March 01, 2012

Physical education-health conference is March 9

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Elementary and secondary educators and coaches will join Southern Illinois University Carbondale students for a specialized learning opportunity at the Eighth Annual Southern Illinois Physical Education and Health Conference. 

Set for March 9 at Davies Hall on the SIU Carbondale campus, the conference offers a wide variety of hands-on learning experiences.  Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with activity sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

“The conference highlights outstanding physical education, team building and health programs throughout Illinois and gives teachers and schools the chance to see award-winning and exemplary programs and activities they can implement in their schools.  Participants will learn to improve physical skills, employ team building and adventure education activities, examine brain-based research and other elements that can enhance their programs,” said Tony Calabrese, kinesiology instructor. 

The theme of this year’s conference is “Challenging, Developing and Training Students to be Peaceful Warriors in Physical Education.”  When the University launched the event eight years ago, there were no physical education/health conferences south of Springfield, but the success of the program is evident in that about 150 people attended in 2011, according to Calabrese.

A team of award-winning presenters who utilize unique and creative programs will make presentations at the conference, Calabrese said.  These programs, including Warrior Training and Brain Based Education, raise program standards as they challenge students to aim high and achieve fitness and skills goals.  The programmers’ work also fights childhood obesity, strives to eliminate bullying in the classroom and develops important values including character, honor and integrity. 

Calabrese said Peaceful Warrior classes help students become more effective and efficient, eliminate bullying and aid students in becoming self-directed to improve their fitness, skills and, most importantly, their interpersonal relationships.  Those attending the conference will learn how to bring the Peaceful Warriors program and the other featured programs into their classes.

The conference will also serve as a chance for educators, coaches and students to network, sharing ideas and techniques and exploring physical education and health activities appropriate for elementary and secondary students.  The event is relevant not just for those involved in health and physical education instruction, but for anyone who works with youths, Calabrese said.

The tentative seminar topics this year include:  team building, using the A.E.D., special populations, archery, gymnastics, Zumba, yoga, cup stacking, judo and self-defense, eclipse ball, fighting obesity, warrior training, brain-based research and much more.  Justin Ingram, the University’s new head girls’ volleyball coach, will also present a volleyball skills session for physical education teachers.

SIU Carbondale’s Department of Kinesiology and the Division of Continuing Education are sponsors of the event. 

The early registration deadline is March 5 but you can still register at the conference.  The cost is $85 for professionals pre-registering or $95 if you sign up on site.  Professionals can earn Continuing Professional Development Units for completing the conference.  The fee includes lunch. 

Kinesiology students at the University can attend at no cost and other SIU Carbondale students can attend for a $15 fee.  Kinesiology student participants may purchase lunches for $5 each.

The registration form is online at under the heading “conferences.”  For more information, or to sign up, contact the Division of Continuing Education at 618/536-7751.