Symposium 4

Promoting Health and Wellbeing for Youth through Physical Education and Sport for Young People: Future considerations 

Four international presenters from New Zealand, China, Serbia and Russia, focus their attention on the promotion of health and wellbeing through physical education and sport. Noteworthy in all presentations, is the focus on new initiatives and the need to provide relevant, challenging and quality experiences for young people whether it be through the official school curriculum or through sporting programmes beyond the school. The first presentation: “Physical Education and Wellbeing: Working towards Achieving New Zealand’s Vision of Being the Best Place in the World for Children and Young People” highlights some of the significant physical education curriculum realignments and reconceptualization’s that are beginning to occur in New Zealand. The second presentation entitled “The Changing Status of School Physical Education Policy in China” draws attention to the mechanisms of policy formation in China and identifies four characteristics in policy evolution. The third presentation “Physical Education in the Republic of Serbia: Changes in the 21st Century aimed at Creating Physical Literate Students” outlines a number of significant initiatives aimed at providing quality physical education programmes that are relevant and focused on the needs of young people in Serbia in order for them to achieve and maintain active healthy lifestyles. The last presentation, “Project for Helping Parents in Choosing a Sport for Children: A Research Study in Russia” focuses on an initiative that provides a comprehensive testing system for choosing a ‘right’ sport discipline for children willing to pursue a carrier in professional sports.

Symposium Chairperson and Presenter  

Prof. Emeritus Ian CULPAN
Co-Director, New Zealand Centre for Olympic Studies
University of Canterbury
New Zealand.

Emeritus Prof. Ian Culpan is the Co-Director of the New Zealand Centre for Olympic Studies and the former head of the School of Sport and Physical Education at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. His experiences include being a visiting professor at Charles University in the Czech Republic, the German Sport University of Cologne, Germany, the University of Peloponnese Greece, the International Olympic Academy Olympia Greece, and Kristainstad University, Sweden. His research interests are in physical education/teacher education (PETE), Curriculum Development, Physical Education Pedagogy, Olympism and its pedagogy, and the social and educative value of physical education and sport where he has published widely.  He has led and directed many national initiatives in physical education, including national curriculum and qualifications development, and Olympic related matters. Professor Culpan served three years as the vice-president of Physical Education New Zealand (PENZ). He has been the national Journal Editor and is on the editorial board of 5 international journals. He is the immediate Past President of the New Zealand Olympic Academy and the immediate past President (Oceania) for the Federation Internationale d’Education Physique (FIEP). Prof. Culpan has twice been awarded the International Olympic Committee Trophy for Education and Sport (2000) and 150 years Pierre de Coubertin, Sport a School of Life (2013). He was the 7th person to be awarded the Sir Alexander Gillies Medal for Physical Education in NZ (2001) and is a Life Member and National Fellow of Physical Education New Zealand (PENZ). For four years he co-coordinated the New Zealand All Blacks Leadership Training programme and has been an education consultant for a number of multi-national corporations. Professor Culpan has served on UNESCO’s 2013 expert advisory group for developing Policy on Quality Physical Education and is a Trustee of the National Sports Museum of New Zealand.

Physical Education and Wellbeing: Working towards Achieving New Zealand’s Vision of ‘Being the Best Place in the World for Children and Young People

Physical education across the globe has, in the last three decades been under threat. The threat being bought about by economic and political philosophy and practice that places importance on productivity and the ‘god like’ status given to the marketplace. However, more recent global happenings and initiatives e.g. the virus pandemic, UNESCO’s 17 sustainable development goals and realisation that personal and community wellbeing needs more attention has shifted thinking to the importance of health and wellbeing.  With this shift the focus on the role and quality of physical activity and physical education for young people becomes a concern. In New Zealand, like in many other Western democracies, some of these global influences have had a profound effect. In physical education’s case, some significant curriculum re-alignments and reconceptualization’s are beginning to occur. This presents immense future potentialities for physical education and is worthy of thorough investigation. There is a call for radical reform to be led by academics collaborating and working with and alongside practitioners.  This reform will necessitate changes to physical education curriculum, pedagogies used, teacher education programmes and community service initiatives.  This presentation will highlight possible potentialities and international researched based initiatives that may contribute to the reconceptualization and re-alignment of physical education in order to capture its educative and social worth and contribution to holistic wellbeing. By capitalising on such potentials and initiatives the future legitimacy of this important learning area will be enhanced.


