The Potential of Sport and Physical Activity in Prisons to Promote Health, Wellbeing and Desistance: An Academic and Practitioner Interactive Session.

Professor Rosie Meek1, Dr Chad Brunner2, Mr Glen Turner6, Mr Matthew Boyd7, Mr Sean Goode8, Mr David Gallant9 Dale Bligh10

1Royal Holloway University Of London, , United Kingdom,

2Mobilong Prison, , Australia,

6parkrun Asia and Pacific, , Australia,

7Department of Justice, , Australia,

8HM Prison Dhurringile, , Australia,

9University of Melbourne, , Australia

10Hopkins Correctional Centre, Victoria, Australia

The roundtable takes the form of a collaborative conversation, with participants representing a combination of academic, practitioner and civil society perspectives. The session will be chaired by Professor Rosie Meek, who was inspired to convene this roundtable in order to bring together academics and practitioners to make a critical assessment of the developing role of sport and physical activity in prisons in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. As well as her 2014 book ‘Sport in Prison’ and various journal articles exploring the impact of sport in the secure estate, Professor Meek led a 2018 independent review of sport and physical activity in prisons on behalf of the UK Ministry of Justice. Here she drew attention to the positive role that sport and physical activity can play in reducing violence and preventing offending, as well as the associated psychological and physical health benefits for those who live and work in prisons.

In this session we will explore the growing evidence base for the role of sport and physical activity in prisons, with a particular focus on efforts to use sporting initiatives to promote desistance from crime. We will explore education and employment outcomes, wellbeing, and community partnerships and in doing so will share good practice examples and consider key challenges in developing and delivering such initiatives.

Contributions from academic perspectives and those representing organisations such as parkrun and Howard League New Zealand will supplement a range of practitioner perspectives from the Australian, New Zealand and UK custodial estate.


Rosie Meek is a professor of psychology and criminology in the School of Law at Royal Holloway University of London. Professor Meek’s most recent work has focused on physical activity in prisons: as well as her 2014 book ‘Sport in Prison’ (Routledge) and various journal articles, she is responsible for the 2018 independent review of sport and physical activity in prisons (“A Sporting Chance”) on behalf of the UK Ministry of Justice. She is also a certified yoga teacher.

Ross Peters and Rhett Lockyear are Active Program Coordinators at Risdon Prison in Hobart, Tasmania, where they coordinate and deliver sport and fitness-based programs aimed towards rehabilitative outcomes as well as general health and wellbeing. Ross Peters received his BA in Psychology from St Mary’s University, Halifax Nova Scotia and a Graduate Diploma in Rehab Counselling from the University of Tasmania. He has been Active Program Coordinator at Risdon Prison in Hobart, Tasmania for 5 Years. Rhett Lockyear is an Australian former professional cricket player, who played for the Sydney Thunder, Hobart Hurricanes and the Tasmanian Tigers teams. He was Assistant coach of the Tasmanian Tigers and Hobart Hurricanes for 5 years and has been Active Program Coordinator at Risdon Prison in Hobart, Tasmania for 2 Years.

Dr Chad Brunner graduated from Flinders University with a BM BS in 1993 and is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of GPs. He has worked mainly as a rural GP, also obtaining post-graduate qualifications in anaesthetics and obstetrics/gynaecology. Dr Brunner has an interest in custodial health and has been the doctor at Mobilong prison at Murray Bridge in SA for the past 4 years, while continuing to work part-time as a country GP. Chad is also a keen runner.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.
© 2018 Conference Design Pty Ltd