+386 5 663 77 00 ovg@zrs-kp.si
4. - 6. 10. 2021 / 4th to 6th October 2021

Invited lecturers

Plennary lecturers

Prof. Sigmund Loland, PhD.

Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway

Dr. Sigmund Loland is Professor and former Rector (2005-2013) of the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo (NSSS). He has lectured and published extensively on topics such as the ideal of fair play, the ethics of performance-enhancing technologies, epistemology of movement, and history of ideas in sport. Dr. Loland is former President of the International Association of the Philosophy of Sport (2002-03) and the European College of Sport Science (2011-13), and he is member of World Anti-doping Agency’s Ethics Panel (2004-). Dr. Loland is International Fellow of the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education (2004). In 2009, he received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport. Since 2014, he has worked with the International Olympic Committee as a member of the selection committee for social science grants. Dr. Loland is an avid skier and has coached alpine skiing at several levels including the international level.

Lecture title: Against Genetic Tests for Athletic Talent: The Primacy of the Phenotype

Lecture will open the discussion on some of the limitations of science in identifying talent and understanding complex human performance phenotypes. An alternative approach to talent identification in terms of ethically sensitive, systematic and evidence-based holistic observation will be proposed.

Prof. Jari Parkkari, MD,PhD.

Faculty of Medicine and Health technology, Tampere University, Finland

Prof. Jari Parkkari, PhD is a chief physician and head of a Tampere Research Centre of Sports Medicine at the UKK Institute, Tampere, Finland. He is also a head of education in sports and exercise medicine in the University of Tampere’s Faculty of Medicine. His research has focused on health promotion and injury prevention. To utilise international research findings, he has established three nationwide health promotion and injury-prevention implementation programmes in Finland: Healthy Athlete since 2006; Healthy School (physical activity and safety in elementary schools and junior high schools) since 2010; and Smart Moves (physical activity and safety in vocational schools and secondary schools) since 2014. The programmes’ websites are: www.terveurheilija.fi, www.tervekoululainen.fi and www.smartmoves.fi. He serves as a national team doctor on the Finnish Olympic Committee, including team doctor at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea in 2018.


Lecture title: Safety of physical activity and sports in children and adolescents

Professor Claudia Voelcker-Rehage, PhD

Department of Neuromotor Behavior and Exercise, University of Muenster, Germany

Dr. Claudia Voelcker-Rehage is a full professor at Faculty of Psychology and Sport Science, University of Muenster (Germany). She graduated in 1998 and received her PhD in 2002 from University of Bielefeld, Germany. She was Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA, USA) and at International University Bremen (Germany). In 2010 she was appointed Full Professor of Human Performance at Jacobs University Bremen and from 2015 to 2019 Full Professor of Exercise and Sports Psychology at Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). She is Editor in Chief (Deputy) of the German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research, review Editor at Frontiers in Movement Science and in the Editorial Board of the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, Brain Sciences, OBM Geriatrics, and Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Her research interests include the neurocognition and control of movement, motor learning and plasticity and the role of physical activity for cognitive development and health. Particularly, she is interested in the effects of physical activity and fitness on psychological and neurophysiological functioning, such as cognitive performance, as well as in the analysis of the structure-function relationships between cognitive, sensory-motor performance, and learning, e.g. dual-task performance. She examines both children and adolescents as well as older adults.


Lecture title: Benefits of Physical Activity and Fitness for Lifelong Cognitive and Motor Development


Keynote lecturers in the sections

assoc. prof. Gregor Starc, PhD

Laboratory for Diagnostics of somatic and motor development, Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Gregor Starc, PhD is a researcher at the Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana. He is the manager of the SLOfit national surveillance system for somatic and motor development of children nad youth and acts as an adviser of the World Health Organization for childhood obesity. His research activities are focused on active lifestyles of children and youth, and on the underlying environmental and social factors, as well as on the intertwinment of motor and cognitive development of children and youth


Lecture title: Effects of movement restrictions during COVID-19 epidemics on the development of 6- to 8-year-olds


assoc. prof. Ivana Milovanović, PhD

Ivana Milovanović, PhD, works as Associate professor at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad (Serbia). She teaches Sociology and Sociology of Sport. Her bibliography comprises more than 50 scientific works, among which she is author of two monograph publications and one university textbook. She participates in national and international scientific conferences and deals with research in the field of sport, youth sport, sport recreation, daily life, gender, social conflict and forced migration.

She conducted professional training at the University of Oslo (Norway), as a scholarship holder of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway. As a visiting professor, she taught at the Foro Italico University in Rome (Italy) in December 2019, as well as at the Summer School on Migration, University of Palermo (Italy), in June 2019.

As a researcher or consultant, she was engaged in scientific research projects, financed from European, regional, national and provincial funds. She is a member of the Serbian Sociological Association and the Bioethical Association of Serbia (Section for Bioethics of Sports).