Prof. Dr. Ke ZHOU
Executive Board Member, ACESS
Board of Directors, BRICSCESS
Vice Dean, School of Physical Education
Henan University

Prof. Dr. Ke Zhou received his Master and Doctorate degree in Physical Education and Sports Training from Henan University,China. He completed his Postdoctoral research at the University of Texas at Austin,USA. Dr. Zhou’s research interests lie in the field of PE teacher development, and adolescence health promotion. He has published 6 academic monographs and translated 2 books. He has published close to 60 papers in professional journals such  as Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, China Sport Science and Journal of the Chinese Society of Education. Dr. Zhou has given over 30 invited presentations at conferences organized by the International Council of Sport Science, the Physical Education,Society of Health and Physical Educator and the Chinese Sport Science Society.

The Changing Status of School Physical Education Policy in China

Since the 1980s, school physical education has always been a key area valued by the Chinese government. It has been suggested that the understanding about policy connotation from scholars and PE teachers can be both the driving force and the resistance for school physical education policy implementation. A total of 18 physical education documents selected in this paper are regulations, decisions, and notices released by the General Office of the State Council, the Ministry of Education, and National Department of Sport. This research adopts a document analysis method, based on the Nvivo8.0 analysis software, to analyse the school physical education policies promulgated in China since 2001. The study found that 2007 and 2014 were the years most policy documents were promulgated. The Ministry of Education promulgated the most of school physical education policies with 15, followed by the General Office of the State Council and the State General Administration of Sports, with three documents. According to the number of coding nodes, “Opinions on Further Strengthening School Physical Education and Effectively Improving Students’ Quality”, “Opinions on Strengthening Youth Sports and Enhancing Youth Physical Fitness”, “On Further Strengthening School Physical Education “Several Opinions”, and “Opinions on Strengthening School Physical Education to Promote the Comprehensive Development of Students’ Physical and Mental Health” cover the most nodes. This presentation highlights what the research suggests are four characteristics in policy evolution.. These are: 1) the concept of governance in the connotation of school physical education policies is gradually revealed in China, which represents paying more attention to the linkage mechanism of schools, families and communities in school physical education; 2) policies attach more importance to physical education teaching, promoting teachers, curriculum and evaluation to improve the quality of physical education teaching in multiple dimensions; 3) policies emphasize the realization of the value of teachers and inspire the internal motivation of physical education teachers; 4) policies constantly strengthen the evaluation and guidance role of monitoring in policy implementation.

Assoc Prof. Dr. Ivana MILANOVIC
Department of Physical Education
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
University of Belgrade

Assoc. Prof. Ivana Milanović is working at Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, Serbia. Her main research interests include Physical Fitness, Physical Activity and Nutrition, Didactics of PE and Motor Development. She earned her PhD, defending her dissertation entitled: „Monitoring of students’ physical fitness in physical education classes“. She was one of the coordinators of the research project „Establishment of the system of physical fitness monitoring of students in physical education classes“ conducted on the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in collaboration with the Institute for Assessment of Education Quality in Serbia from 2011-2014. Also she is involved in the following projects approved and financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Science: „Improving the quality and accessibility of education in modernization processes in Serbia” No 47008 and „The effects of physical activity application to locomotor, metabolic, psychosocial and educational status with population of the Republic of Serbia“ No III47015. She is working as adviser at the Center for Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences (CHESS) in Belgrade. During 2016, she was one of the coordinators of the project “Active youth for a healthier life: Health, lifestyles and physical fitness of young people”, conducted in collaboration with Serbian Institute of Sport and Sport Medicine. She is a member of the Faculty Board. Also, she is FIEP national delegate and was awarded the FIEP Europe Thulin Young Scholar Award for 2013 – 2014. She published more than 60 papers in journals of national and international importance as well as in Conference proceedings of national and international meetings.

