Within in the framework of the ECSS - ESSA Exchange the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) and Exercise & Sport Science Australia (ESSA) organise annually a poster exchange to support the young upcoming scientists in the sport and exercise science.

For this reason ECSS sends the YIA Mini-Oral winner to Australia to present the winning presentation to the international audience within the ESSA congress. In April 2016 the mini-oral winner from Malmö, Tetsuhiro Kidokoro, participated the 7th ESSA Congress in Melbourne, Australia. He presented his work Associations between various intensities of physical activity and physical fitness in adolescents within a poster session in Research to Practice 2016.

Please find below the research report, where Tetsuhiro shares his experiences at the congress.


ECSS - ESSA exchange report

It was a great honour to take part in the ECSS-ESSA YIA exchange programme. First, I would like to thanks the ECSS and ESSA and all of the board and committee members for such a wonderful experience.

The 7th ESSA Congress, Research to Practice 2016, was held at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, in Melbourne, Australia from the 14th to 16th April 2016. This congress provided the latest scientific research, particularly focusing on the application of exercise, nutrition and sport science. A distinctive feature of this conference was its promotion of gender equality in the exercise and sport science professions. About 50% of the invited speakers and the scientific committee were female. The ESSA congress offered fantastic invited talks from world-leading researchers as well as interactive debate sessions.  In particular, I was fascinated by an invited talk from Prof Joan Duda from University of Birmingham. As her work has been in exercise psychology, she emphasized the importance of the quality of motivation for behavioural change. Her talk reminded us to consider motivation not as a unitary concept concerned only with the intensity of motivation (i.e., high or low motivation), but also the quality of motivation (“why” an individual is motivated to act). Namely, we are more likely to succeed in our goals if the motivation is driven by the inherent fun and interest in that activity (intrinsic motivation, e.g., because I enjoy it) rather than the internal pressure (introjected regulation, e.g., because I would feel guilty if I did not do it), or external factors (external regulation, e.g., because people push me to). I believe these psychological approaches are essential to promoting physical activity at population levels.

A picture taken outside of the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre

During the congress, I presented my ECSS-ESSA exchange poster “Association between various intensities of physical activity and physical fitness in adolescents”. I was delighted to discuss my research with world-leading researchers, young scientists from my generation, as well as practitioners. It was a precious experience to gain new perspectives from different disciplines. In fact, I have made a research protocol based on the discussion I had at ESSA congress!

A picture with Prof. Tim Cable (President of ECSS) after the poster session

In addition, I enjoyed debate sessions, in particular, “DEBATE: Motivation to move is more important than the exercise prescription for health”. It was the first time for me to participate in this kind of debate session, as the debate session has not been a popular presentation style in Japan. Of course, I enjoyed the contents of the debate. But more importantly, I was fascinated by their performance skills (how to present, and communicate with the audience) in order to get us to believe what they believe during the debate sessions.

Furthermore, I found myself lucky to visit Victoria University, Melbourne, a day before the congress commenced (13th of April, 2016). I had an appointment with Prof Stuart Biddle from Victoria University who worked at Loughborough University (U.K.) where I studied as a master course student in 2012-2013. Initially, I was surprised to know that he had move to Melbourne where ESSA would be held (what a small world!). He had kindly took me on a university campus tour and showed me the fantastic research facilities of the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living (ISEAL). During the congress, we discussed research ideas and he provided me with insightful advice from behavioural and epidemiological perspectives. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Prof Stuart Biddle for this fantastic time during my visit.

Last but not least, a day after the congress had finished, I had a chance to watch Australian Football at the Melbourne Olympic Park Stadium. Although it was very first time to watch Australian Football (I even didn’t know the rules!), I honestly enjoyed the speedy and exciting nature of this sport. Australian Football seems like a combination between soccer and rugby, and it is arguably one of the hardest sports in the world. Interestingly, there was a time for the audience to go down to football pitch after the game. Kids seemed to particularly enjoy the moment when they could play the football where their hero who had played just a while ago. I understood how deeply sport activity is rooted in Australian people through this experience.

The first experience of Australian football (left). The moment we could go down to the football pitch after the game finished (right).

The ECSS-ESSA exchange programme was an absolutely great experience. I felt extremely honoured to receive the YIA awards at last year’s ECSS congress (Malmo, Sweden, 2015). I gained a lot of confidence from the awards. I am sure that, for me as a young scientist, the exchange programme will enrich my future career.

Tetsuhiro Kidokoro

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