Lecture title: Youth sport between social exclusion and social inclusion

Social exclusion and sport is a complex area of research and seeks answers in domains of: public policy, poverty and children’s access to sport, under-representation of women in sport, older people in sport, race and ethnicity as a precondition of social exclusion in sport, exclusion by disability etc. This lecture will focus on some aspects of the dichotomy between social exclusion and inclusion in youth sport. It’s main aim is to present (using the field research results) why and how youth sport can be the frame of both: social exclusion (along with aggression and interpersonal/peer violence) and social inclusion. Additionally, lecture will open a discussion on COVID-19 pandemic lockdown as a possible form of social exclusion in youth sports.


prof. Renata Barić, PhD.

Department of Kinesiological psychology, sociology and methodology, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Renata Barić graduated at Faculty of Kinesiology in Zagreb in 1996 and finished her master at the same faculty on 2001. Also, she graduated psychology at department of Psychology at Faculty of Arts and finished her master in psychology at Department of psychology, Faculty of Arts at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She finished her PhD study on psychology at the same University in 2007. Today she is a professor at Faculty of Kinesiology in Zagreb. She is the author of more than 150 scientific and professional papers. Her field of scientific interest are motivation, leadership in sport, motor learning and psychological preparation of athletes. She is a initiator and a president of program committee of Sport psychology symposium which every two year assembles sport psychologists from Croatia and wider region.

Beside her academic and scientific activities, she uses her professional knowledge in everyday sport practice as a sport psychologist, working with numerous elite, young and perspective athletes from different sport disciplines in the field of psychological preparation (Olympic games in London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokio 2021). Her athletes are world champions, Olympic and European championship medallists. She writes popular articles about sport psychology and book chapters and presents the results of her professional work in different conferences and professional meetings. She is licensed cognitive-behavioural therapist. Also, she is a president of Sport psychology section within Croatian Psychological Association.

She won a scholarship from Croatian Ministry for Science in Education for doctoral study abroad. In 2005 she won a 1st prize for the best paper presented orally on 4th International scientific conference of Kinesiology. In 2015 Croatian psychological association awarded her a prize for a significant contribution to development to applied psychology in Croatia.


Lecture title: Psychological risk of physical inactivity in children and youth during Covid pandemic

assist. prof. Primož Kotnik, PhD, MD

Department of pediatrics, Faculty of medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Assist. Prof. Primoz Kotnik, MD has graduated from the University of Ljubljana, Medical Faculty in 1999. He completed his PhD thesis in 2005 on the topic of antidiuretic signalling of aquaporin 2. Part of the PhD was completed at the esteemed Water and Research Centre in Aarhus, Denmark under the mentorship of Prof Soren Nielsen. He has completed a postdoctoral programme with Prof Martin Wabitsch at the University Children’s Hospital of Ulm, Germany focusing on adipose tissue as an endocrine organ. Since 2000 he is employed at the Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University Children’s Hospital in Ljubljana, Slovenia and since 2015 also at the Medical faculty of Ljubljana as a lecturer. His clinical and research focuses are growth, endocrine function of the adipose tissue, and childhood obesity. He was involved in many research projects sponsored by grants from University Medical Centre Ljubljana and National Research Agency on these topics. As a scientific adviser he is currently involved in re-organization of primary prevention health programmes lead by National Institute of Health, focus of which is to integrate multidisciplinary approach for early recognition and interventions in children at an increased health-risk due to their lifestyle.


Lecture title: Cardiovascular Health and Motor Competences of Children

assoc. prof. Zoran Milanović, PhD.

Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Niš, Serbia

Zoran Milanović is fully employed as associate professor at Faculty of sport and physical education, University of Niš. In addition, he is researcher at Science and Research Center Koper (Slovenia) and Incubator of Kinanthropological Research, Masaryk University (Czech Republic). He worked more than two years in China as head of science and research department on the project “Football Town”. Last year, he got “the best scientific research article award” from Slovenian Research Agency. Previously, he was granted by Basileus V and Sunbeam scholarships, founded by European Commission (Erasmus Mundus Action), for doctoral and postdoctoral specialization, respectively. Zoran Milanović has very reputable scientific and research background as author (published more than 80 papers in impact factor journals) and reviewer (perform review for more than 30 impact factor journals).

assist. prof. Evgen Benedik, PhD.

Division of Paediatrics, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Slovenia

Food department of Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Evgen Benedik completed his PhD at the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, in 2015 with his doctoral thesis “Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation and the fatty acid composition of human milk”. He is employed at the Paediatric Clinic of the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Clinical Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and Clinical Department of Neonatology.

His research interests are in the field of human nutrition during the first 8000 days of life. As a clinical dietitian, he specialises in neonatal, gastroenterology and hepatology patients. He is also very active in these areas of nutrition and clinical dietetics from a scientific point of view. His work is well known both at home and abroad. He is also an active member of various prominent national and international professional and scientific associations and a member of the National Committee for the Promotion of Breastfeeding of UNICEF Slovenia.



The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic goes far beyond that of a viral infection and threatens to undo decades of hard-won progress in pediatrics. The impact on nutrition and lifestyle is one of the submerged parts of this iceberg with potential intergenerational consequences. Nutrition and lifestyle should be a core component of a response plan to such a pandemic. The true burden of the pandemic in children is yet to be unveiled.

