Sport is unique in its contribution to society because of its power to impact all domains of human development. Development in its broadest sense refers to many aspects of the human experience. Accordingly, sport can impact the physical, health, psychological and social facets of our humanity. It is this far reaching potential that sport possesses which led to the United Nations declaring 2004 “The year of sport” and outlining eight millennium developmental goals ranging from economic development to reduction of poverty and disease. Over ten years later, these goals are still pertinent.
Sport has always played an integral role within Caribbean societies. Sports personalities have for a long time been the Caribbean’s heroes and so too sport has always been an iconic Caribbean pastime. This popularity has driven many state initiatives to use sport as a tool for economic and social development. In addition to the professional/semi-professional and amateur athletes who participate in competitive sport, there are also those who engage in regular exercise. However, many persons who exercise do not meet the recommended guidelines and may fail to reap the attendant benefits. As such, increased initiatives to imbue physical literacy in making physical fitness and regular exercise a central part of the average citizens’ lifestyle have also become a priority. This focus on sport at both the elite and recreational level has also directed attention to the gendered disparities in access and equity.
Notwithstanding the central role that sport has had in the region and all the achievements that sportspersons have realized, there has not been a sufficient paralleled growth of a science of sport in the Caribbean. In continuing to drive this impetus, the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine) will host its 2nd biennial Interdisciplinary Conference on Sport Studies and Higher Education under the theme “Physical Literacy: Gender, Science, and Sport for Development” at the University ofthe West Indies, St.Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago on January 13–15, 2016.
This conference will contribute to the development of research and scholarship on sport which can support programmes of sport in tertiary and higher education institutions. Such knowledge would also support the needs of athletes, sporting and fitness professionals, organizations and practitioners at all levels of society, bringing into focus a new evidence-based approach to sport. We in the Caribbean recognize the importance and potential of sport as a vehicle that has allowed our citizens to reach the highest levels of human achievement. In short, sport has already proven its merit for our societies and as such its impact and potentialwithin these societies needs to be studied.
We hereby invite the submission of abstracts for consideration to be presented at this conference. Abstracts should be submitted by October 31, 2015. Submissions may be based on quantitative or qualitative studies and including but not limited to the following sub-themes:
- The Role of the State
- The History of Sport in the Caribbean
- Literary Discourses on Sport
- Sport for All – Development of the Whole Person
- Sexualities and Gender Identities in Sport
- Women and Sport:Issues and Challenges
- Physical Education
- Sporting Facilities
- Sport and Persons with Disabilities
- Movement and Physicality
- Sport Science
- Anti-Doping Policy