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SPRING Conference: The Politics of Sporting Mega-Events

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

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We are delighted to announce that the first in person SPRING Conference will be hosted by Birkbeck Sport Business Centre at Birkbeck University of London on Friday 27th October and Saturday 28th October.

The Sport and Politics Research International Network (SPRING) was formed in 2021 and brings together international scholars in an informal context who wish to share and develop their research interests in the Sport and Politics subject area.

The network grew out of the Sport and Politics Group’s inaugural international conference, hosted by the University of Vic in June 2017, followed by the subsequent publication of an edited volume entitled ‘Sport, Globalisation and Identity’, published by Routledge in October 2019, which took its inspiration from the main themes of the conference.

Conference Theme: The Politics of Sporting Mega-Events

Throughout the two-day conference, we will delve deep into the intricate dynamics of Sporting Mega-Events, including Football, Rugby, Cricket World Cups, Olympic Games, and more. This theme opens up a world of fascinating discussions on Sport and Ideology, Sporting Nationalisms, Globalisation and Media Coverage.

Friday 27 October: 9am-5pm with an evening session 

Saturday 28 October: 9am-1pm 


Conference Timetable

Friday 27 October 9am – 5pm & 6-7.30pm

9:00 Registration with refreshments (20 minutes) Cinema, GOR Cinema Foyer

9:20 Welcome address (15 minutes)Cinema, GOR Birkbeck Cinema

9:35 David Goldblatt – Keynote “Sustainability politics and the Olympic Games, challenges for the hosting of sports mega-events” Cinema, GOR Birkbeck Cinema

10:35  Break (tea & coffee) (15 minutes), 43 Gordon Sq, GOR B13

10:50 Panel 1 (1 hour & 30 minutes) Moderator: Sean Hamil, GOR Birkbeck Cinema

12:20 Lunch (40 minutes), 43 Gordon Sq, GOR B13

13:00 Panel 2 (1 hour & 30minutes) Moderator: Jim O’Brien, GOR Birkbeck Cinema

14:30 Dikaia Chatziefstathiou – Keynote “Human Rights legacies of Mega-Events”, GOR Birkbeck Cinema

15:30 Break (15 minutes) Cinema Foyer & Classroom

15:45 Panel 3 (1 hour & 15minutes) Moderator: Xavier Ginesta, GOR Birkbeck Cinema

15:45 Panel 4 (1 hour & 15 minutes) Moderator: Russell Holden, 43 Gordon Sq, GOR B07

17:00 Break and move venue (1 hour break of free time)

18:00 Discussing the Olympic Legacies, Clore B01

Moderator: Jim O’Brien

Panel Members: 

·       Professor Holger Preuss, University of Mainz, and member of the IOC “Legacy and Sustainability” Commission

·       Dr Adrià Alsina, Head of International at the Catalan Council.

·       Spokesperson, London Mayor’s Office, TBC.

19:30 End of Conference Day 1, Clore B01

Saturday 28 October 9.30am-1pm

9:30 Registration with refreshments (20 minutes), GOR Cinema Foyer

10:00 Panel 5 (1 hour & 15 minutes) Moderator: Xavier Ginesta, GOR Birkbeck Cinema

11:15 Break (tea & coffee) (15 minutes), 43 Gordon Sq, GOR B13

11:30 David Conn - Keynote (1 hour & 15 minutes) “Manchester City: developments in global football”, GOR Birkbeck Cinema

12:45 Thanks and Closing Remarks (15 minutes), GOR Birkbeck Cinema

13:00 Conference End, GOR Birkbeck Cinema


Call for Papers  

  • The Call for Papers has now closed.

Conference Organisers 

  • Dr. Jim O’Brien, SPRING Co-Founder and Independent author and Scholar, and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Vic-central University of Catalonia
  • Mr Sean Hamil, Director of Birkbeck Sport Business Centre
  • Dr Xavier Ginesta Portet, SPRING Co-Founder and Associate Professor at the University of Vic-central University of Catalonia
  • Dr Russell Holden, Director, In thfe Zone Sport and Politics Consultancy, SPRING Co-Founder
  • Mr. Nahuel Ivan Faedo, Research Fellow at the University of Vic- central University of Catalonia
  • Dr Sean Crosson, Senior Lecturer in Film, National University of Ireland, Galway 

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