Assist. Prof. Tadeja Volmut, PhD.

Faculty of Education, University of Primorska, Slovenia

Dr. Tadeja Volmut, assistant professor of sports didactics at the Faculty of Education, University of Primorska. Her research interests include the children and adolescent’s lifestyle, motor and physical development. She pays great attention to intervention programs to increase physical activity and sport participation during and outside school time. She has published several scientific and professional papers and presented findings at international scientific and professional conferences. In addition, she is also one of the editors and authors of scientific and professional monographs.



Regular physical activity by children is an extremely important developmental factor because it maintains an appropriate level of physical fitness, strengthens and protects health, and contributes to the formation of habits and behaviors that ensure lifelong learning. Monitoring physical activity is important because it is the only way we can break the “negative” trends of physical inactivity as soon as possible, evaluate children’s physical activity habits and confirm the effectiveness of interventions.

Assist. Prof. Črtomir Matejek, PhD

Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Slovenia

Assist. prof. Črtomir Matejek, PhD. is the head of the department Elementary Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Maribor and works at Faculty of Tourism UM, where he is responsible for skiing and outdoor education.

In his work he organizes and conducts training courses for students (ski instructors) of alpine skiing; and for swimming instructors. He organizes and he implement of ski and outdoor education for university students and primary school children, laboratory work and tutorials of PE topics for classroom teachers. His research interests include motor and physical development of children and didactics of PE for classroom teachers. He works with and implements various intervention programs to stimulate and increase the level of physical activity and sports participation of school children. He regularly publishes scientific and professional papers and presents results at international scientific and professional conferences.


Lecture title: Implications of COVID-19 containment measures for the quality of life of primary school children

During the pandemic COVID -19 restrictive measures aimed to limit social contact and provide social distance in order to prevent the spread of infection. In this way, society focused mainly on maintaining the physical health of the most endangered part of the population. At the same time, all other aspects of health, general well-being and quality of life were neglected in this way. This is especially evident in children and adolescents as the most vulnerable part of the population. Many researchers and experts, including in our study note that the quality of life of children has dramatically decreased during the pandemic COVID -19, so more attention will be paid to this problem in the lecture.


Assoc. prof. Uroš Marušič, PhD

Science and research centre Koper, Slovenia

Uroš Marušič is employed at the Science and Research Centre Koper and Alma Mater Europaea – ECM (Slovenia). He graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, from the department of Cybernetics in Medicine – Biomedical Engineering (2011) and acquired a PhD degree in the study program Applied Kinesiology of the University of Primorska (2015). He specialized as a young researcher in the field of movement neuroscience. During the course of his doctoral studies, Uros Marusic was also actively involved in the research group of Dr. Romain Meeusen in the Department of Human Physiology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium). In 2013 he received the prestigious “Young Investigator Award (oral)” at the Congress of European College of Sport Science in Barcelona and lectured as invited lecturer at the congress Japanese Society of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine (JSPFSM), Tokyo (Japan). Since 2013, Uros Marusic published 26 original scientific articles and 11 review articles. He is member of the editorial board of the scientific journal European Review of Aging and Physical Activity (EURAPA). In 2017 he was a visiting lecturer at the prestigious University of Michigan (Michigan, USA) and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York, USA). In 2018 he was a research fellow at the University of Michigan’s Functional Neuroimaging, Cognitive and Mobility Laboratory. Since November 2020, he has been leading the international Horizon 2020 project entitled TwinBrain (TWINning the BRAIN with machine learning for neuro-muscular efficiency), worth €0.9 million.


Lecture title: A neuroscientific perspective on an enriched environment for successful sensory, motor and cognitive development

Early life events can significantly affect the structural and functional outcomes of the brain. Motor skills are known to be enhanced by enriched environment, and the development of fundamental motor skills is critical from preschool and elementary school ages. This lecture will present an overview of neuroscientific and behavioral studies that have examined the consequences of enriched and/or low-stimulus environments on the developing brain, with the goal of developing appropriate interventions.


Assist. prof. Matej Plevnik, PhD

University of Primorska, Faculty of Health, Slovenia

Matej Plevnik is a physical education teacher and kinesiologist whose expertise lies in assessing lifelong motor development. His research focuses also in combining art (music and dance) and kinesiology. He completed undergraduate study in physical education at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Ph.D. study in kinesiology at the University of Primorska (Slovenia). He works as an assistant professor at the University of Primorska, Faculty of Health, where he is a current Vice Dean for Quality for the field of Kinesiology.


Lecture title: Benefits of outdoor play and exercise for children and youth

Studies show the many benefits of exercise, sports, and play in the natural environment. The natural environment provides many opportunities to organize exercise, with many challenges for the child/trainee to overcome. When exercising in the natural environment, there is less of a sense of exertion than when exercising indoors. At the same time, we achieve a significant holistic effect on the development of the individual. During the Covid 19 pandemic, conducting exercise and sports programs for children and adolescents in the natural/outdoor environment, with protective measures and recommendations, was often suggested as the only acceptable solution.