2PASS4Health project team members pictured at the congress in Tarbes, Dec 2022
Students from the Lycée Marie Curie present at the 2PSS4Health congress
Tarbes, a city in the Occitanie region of southwest France, was the venue for the final dissemination event of the 2PASS4 Health (Promoting physical activity in secondary schools for health) project.
On 1st and 2nd December approx. 200 researchers, teachers and students met to share research and practice at the 2PASS4H congress hosted by the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour. The theme of the conference was “How to get your school moving” and the programme was packed with a range of keynote presentations, oral presentation, practical workshops and poster displays.
2PASS4Health is a pan-European project funded by the Erasmus+ programme. PESS researchers Prof Catherine Woods, Dr Elaine Murtagh, Dr Enrique García Bengoechea and Caera Grady (PhD student) represented UL during this 2-year project. Other institutions involved were: University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour (lead partner), City of Tarbes, University of Zaragoza, Ghent University and University of Porto.
At the opening keynote we heard from Prof Julien Bois who set the scene for the congress followed by our own Dr Enrique Garcia (Sport Ireland and UL) who shared the 2PASS4 Health position stand on promoting physical activity in schools. He outlined the need to adopt a salutogenic, strengths-based approach and to view children’s right to be physically active as the starting point for any school-based intervention. Throughout the two days we heard from each partnering institution such as researcher Dr Nicolas Fabre (University of Pau & Pays de l’Adour) and teachers from the Lycée Marie Curie as they shared their experience of collaboration to develop and implement a multi-level school-based intervention to promote physical activity. Subsequently Prof Leen Haerens (University of Ghent) presented on the role of a motivating teaching style to engage students during physical education.
Practical workshops included (i) Practical tools to promote physical activity at school (led by staff from the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour), (ii) Discover and improve your personal motivating teaching style (University of Ghent) (iii) Using a co-creative approach in developing physical activity interventions for adolescents (University of Zaragoza) and (iv) Practical ways to measure physical activity and fitness in school context (University of Porto). In addition, the UL team facilitated a workshop on the ‘Keep Youngsters Involved’ Toolkit. The resource aims to support clubs and coaches to retain young people in sport. The workshop was warmly received and delegates were keen to access the toolkit and card game that can be downloaded from the project website in several languages .
A highlight of the conference was a presentation from students from the Lycée Mare Curie, where the shared several initiatives they developed over the course of the PASS4Health project in Tarbes. Interestingly, the students linked the promotion of physical activity to environmental stability, using the project to address issues of relevance to the student body. Activities such as “plogging” (picking up litter while jogging), flash mobs and developing TikTok videos on how to make better decisions relating to health, were introduced by the students.
The Congress was a fitting culmination of the 2-year 2PASS4Health project. Keep an eye on the PESS blog for information on further outputs. We are currently finalising the Position paper on Promoting Physical Activity in Schools and look forward to sharing our recommendations for best practice.
Dr Elaine Murtagh is the Course Director for the BSc Physical Education degree in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at UL and a member of the Sport Pedagogy and Physical Activity for Health research groups.