Physical Education in Republic of Serbia: Changes in the 21st Century aimed at Creating Physical Literate Students

Physical education (PE) is the only subject which prepares children and youth for a healthy life, being oriented towards their overall physical and mental development. Having regard to the changes occurred in some segments of PE during the last period in Republic of Serbia, the analysis included the following: PE curriculum and program, educational standards, teaching staff, interventions in PE and research in the field of PE. Within the subject bearing a new name from 2017 (Physical and Health education) in primary schools, there have been some significant novelties such as an increase in the number of classes, the focus which has been moved away from the curriculum and learning content towards the learning process and it outcomes, introduction of mandatory monitoring of student’s physical fitness as well as introduction learning about the connection between physical fitness, physical activity and health. The educational standards relating to the completion of compulsory education for PE subject were adopted in 2009 and 2015 they have been defined in relation to four areas: acquired motor skills, knowledge of physical exercise and PE, attitudes and values of physical exercise and PE and the level of physical fitness. In terms of teaching staff and their education in Republic of Serbia, since the 2005 year, a master’s degree has been a prerequisite for working in education for all teachers as well as PE teachers. Professional training has become an integral and mandatory part of the teacher’ professional development which implies acquiring the new competences and improving the existing ones relevant for the improvement of teaching and educational work. During the last ten years, there have been interventions in number of schools in Serbia. Some of these interventions were aimed at increasing physical activity of students in school, such as the Brain Brakes Physical Activity Solutions, and others were aimed to improving the healthy habits of students, such as Active youth for a healthier life: Health, lifestyles and physical fitness of young people”, etc. Also, there was a lot of research at national level during this period in the field of PE. The results have indicated that it is necessary to continuously monitor the prevalence of obesity, level of physical activity and physical fitness in students at the national level, as well as to promote healthy eating habits and encourage students to engage in physical activity and exercise.

Prof. Dr. Kadriya AKHMEROVA
Board of Directors, BRICSCESS
Director, FSBI “Federal center for preparation of the sports reserve” Ministry for sport of the Russian Federation

Prof. Dr. Kadriya Akhmerova was an assistant of Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation State Duma (2008 – 2010).  Prof. Dr. Akhmerova is also Member of the «United Russia party»; Member of the Board of trustees of the Presidential Regiment of the Federal Guard Service of the Russian Federation; Member of the working group on the development of sports medicine of Presidential Council of the Russian Federation (Order of the President of the Russian Federation 02.02.2013 №23); President of Moscow Archery Federation, Vice President of Russian Archery Federation. She was a Director of Moscow Center of Advanced Sport Technologies (until October 2020). Dr. Akhmerova is a Director of “Federal center for preparation of the sports reserve” Ministry for sport of the Russian Federation.

Project for Helping Parents in Choosing a Sport for Children: A Research Study in Russia

In 2016, we developed a comprehensive test system for choosing a ‘right’ sport discipline for children willing to pursue a carrier in professional sports. Over 400 Moscow coaches in various sports and experts from leading sports universities were involved in the development of the Project methods and test evaluation standards. The test system is designed to help the parents, coaches and the future athletes to identify the child’s predisposition to a particular sport. The testing assesses the following qualities and parameters: 1) psychophysiological: memory, attention, reaction rate, type of temperament, personal qualities, motivation; 2) anthropometric: physical development, body composition, musculoskeletal system, biological age; 3) sport-related: strength abilities, physical performance, speed abilities, coordination, flexibility, speed-strength abilities, vestibular stability. The testing is intended for children at the age of 5.5-12 years. In Moscow, there are 11 test centres under the Project for Helping Parents in Choosing a Sport for Children. The testing of 2 children takes no more than 2 hours. Based on the testing results, the child’s representative will receive an electronic report on the child’s current development compared to his peers in terms of age and sex, and recommendations for the appropriate sports. More than 16,000 children have been tested for the 3 years of the Project. Based on the testing results, the study found the following: more than 42.9% of the children started playing sports; 30.9% confirmed the correctness of the chosen sport; 15.1% changed their sport or chose the recommended one. An online resource has been launched for a home-based trial testing. It allows the parents to learn more about the Project and get a preliminary automatic report and recommendations based on a partial testing of their child and entering relevant data into the system.