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ITT announces the appointment of their UNESCO Chairholder Professor Margaret Talbot OBE PhD, FRSA

May 4, 2014

ITT announces the appointment of their UNESCO Chairholder Professor Margaret Talbot OBE PhD, FRSA

Margaret Talbot has been a researcher and activist, promoting equity in sport, for more than three decades. Building on her earlier work on gender equity in sport and physical education, she has extended her interest to encompass a wide range of forms of exclusion. Margaret will work with the UNESCO Chair International Partnership led by ITTralee to achieve the Chair goals.

UNESCO HQ in Paris commented "The appointment of Professor Margaret Talbot OBE, PhD, FRSA, an outstanding expert in the area of focus of the chair, will help the (Institute) move successfully towards advancing knowledge practice and networking to improve social inclusion of people with disabilities”. Paulina Gonzáles-Pose Chief of Section for Higher Education, UNESCO.

Previous posts of Professor Talbot have included Head of Studies in Human Movement at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds; Head of the Carnegie Department at Leeds Polytechnic, later Carnegie Professor and Head of Sport at Leeds Metropolitan University; Chief Executive of the Central Council of Physical Recreation; and Chief Executive of the Association for Physical Education. She has held several Ministerial appointments in the UK, working in the National Curriculum, regional and national sport policy, European women and sport, sports ground safety and voluntary sector capacity-building.

She has undertaken consultancies for several UN agencies and national governments, working on international and national school sport strategy; establishing 21st Century physical education curricula; the use of sport and physical education in promoting girls’ education; national strategy development; and strategic approaches to international student recruitment.

Prof Talbot is President of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), the largest such umbrella organization in the world. She was President of the International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women from 1997 to 2005, when she was awarded an Honorary Life Membership. In 1991, she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for her work on equity in national curriculum physical education and promotion of women’s opportunities in sport at national, European and international levels. She is committed to the promotion of multidisciplinary scholarship and research which supports enquiry in and delivery of high quality, inclusive sport science and physical education. Her research has focused on equity and diversity, and policy processes in physical education and sport.

In 2011, she was appointed as Chair of the Education Committee of the International Paralympic Committee; and in 2014, as Expert to the International Olympic Committee Commission on Culture and Education.

Margaret has published and presented widely on policy and equity in sport and physical education. Her most recent publication (co-edited with Herbert Haag and Kari Keskinen) is the 6th Edition of the Directory of Sport Science (Human Kinetics and ICSSPE, 2013). She is currently working, with Dr Richard Bailey, on an edited collection on the divergence between policies for elite sport and grass-roots sport, to be published by Routledge in the ICSSPE Perspectives Series.

Commenting on the Appointment, Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, stated: “IPC welcomes the establishment of the UNESCO Chair Position "Transforming the Lives of People with Disabilities, their Families and Communities, Through Physical Education, Sport, Recreation and Fitness". The appointment of Professor Margaret Talbot as Chairholder will help to improve relationships between this position and the work of the IPC Education Committee, of which she is Chair.

The existing ITTralee UNESCO Chair team will be joined by two other new research staff namely, Dr Dana Ciocan and Dr Carla (Mena) Silva. Dr Dana Ciocan, who comes from a lecturing post in Vasile Alecandri University, Bacua Romania, Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. Dana has a PhD in PE & Sport (psychology focused); a BA in Psychology (Faculty of Psychology & Education Science); a Master’s of Science in Physiotherapy (Faculty of Movement Sport and Health); a BA in PE and Sport; and Professional Training in Occupational Therapy. Dr Carla Filomena Silva will be coming to us from Loughborough. Mena has a PhD in Sociology of Sport (sitting volleyball); Erasmus Mundus Master’s in APA; Post Graduate in Exercise and Ageing; BSc in Sports Science and School Sport; BA in Portuguese Studies; PGSCE in Sports Coaching and PE; PGSCE in Portuguese Language and Literature.

Dr Oliver Murphy, President of Institute of Technology Tralee, commented that “the establishment of the UNESCO Chair in the Institute is a great honour, testament to the hard work of staff in the Health and Leisure Department over a long number of years and the excellent collaborations with the Cara Centre, the National Centre for Adapted Physical Activity, here at the Institute, and many international partners with whom we have had the pleasure to work. We look forward to this new development phase and to furthering interdisciplinary collaborations across the Institute, nationally and internationally. The goals of the UNESCO Chair represent a huge challenge that we are willing to lead; we welcome collaborations with others interested in improving the lives and opportunities for people with disabilities.”

For further information, collaborative research suggestions, or to join the partnership ideas please


Catherine Carty, UNESCO Chair Project Manager: or on + 353 66 7144194

Dr Dana Ciocan UNESCO Chair Post-Doctoral Researcher: