Women in Sport and Exercise

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By Dr Rachael Bullingham

From the 19th to the 22nd April the annual Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network conference took place, hosted by the University of Worcester. The title was ‘Redressing the Balance’ to continue the theme from previous events. This conference was the fourth to take place with Staffordshire and St Marys previously hosting events. Additionally, we had a bonus event in September which was online and hosting by the University of Staffordshire.

The Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network (WiSEAN) is something I am incredibly proud to be involved with as part of the executive committee. You can learn more about WiSEAN through our website. We have a clear vision and aims set out:

The overall purpose of WISEAN is to grow, strengthen and promote research on women in sport and exercise, with the ultimate goal of optimising women’s athletic success and their participation


  1. To provide a communication network of individuals who are involved in commissioning, designing, executing, reporting and utilising research into women in sport and exercise
  2. To offer a mentoring support network for professional development
  3. To be the first port of call for media queries relating to women in sport and exercise 

The conference is our yearly opportunity to get together and discuss, debate and share current research on women in sport. This year we had a range of events at the conference as well as the traditional presentations and keynotes. Participants were able to present their work as ‘images or research’, as a Twitter Poster or as 5 in 5 (5 slides in 5 minutes). This allowed the conference to be very accessible for academics, early career researchers and research students at various levels.

The conference was truly international with a keynote from Australia as well as panellists from various parts of the world. The online nature allowed for this to occur and meant a broad range of topics were being discussed. Overall, we had over 75 abstracts submitted to take part in the conference showing the conferences significant growth from its inception.

This engagement on Twitter was significant with the hashtags #Redressingthebalance and #wiseconf2021 being used to share conference experiences. Clearly, this conference creates a supportive, welcoming and inclusive environment for people interested in work around Women in Sport and Exercise.

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