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24 October, 2018

Congratulations England on a stellar 7th ISPAH Congress

Congratulations to ISPAH Past-President, Charlie Foster, Karen Milton, our collaborators at Public Health England and Sport England and our sponsor WHO on a wonderful ISPAH 2018 congress last week in London. This was an important milestone in the continued growth of our field, engaging over 1,100 people from across the world. It was wonderful to see an increased mix of researchers, policy makers, practitioners, advocates and early career professionals throughout the highly engaging program of many hundreds of oral papers and e-posters. 

We have a lot to learn from our hosts. The physical activity collaboration between Public Health England and Sport England is a shining example of cross-sector engagement and political support. This was highlighted wonderfully through attendance by politicians and two eloquent keynote presentations from Professor Gina Radford Deputy Chief Medical Officer of England and Jennie Price CBE, Chief Executive, Sport England who outlined how England is moving the nation, achieving population shifts in physical activity and implementing transformational work to engage the population, including those who need it most. 

We were reminded by Professor Ross Brownson of the importance of knowledge exchange to enable us to implement at scale. The energetic guideline debate focused on the imperative for clear guidance and messaging and also the need for complementary implementation. The very eminent Professor Richard Wilkinson reminded us that inequality is relevant to all of us, it is a gradient of relative wealth, influence and locus of control across society in all nations, and not just an expression of poverty.  Finally, Dr Fiona Bull capped off a milestone year for global physical activity by motivating us all to ‘go forth and implement at scale’ and by launching the WHO Physical Activity Technical Package ‘Active’ in a sea of footballs and smiles.

Well done to the London 2018 crew, and we now look forward to the 8th ISPAH Congress to be held in Vancouver, Canada in October 2020. 

Trevor Shilton, ISPAH Board

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