Masterclass 3

The Mind, Body, Connect Story: Empowering Marginalised Communities through the Medium of Exercise


Chris Fitzgerald and Joanna Hunt

Friday 7 July 09:00-10:30


Session Overview

This masterclass highlights social justice in action. It will detail how research can empower communities, explain the process of forging links with marginalised populations and demonstrate how real-world impact can be achieved - with a therapeutic yoga session thrown in for good measure! Mind Body Connect empowers and inspires marginalised individuals. We are a non- profit organisation and physical activity is our vehicle of change. We are a community support network and our members are empowered to take charge of their own personal growth. Our mission is to provide marginalised populations with safe spaces to reconnect mind body and spirit.

The mind body connection plays an important role in our management of self in everyday life. Through our body we discover ourselves. Through knowing ourselves we strengthen or foundations and nurture our spirit to better deal with life's past present and future challenges. Through the body we ground ourselves.

Our most popular activities are "strongman" (the sport of strongman) and therapeutic yoga. Our work is impactful because our service users are our stakeholders. We help them gain the skills and qualifications required to roll our activities out to other marginalised populations. As they grow, we grow.

Take a moment out from the hustle and bustle of being in academic conference mode and join us for a chat and a therapeutic yoga session. We will tell you a little more about how we operate and help you reconnect mind and body. No fancy kit is required; please wear something comfortable that you can move around in. Changing room facilities will be available.

Biographies

Chris Fitzgerald
I worked as a lecturer in sociology at Sheffield Hallam University since 2010. As an associate lecturer I also worked for Derby University. My PhD thesis entitled 'Capitalising upon the Physical: Exercise and Addiction Recovery', was completed at the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). The thesis aim was to introduce physical exercise as an adjunctive treatment at a local residential addiction rehabilitation centre and develop a conceptual model for explaining the relationship between recovery and exercise. One of my main findings was that community ownership and enjoyable activities are of the utmost importance. Exercise can help people, but only if it's fun.

I am one of the Mind Body Connect directors. MBC is a charitable organisation. It is a community of service users and providers who believe in the transformative powers of exercise. Currently we offer therapeutic yoga, circuit classes, strength training and free gym memberships to a range of marginalised populations including victims of human trafficking and these recovering from addiction. As the lead MBC strength coach I coach community members to compete in the sport of strongman.

Joanna Hunt
I have taught therapeutic yoga since 2012 and am training as an occupational therapist. I also work closely with the Sheffield based Hot Yoga centre. Prior to this I taught young adults with complex needs out door skills including land work and outdoor craft a Freeman College in Sheffield. I am one of the Mind Body Connect directors. MBC is a charitable organisation. It is a community of service users and providers who believe in the transformative powers of exercise. Currently we offer therapeutic yoga, circuit classes, strength training and free gym memberships to a range of marginalised populations including victims of human trafficking and those recovering from addiction. As the lead MBC yoga instructor I help people use the body as a tool to process complex trauma.

I have conducted research into the representation of homelessness, the role of reflexivity in the writings of Norman Mailer, and a range of research utilising original qualitative research methods to explore everyday life. Please see the publications below for more information.

Before academia I had worked for several voluntary organisations, recruiting young people to get more involved in their communities, including v, the national young volunteers' service, and CSV. I also worked for a time in local government, developing voluntary sector policy.

Key Dates

Friday 23rd June 2017

Conference registration closes

Now closed

Monday 30th January 2017

Call for abstracts

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Monday 30th January 2017

Early bird registration opens

Now closed

Friday 12th May 2017

Early bird registration closes

Now closed

Friday 26th May 2017

Call for abstracts closes

Now closed