Thank you Finland! A quick recap of AIESEP 2024

Wow. What an amazing experience in Finland!

As I start to slowly wrap my mind around everything that happened in the 9 days I spent in Jyväskylä I am just very grateful to the AIESEP family for showing up!

You showed up for high quality research sessions and symposia. You showed up for early morning lake swimming in Finland … IN MAY!! You showed up for karaoke, saunas, dancing the night away, and you re-connected with colleagues and reached a hand out to welcome new colleagues to our community.

I think the only negative comments I got from people was that I told you in my blogs to pack a warm jacket on the way back home from late sessions…instead we were provided with the best weather Finland has to offer. Not a drop of rain and sunshine everyday! In my defense, the Sunday night board meeting was COLD overnight (-1c) but you all arrived on Monday and brought the warmth. Also…there is an unwritten rule in Finnish culture: You are not allowed to complain about Finland being too warm 🙂

All together I got to spend 9 days in Jyväskylä working on various AIESEP activities. The absolute highlight has to be the inaugural PhD summer school. Six advisors (Doune Macdonald, Kevin Andrew Richards, Carla Luguetti, Cassandra Iannucci, João Martins and I) facilitated three-days of sessions for 20 students from  around the world. These 20 PhD students have a way of making you feel the future of our field is in good hands! The sessions we held ranged from the students presenting their research to peers, learning to ask good questions, to research paradigms, writing manuscripts, reviewing manuscripts, rigor in research methods, work-life balance, and career trajectories in academia. Each night we gathered together to build relationships and learn from each other. We broke the ice with a karaoke night that will go down in history! This was followed by an evening sweating together in the sauna and a final farewell formal dinner. There were over 60 applications for the 20 summer school spots. I know there were several great candidates that did not get to join this year but the 20 we did share this time with took everything from it they could. This summer school was made possible by a generous grant from SAFINET and without them we would not have been able to do this. So THANK YOU!

We are planning to host the second PhD summer school in Taipei, Taiwan in 2026. We will have to start planning now in order to top this one! We will convene an early career researcher pre-conference session again in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2025 that will connect PhD students and other early career scholars.

As many of you noticed, the conference ran smoothly, there were ample breaks set up for us to catch up and share a coffee or drink with each other. This planning was all up to the local organizing committee in Finland. They did a wonderful job organizing and all their hard work paid off. They’d love to hear from you. So, if you haven’t yet please take the short feedback survey here. It will help us plan and organize future events.

I received a lot of nice compliments on the blogs I wrote leading up to the Finland 2024 conference. I aim to find a colleague from Florida to help me do the same for 2025.  Florida has a lot to offer, the least of which are ample beaches! There is a lot to see in the Tampa area, I was last there for a 2019 conference and loved it. Remember, the conference website is up and the dates are May 18-22nd, 2025. Abstracts are due September 15th. Stay tuned for more information!

As we set our sights on Florida 2025 I hope you will reach out to a colleague and tell them about AIESEP. As you heard from Fiona at the opening ceremony, we are working to increase our membership by 25% by 2025. So, if you enjoy AIESEP and see value in it…please share about our organization. I hope to see you at our next AIESEP Connect event in the Fall and again in sunny Florida in 2025.


Secretary General AIESEP

Picture of Risto Marttinen

Risto Marttinen

Risto Marttinen is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at George Mason University in Virginia, USA. He earned an Ed.D. from Columbia University Teachers College in 2015. His research revolves around implementing sustainable and educational after-school physical education programs in elementary and middle schools. These programs specialize in sports and fitness in under-served communities while reinforcing character development and academics. Additionally, he conducts research on the integration of academic subjects and technology into PE. Risto also sits on the board of directors and is the Secretary General for AIESEP, the chair for the SIG 93 (the special interest group for PE) for AERA and a past facilitator for the PETE Collab

About Us

AIESEP was founded in Lisbon in 1962, with the intent of bringing together scholars in the field of physical education and sport to share knowledge and engage in quality research.

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Stay up to date with all the latest news & events from AIESEP