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28 June 2010 | PR 10/101

Leicester pupils catch physical activity on camera for new exhibition

Boy performing a back somersault

One of the photographs featured in the exhibition

Leicester pupils catch physical activity on camera for new exhibition

Secondary school pupils from three Leicester city schools are at the heart of an exhibition of digital photography on youth and physical culture at the Pedestrian Arts Centre in Leicester this week (1-6 July 2010).

Moving in my World is the culmination of a two-year Loughborough University study, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which provides a unique insight into young people’s experiences and understanding of physical culture within their everyday lives.

More than 60 students aged 15 to 16 from Sir Jonathan North Community College, The Lancaster School, and City of Leicester College used digital cameras to record some of their daily physical activity for up to two weeks. This exhibition of words and photographs attempts to capture the many different ways the teens who participated see, talk about, and reflect upon the significance of physical activity as part of their day-to-day lives. 

Their inspiring stories and photographs of Leicester city spaces give a valuable insight into how and why young people move in their worlds.

Children running on a grass track

Another photograph featured in the exhibition

Lead researcher Dr Laura Azzarito from the University’s School of Sport Exercise and Health Studies (SSEHS) explains how the use of photo research has enabled young people to ‘speak for themselves’ in a world where they’re increasingly labelled as lazy and overweight.

“We wanted to see how young people’s views of physical activity would compare against the backdrop of public health reports and media concern about young people ‘at risk’ of health problems,” she said. 

“Our student investigators created visual diaries that express their thoughts, feelings and ideas, and share their stories about what it means to ‘move in their worlds’.

“We wanted to encourage young people to take an active role in the research process and empower them make sense of their experiences in creative and contextualized ways.” 

Around 100 of the 1,000-plus photographs taken for the project are on display for the Moving in my World exhibition. Photographs depicting activities from strolls through Leicester to organized, competitive sports are shown in three themed rooms at the Pedestrian Arts Centre.

A second exhibition is planned at the city’s New Walk Museum from 25 March to 15 May next year, where the full research findings are also expected to be available. 

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

For more information about the Moving in My World exhibition contact:

Jennifer Sterling
Research Associate for this project
Loughborough University
E: J.Sterling@lboro.ac.uk      

Notes for editors:

1. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.  More at: http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk

2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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