The Neumann University Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development, in conjunction with Neumann’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, hosted the first Perspectives on Sport and Inspiration conference on Friday, October 21. Bringing together scholars and sports professionals, the conference recognized the important roles of inspiration in sports through issues of inclusion, resiliency, faith, solidarity and more.
Ron Meyer, host of the Blessed2Play radio program and recipient of the 2016 Institute Award the previous night, kicked off the program by describing the role of faith in the lives of many professional athletes and offering advice to student-athletes, specifically that focus must be a key element of personal growth and success.
Additional conference presentation topics included the role of religiosity and its correlations with resiliency and confidence in athletics; leadership and career readiness programs for student-athletes; servant leadership in highly visible venues such as the Special Olympics and the Paralympic Games; the significant role of parental involvement in youth sport; transcendence of self through endurance sports; the role of athletics in inspiring solidarity among communities; and the potentially life-changing power of inclusion and belonging in sports.
“We were so incredibly impressed with every presentation at this first PSI conference,” said Lee DelleMonache, director of the Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development. “Each of our guests helped us to think about moments of goodness and inspiration in athletics not just in a ‘feel good’ sense but rather as deeper, consequential narratives that transform perspectives and perhaps even entire lives. Their good work will certainly also help us at Neumann as we encourage our student-athletes to reflect beyond the X’s and O’s of their sports.”
The conference also included a collaborative working session for attendees to discuss the details of the forthcoming Perspectives on Sport and Inspiration online publication. This digital publication will circumvent the lengthy time between research and publication in traditional print formats while maintaining the integrity and rigor of the peer review process. In its hybrid role as a venue for scholarly work and applied insights, PSI will combine research and narratives to uncover meaningful moments and teaching tools of practical application to athletes and sports professionals at all levels.
For more information on Perspectives on Sport and Inspiration, including the development of the online publication and future conferences, please visit http://isscd.org/sport-and-inspiration/.