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Sport, Philosophy, and Practice: Group field trip and exploration of sporting environments and practices in Coventry

This pedagogic intervention will enable students on the ‘Sport, Philosophy, and Practice’ module to collectively engage with a practical and critical analysis of different sporting environments and practices in Coventry.

Module tutors Philip Gaydon and Jonathan Heron will facilitate a student excursion to Coventry where participants will reflect upon the different performative, social, and physical experiences had in, firstly, the award-winning, independent Capitol Gym and, secondly, a workshop at the Spiritual Warrior Martial Arts Centre (SWMAC – the largest martial arts centre in the Midlands) led by Anthony Pillage (member of the Martial Arts World Hall of Fame, elite IMB Coaching Team, 2010 Martial Arts Personality of Year, winner of The Fighting Spirit Award and 2010 Coventry Good Citizen of the Year). Students will analyse these experiences using the academic material they have come into contact with during the module, including the relevance of and issues with auto ethnography as a form of academically valid research, and in light of relevant themes such as the commercialisation of leisure, social performance and ritual, health and wellbeing, and the blurring of boundaries between engaging in a sport and embodying a philosophy. They will also critically reflect upon the environments and activities in relation to their regular physical routines and such a subsidised group trip will allow them to support each other in their analyses where, up until then, their assessed reflections will have been mainly individual. Students will then submit their reflections as one of their assessed blog posts.

Jonathan Heron is currently developing a suite of interdisciplinary modules at postgraduate level, including the Medical Mind in Literature and Culture and Experimental Ecologies in Practice. His undergraduate teaching includes Sport, Philosophy and Practice as well as Contemporary Performance Practices. Previously, he was Research Associate in the CAPITAL Centre (with the Royal Shakespeare Company) where he won the 2010 Butterworth Award for Teaching Excellence. Externally, he co-founded the Samuel Beckett Laboratory (Trinity College Dublin) and co-convened the Performance as Research Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research (2013-16). He established the Student Ensemble in 2009 and Fail Better Productions in 2001 (an independent theatre company).

Philip Gaydon is a sixth-year part-time PhD student in the Philosophy and Literature department. He completed both his BA (Philosophy) and MA (Philosophy and Literature) here at Warwick, and started his PhD in 2011. His research is centred on examining British nineteenth-century children's literature and how the emerging figure of the 'childlike' learner could affect the current fields of virtue epistemology and the philosophy of education.