AIESEP 2020 – What are we doing?

Dear AIESEP members and sympathisers,

For several months, all around the world, people have been suffering from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic; either health or economic. On behalf of the AIESEP Board of Directors, I wish to express hope that you and your family are safe and well during these unprecedented times. I hope you are not too affected and have found the resources to adapt to these challenging circumstances. In particular, my thoughts also go out to all those on the front line and others who provide solutions to help their fellow citizens, in these difficult times.

Of course, AIESEP is also affected by the current crisis. It is clear that 2020 will be an annus horribilis for our association, as for all organizations. It started with the cancellation of the planned international conference in Hong Kong and the uncertainty about the alternative solution, which consisted of our contribution to the Yokohama Sports Science Congress. Because of the confinement and the extra work it imposes on all university staff, the development of our Strategic Plan has also been delayed. However, the strategic committees are active and starting to work on their portfolio.

Fortunately, before the crisis became global, AIESEP was able to organize the “The Pedagogies of Physical Literacy: A Design Thinking Approach” symposium (Liège, Belgium). Over 90 people from 20 different countries participated in this event, which more than likely constituted an important step in sharing and operationalizing the concepts used.

On this occasion, the AIESEP honoured two thought leaders from Sports Pedagogy: (1) Maurice Piéron, who worked on the development of AIESEP between 1962 and 2006 and contributed to the development of research in our field; (2) Margaret Whitehead, who pioneered the concept of physical literacy.

AIESEP is now looking to the future. In the coming weeks, the Board of Directors will come back to you with proposals for activities in the coming year. It is intended to launch a suite of online international exchanges, that focus on physical education and physical education teacher education during this global pandemic.

AIESEP is a family and it is important that we continue to reach out and support each other – It is even more imperative to do this now in a time of such global crisis.