The I-PARC 2021 Online Conference

The I-PARC 2021 Online Conference

This event was funded through the Health Research Board and was co-hosted by the I-PARC team and the Physical Activity for Health Research Cluster at the University of Limerick.


I-PARC 2021 (1)


Between the 11th-14th January 2021, I-PARC hosted an online event entitled ‘Collaborative Action for physical activity promotion: opportunities presented by COVID-19’ which consisted of 23 national and international keynote and optional breakout session speakers. Over 400 people registered to attend the event and the average daily attendance was about 180 participants. Throughout the week various members of the I-PARC team facilitated each session and gave insight on what I-PARC means for their organisation. To view the recordings and slides for each day please click on the designated day underlined below.

On the 11th of January, Principal Investigators of I-PARC, Dr Fiona Mansergh (Dept. of Health) and Prof Catherine Woods (University of Limerick), opened the four-day series of lunchtime webinars giving an overview of the achievements of I-PARC to date. Keynote speakers Prof. Sebastien Chastin (University of Glasgow) and Dr. Matthew Herring (University of Limerick) outlined an abundance of evidence on the role of physical activity in protecting our physical and mental health during COVID-19. Information on all breakout sessions can be found in the I-PARC conference 2021 section of the website.

The second day of the event saw a collaborative keynote speaker session on the Physical Activity Guidelines: getting the message right from Prof. Charlie Foster, Dr James Nobles (University of Bristol), Dr Paul Kelly and Chloe Williamson (University of Edinburgh). The day was facilitated by I-PARC project team members Benny Cullen (Sport Ireland) and Dr Niamh Murphy (Waterford Institute of Technology) and was concluded with a warm speech from Government Chief Whip and Minister of state for Sport, Gaeltacht, and Defence Jack Chambers TD who acknowledged the hard work and importance of I-PARC to date.

Day three of the I-PARC conference was opened by James Lavelle (Dept. of TGACSM) and chaired by Prof Marie Murphy (Ulster University). The keynote session focused on the impact of COVID-19 on physical activity engagement, Una May (Sport Ireland) presented the impact on the population as a whole and Dr Kwok Ng (University of Limerick) presented the impact on post-primary aged children.

The final day of the conference was opened by Sarah O’Brien (Health Service Executive) who welcomed a speech from Minister of State for Public Health and Wellbeing Frank Feighan TD. Minister Feighan emphasised the numerous benefits physical activity has for health both during and after COVID-19. Prof Catherine Woods introduced keynote speakers Prof Jasper Schipperijn (University of South Denmark) and Robert Burns (Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown who demonstrated the importance using evidence to inform policy and practice. The day was concluded as Prof Woods thanked the Health Research Board for funding the event, the and gave an overview of the social media impact generated by the I-PARC 2021 conference.

The I-PARC team would like to thank all those involved in the running of the event especially the Health Research Board, the PAfH Research Cluster, all twenty-three speakers and everyone who participated in the event. We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future for another I-PARC event.

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