Global Active Cities project shortlisted for THE International Collaboration award



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An LJMU spearheaded initiative to increase physical activity within cities across the globe has been shortlisted for a prestigious Times Higher Education Award.

Shortlisted in the International Collaboration of the Year category, the nomination reflects the global impact that experts from LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences Physical Activity Exchange (PAEx) have had over the past 25 years – and specifically that of the Global Active Cities (GAC) movement.

Global impact

The active cities project has achieved international reach, to over 5.8 million residents, through project certification standards; changes in knowledge, policy and programmes within the cities involved; and increases in physical activity in participating cities.

PAEx expert contributors Professor Lynne Boddy, Professor Zoe Knowles and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange Enterprise) Professor Keith George, supported by John Marsden as International Active City Advocacy and Development Coordinator, have worked in partnership on the project since 2015 with The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA) and Evaleo, an international non-profit organisation with the goal to inspire and enable people to adopt an active, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle.

'Tidal wave of physical inactivity'

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Keith George, and now TAFISA Board Supporter Member, said: “As we face a tidal wave of physical inactivity and urban growth, the city setting is a vital place to get our sport and physical activity resources and opportunities in place. Working with international leaders TAFISA and Evaleo, as well as multiple global cities, this nomination is wonderful recognition of the hard work and dedication of the Physical Activity Exchange at LJMU.”   

This work played a vital role in the city of Liverpool being recognised as one of the first Global Active Cities in 2017, alongside Buenos Aires (Argentina), Lausanne (Switzerland), Richmond (Canada), Hamburg (Germany), Lillehammer (Norway) and Ljubljana (Slovenia).

The team are already recipients of the prestigious TAFISA Mission 2030 award and LJMU is due to host the Inaugural Global Active Cities Conference in January 2023 in conjunction with collaboration partners TAFISA and Evaleo.

‘Oscars of higher education’

THE editor John Gill said: “This is the 18th year that the THE Awards will celebrate the best that UK higher education has to offer, across 20 categories covering all aspects of university activity.

“Once again, the shortlists reflect universities doing extraordinary things in extraordinary times, during the 2020-21 academic year, when the pandemic continued to force higher education and all who work in it to respond to an unprecedented challenge.

“That universities did so with alacrity and creativity is clear from the truly exceptional stories told in the awards submissions, and we had over 550 in all – among the highest number ever.

“All of us at THE are looking forward to celebrating with those shortlisted when we get together for the ‘Oscars of higher education’ in November.”

The 18th annual THE Awards recognise nominees across 20 categories covering a wide range of university activity across leadership and management, administration, and academia. This year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Thursday 17 November 2022.

World-leading work at LJMU 

Find out more about the world-leading research taking place across LJMU that is making an impact across the world.


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