidemic of COVID-19 showed the vital importance of behavioral compliance in the success of multiple infection control interventions. Social norms, cohesiveness, informal social control – parts of social capital – might contribute a lot for individual social responsibility, further infection prevention behavior and health not only in youth, but the entire society.  The research results will outline the targets for health policies and educational interventions in order young generation to be the foundation for future’s productive and healthy part of society.