Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Worldwide tributes to Prof. David Sugden's academic influence

14 October 2010 |

A Festschrift to celebrate the contribution of Prof David Sugden to research in childhood motor development was held on 23rd October 2010. It was a testament to the esteem in which he is held that colleagues travelled to this event from as far afield as America, Tel Aviv and Ireland.

The students, academic colleagues and family who attended were treated to a range of stimulating presentations from world-class researchers. These reported on developing understandings of children's movement whilst also illustrating the breadth of David's influence, both personal and profession.

These themes were also evident in the tributes that were paid to David by those who were present on the day and those unable to travel to Leeds who used the internet. Others have left tributes on the website which will be collated and presented to David.  

Perhaps a key message of the day was that his retirement should be viewed as a period of transition rather than the closing of a career. There is every indication that David will continue to exert a massive influence at School, University and international level. 

In September 2010, Professor David Sugden was invited to be the Pease Family Scholar at Iowa State University. The Pease Family Scholar program was created in memory of Harvey and Bomell Pease, Newport Beach, Calif. The endowment was established in 1991 by their son, Dean Pease, and his wife, Sally, to bring visiting scholars to the Iowa State campus. Dean Pease, who died in 1994, chaired the department of health and human performance from 1987 to 1990. Professor Sugden was only the second UK-based academic to have been honoured in this way since the creation of the program.

During his time in Iowa, he presented a free public lecture entitled "Identifying, Assessing, and Supporting Children with Movement Difficulties,". This drew on his lifelong interest in this area. “This is my passion. If you think movement is not important, think what you’ve done today that doesn’t involve movement.” His lecture called for the adoption of an 'ecological perspective' so that the intervention "becomes an approach, not an add-on to normal life."

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