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ECSS Malmö 2015: 2,000 abstracts in more than 200 sessions

Post by Aage Radmann and Susanna Hedenborg

Post by Aage Radmann and Susanna Hedenborg

As presidents for the ECSS Malmö 2015 Congress, we have spent a few days down at the ECSS central office in Cologne together with the staff members, Hans Hoppeler (former president of the ECSS, 2009–2011) and Flemming Dela (co-chair of the ECSS Scientific Board). The purpose of this high-level get-together was to build the program, based on accepted abstract. The program will be announced to all participants on April 1, 2015.

The ECSS office is located close to the German Sport University Cologne (Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln, https://www.dshs-koeln.de/english). This is the biggest sport university in Europe with its 21 faculties with high quality education and research.


Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln

Some 6,000 students from 72 countries are enrolled in courses and programs within a diverse array of teacher education, humanities and social sciences, and world leading biomedicine. It is an enormous university campus, with lecture rooms, sport facilities and student accommodation. It is situated close to recreational parks, and there is even a horse stable so that the future PE teachers will be well prepared!

Flemming Dela, co chair Scientific board, Copenhagen university Hans Hopppeler, former president - building the program with the help of post-it notes

Flemming Dela, co-chair Scientific board, Copenhagen university, and Hans Hopppeler, former president, in the initial stages of program building – utilizing post-it notes.

For the Malmö ECSS congress about 2,000 abstracts have now been placed in different sessions, and it’s amazing what an interdisciplinary scholarly meeting this really is. ECSS is actually one of the largest interdisciplinary sport science conferences in the world, and in Malmö yore congress is made up of 200 sessions! In addition, satellite sessions, interest group meetings and workshops are planned in connection to the scientific program.


Elias Tsolakidis - Technical Director - European College of Sport Science Hans Hoppeler, former president  Thomas D after a long day building the program at the potato restaurant

Time for a dinner break after a long day building the program. Elias Tsolakidis, ECSS Technical Director, Hans Hoppeler, former president, and Thomas Delaveaux, Executive Director of the ECSS, at the Anno Pomm Kartoffelhaus.

Participants will arrive from about 75 countries across the globe. Even though this is a European conference, big groups of researchers come from Japan, Brazil and other countries well outside of Europe.

This year the number of abstracts from the fields of social science and the humanities have increased, and this summer more than 25 per cent of the presentations fall within these fields. ECSS 2015 is possibly the scientific sport conference that has attracted the highest number of participants within the field of social science and humanities ever!

The ECSS Malmö 2015 Congress presidents, Aage Radmann and Susanna Hedenborg, in Cologne.

The ECSS Malmö 2015 Congress presidents, Aage Radmann and Susanna Hedenborg, in Cologne.

We really look forward to meeting you all in Malmö!


Invited Session and Satellite Symposium on “Sport, Professionalization and Migration”

With increasing globalization and professionalization of sports, athletes, coaches and other sports personnel move across regional and national borders to take up work with increasing frequency, and our scholarly approaches to sport can no longer presume the boundaries of nation-states as the natural context for sport. Today, transnational mobility holds important consequences for national and international sport governing bodies, local clubs and individual athletes’ careers and lives.


This invited session and satellite symposium bring together senior and young researchers whose expertise includes sports and mobility, sports and professionalization, as well as sport, race and gender. In relation to existing research on sports labour migration (developing predominantly macro-structural perspectives on the global flows of athletes) this session and satellite symposium will present new theoretical perspectives on athletes’ mobility and bring the experiences of the players themselves forward through case studies of male and female athletes’ mobility in sports.

The invited session ”Sports labour mobility and the politics of precarity” will start at 10.20 on June 26th (for more information see the programme for the ECSS Conference). The concept of precarity is taken from among others the British economist, Guy Standing, who has examined the processes through which many a modern worker is becoming part of the ‘precariat’ combining the concepts precarious and proletariat (Standing 2011). The defining characteristic of members of the precariat is the unstable and short-term nature of their employment underpinned by a low probability of building a career. The three presentations in the session will alert attention to the variety and specificity of precarious issues for male as well as female athletes in various parts of the world of sport.

Niko Besnier

Niko Besnier

The first speaker is Professor Niko Besnier from Amsterdam University, the Netherlands, who is heading the project “Globalization, Sports and the Precarity of Masculinity”, an Advanced Research Grant funded by the European Research Council. Professor Besnier will report on the most current findings from multi-sited comparative ethnographic research on the hopes of young men in the so-called Global South and the migratory actions that derive from them.

Carmen Rial

Carmen Rial

The second speaker will be Professor Carmen Rial from University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Based on multi-sited ethnographic research conducted since 2003 about the careers and life styles of Brazilian football players living in more than 10 countries, this presentation compares the experiences of players who migrate to China, India, Korea, Morocco or Uruguay to celebrity players who work at global clubs in Europe. It addresses cultural, political and economic implications of this form of circulation.

Sine Agergaard

Sine Agergaard

The third speaker is associate Professor, Sine Agergaard, Aarhus University, Denmark, who will report on precarious issues arising in a critical case study of African female athletes’ migration into and away from Scandinavian football clubs. Attention will be given to the fact that even though Scandinavian clubs and audiences employ and consume an increasing number of transnational athletes, there is no policy framework set up to ensure support to their dual career development and post-career transition.

In the afternoon of the 26th of June a satellite symposium to the ECSS Conference will be held five minutes away at Malmö University. The focus will be on the Scandinavian context, since this is the final seminar for a Nordic collaborative research project, a project that has consisted of a number of PhD projects based at various Scandinavian universities (see www.ph.au.dk/nordcorp). The studies have been using women’s football in Scandinavia – a leading centre of the game at a global level – as a case for analysing crucial changes in the Nordic civil society model of sport resulting from globalization and professionalization processes.

At the satellite symposium, six presentations will be held, mostly by PhD-students. The themes will be:

  • Branding of Scandinavian football (Mattias Melkersson, Malmö University)
  • Sport Development or Sport for Development? A comparative analysis of two Scandinavian football interventions, LdB FC For Life (South Africa) and Open Fun Football Schools (Moldova) (Niklas Hafen, Malmö University)
  • The feminisation of football in Europe (Svenja-Maria Mintert, Copenhagen University)
  • African Footballers in Scandinavia (Mari Haugaa Engh, Aarhus University)
  • Racism among African Minority Youth in Norway (Prisca Bruno Masao, Oslo University)
  • Female footballers in a new field – cultures collide in a Finnish football team (Pauliina Poikolainen, Jyväskylä University)

The discussion panel will consist of Kari Fasting, Bente O. Skogvang, Bo Carlsson, Gertrud Pfister, Torbjörn Andersson and Sine Agergaard.

Everybody is welcome to attend this symposium/mini-conference, which will take place between 13.30 and 18.45 at the Orkanen building in room D 222.

Torbjörn Andersson, Senior Lecturer,
Dept. of Sports Sciences, Malmö University

Sine Agergaard, Associate Professor,
Section for Sport Science, Aarhus University


Why Malmö is a perfect city for PhD students in Sport Science!

Post by Marie Larneby.

Post by Marie Larneby.

The ECSS conference is always a great opportunity for PhD students and young researchers to present ongoing research projects as well as taking part of new research in the multidisciplinary fields of sport sciences. At the ECSS Comngress in Malmö, as a PhD student, you will have the chance to further extend, discuss and present your research for other students, by attending the PhD course Scientific Quality, Position and Relevance in Sport Sciences (7,5 credits)!

Adjacent to and during the ECSS conference in Malmö 2015, this course is offered for students taking part of a doctoral training programme. It is a perfect opportunity to meet, get to know and to network with other PhD students in sport sciences. It is a distance course, with a campus meeting during the conference. The aim of the course, with the basis in different disciplinary departures, is to further develop the understanding of the field of sport sciences in relation to science in general and social sciences in particular. Another aim is to strengthen the student’s ability to write research articles to refereed journals. Important issues that will be dealt with during the course are for example: the scientific legacy of sport sciences, the concept of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘sustainability’ in relation to sport, and the social impact of sport sciences.

But the ECSS conference in Malmö is more than its congress venue and scientific programme! It is about meeting new people, experiencing a new country and discovering a part of the Scandinavian culture! Malmö is a vibrant, multicultural city that offers various sites and possibilities of experiences and activities.


If you have a longer pause in your scientific programme, you will have time to walk or take the bus to the long stretched beach and recreational area at the ‘Ribban Beach’, which is one of Malmö’s most beloved sites. The downtown area starts within a 5 minutes walk from the conference venue, with cafés, restaurants, cultural sites and nightlife. Malmö city is a great meeting point, and a night out for PhD students is a specific part of the social programme! And, additionally, there is much more to do, see and experience!

I hope to see you in Malmö in June!

Marie Larneby
PhD student at the Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University