The Physical Education, Physical Activity and Youth Sport (PEPAYS) Ireland Research Centre – Ann MacPhail

The PEPAYS Ireland Research Centre was established in 2005 and has four core values; (1) Understand the conditions that enhance children and youth’s capacities for participation in a physically active lifestyle, (2) Pursue collaborative multi-disciplinary approaches to research on children’s engagement in a physically active lifestyle, (3) Develop exemplary models of teacher education and professional development in physical education, and (4) Develop exemplary models of coaching education and professional development in youth sport.

During the last twelve years PEPAYS Ireland has helped to build research expertise in physical education, physical activity and youth sport across the island of Ireland and the researchers from schools and higher education institutions have addressed key questions around people’s engagement in physical activity and sport as part of healthy and active lifestyles. You can find more information about the Centre’s work at our website

PEPAYS Ireland is now recognized nationally and worldwide for the quality and impact of its research in service to Irish teachers, teacher educators, coaches, coach educators, and policy makers in support of an inclusive physically active culture in Ireland’s schools and communities. The expertise of our researchers supports multidisciplinary approaches to solving challenges to greater engagement in physically active lifestyles. We have held national conferences annually since 2006 (proceedings from these conferences are on the Irish Sport Council’s website In 2011 PEPAYS Ireland co-hosted the prestigious AIESEP international conference with physical education and sport pedagogy scholars from 35 countries sharing their research.

The theme of this year’s PEPAYS Ireland Research Forum (15th to 16th June 2017), ‘Health and Well-Being: A PEPAYS Ireland Agenda?’, will allow members and attendees of the Forum to consider the future direction of PEPAYS Ireland and the extent to which the development and related discussions around health and well-being may inform its future. Our keynote address on Thursday evening, ‘Wholism, the physical body and wellbeing education’, will be delivered by two colleagues from Dublin City University, Dr. Maeve O’Brien and Dr. Andrew O’Shea. Discipline responses on Friday morning will consider the extent to which the health and well-being ‘agenda’ should / could penetrate the current and future directions of physical education, sport science, physical activity, youth sort and active transport. There will then be an opportunity for attendees to develop this discussion in roundtable discussions before revisiting in the last session of the day, striving to consider how best our work can be reconfigured to produce policy and practice statements to inform those in positions to enact such policies. The day also accommodates a choice between attending a symposium and paper sessions.

PEPAYS Ireland is now entering a new stage of development for the Research Centre as we reach out to national sport, education, and health agencies in support of their research agendas around physical activity, physical education, and/or sport. An Advisory Board of prominent national figures, who are committed to healthy living, has been established to advise the Research Centre in terms of future strategic developments around this agenda.

If you interested in learning more about PEPAYS Ireland and / or becoming a member please do not hesitate the two Co-Directors – Ann MacPhail ( or Elaine Murtagh (‎).


Professor Ann MacPhail is Head of Department for the PESS Department and Professor in Physical Education. View Ann’s profile here.

Ann’s Email Address:
Ann’s Twitter: @AnnMacPhail

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