ECSS YIA Exchange at the 70th annual JSPFSM Meeting

Cologne, Germany, Nov 3, 2015: The continuous exchange collaboration between the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) and the Japanese Society of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine (JSPFSM) continued this year at the 70th annual JSPFSM meeting in Wakayama, Japan.

In September 2015 ECSS Young Investigators Award (YIA) winners at the ECSS Malmö 2015, Martin Keller, Daniel Owens and Christian Thue Bjørndal traveled to Japan to take part to the respected JSPFSM annual meeting.

Please read more about their experiences from the exchange report below and watch a video documentary of the trip from YouTube Channel.
EECSS – JSPFSM Exchange Report 2015

It was a pleasure and we are sincerely grateful for the opportunity to take part in the ECSS YIA exchange program with the JSPFSM that led us to Wakayama City in Japan. There we got to present our work that were awarded at the ECSS in Malmö at the international session. The presentations gave us a great opportunity to meet and discuss our work with a lot of new colleagues from different backgrounds, that all brought different and novel perspectives to the table.

This year, the conference was held in Wakayama, a prefecture in the Kansai region on the southern part of the island of Honshū, and we used some time before and after the conference to explore the region and experience the richness of the Japanese culture. Martin had a couple of days of temple sightseeing in Osaka and Kyoto before meeting up with Christian in Shirahama – famous for its Onsen’s (natural hot springs) and its beautiful 1-mile long white sandy beach. As tourist season just had ended, we got a mellow introduction to the Japanese culture. We met up with Daniel in Wakayama 5 days later and got the pleasure of being invited to a special conference dinner with the senior fellows of the organization, where we enjoyed a lovely traditional Japanese dinner in a beautiful traditional Japanese garden.

Among other things, we were struck by the size of the conference: accommodating around 2000 participants within different disciplines of sport science and sport medicine. The Japanese scientist we met demonstrated high quality sports research, especially within the basic and natural sciences.

Further, the JSPFSM seem sincerely interested in widening both their public and their international influence by adding international speakers to the program, on this occasion, professor Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey, for example.

We also had time around the conference schedule to enjoy the beautiful Wakayama castle and the surf at Isonoura beach. As Martin had to travel back home after the conference, Daniel and Christian continued into the next week with an exploration of the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes in the Kii mountains (1 of 2 pilgrimage routes on UNESCOS World Heritage list, together with Santiago de Compostela). As a CNN reporter posted, it is probably the most beautiful hike that no Westerner know about.

We would like to thank our hosts, especially Dr. Masashi and Professor Nagatomi for all their help with all the arrangements and their profound hospitality, and to both organizations for facilitating the opportunity to experience Japan. —- ECSS

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