Social and Physical Activity Programme

Social and Physical Activity Programme

We hope as well as enjoying the scientific programme, you will avail of some of the numerous opportunities to network through our social activities and engage in some physical activity. Belfast is a small city, and we encourage delegates to walk or use the public hire bicycles to get around the city. ‘Occasionally’ it rains in Belfast, so don’t forget to pack a light raincoat or umbrella just in case. There are lots of things to see within 5 minutes of the conference venue, including the Ulster Museum, Botanic Park and Gardens and the River Lagan.


Welcome Reception

6.30-7.30pm, Wednesday 28th September

All conference delegates are invited to join us for a welcome reception. The reception will take place in the Great Hall at Queen’s University. After this reception we hope you will take the opportunity to sample some of the many restaurants and Irish pubs that Belfast has to offer, all within walking distance of the conference venue. Visit for some ideas.

Early Career Research Networking Event

8pm, Wednesday 28th September

Early Career Researchers are welcome to join an informal networking event. This will be held in a local Italian restaurant ( If you plan to attend, please email Aoife Stephenson ( or Deepti Adlakha ( so they can inform the restaurant how many to expect.  Please note - FOR THIS EVENT ONLY, delegates will be expected to pay for their own meal.


Civic Reception and Conference Dinner

7pm-midnight, Thursday 28th September

For delegates who have paid to attend the conference dinner, please meet at Belfast City Hall at 7pm. The event will start with a Civic Reception hosted by the Lord Mayor, followed by the conference dinner and Irish ‘Ceili’ dancing. The Ceili will be led by a local band. No experience is required to participate – just some enthusiasm.


Free Gym Membership

We are grateful to QUB Sports for providing all delegates with free access to the Queen’s University Sports Centre ( This is a 5 minute walk from the conference venue, and includes a gym and swimming pool. To use the facility, you will need to show your conference delegate badge. This will be available for use by delegates on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


Lunch time informal activities

After eating lunch, we hope you will join us to try a few short activities just outside the conference hall, depending on the weather.

On Wednesday, delegates can try the Irish sport of Hurling. It is the fastest, oldest and most skilful field sport in the world (but then we would say that!). We hope to provide a short demonstration of the sport by local players, and allow delegates to try out the unique skills of hitting the hard leather ball (‘sliotar’) with the ‘hurley’ stick.

On Thursday, we invite delegates to join Belfast Healthy Cities in some outdoor games with the equipment that they use to create pop-up kidspaces in the city centre. We also hope to create a visual representation of the key conference messages through the use of sidewalk chalk – so make sure to join us in expressing your artistic side and sharing new knowledge with others. Others may wish to participate in a 20 min led walk through the neighbouring Botanic Gardens ( There will also be the opportunities for delegates to try – Indoor Rowing and Watt Bike challenges in the South Dining Hall during lunch.  Test your endurance and power with some fun challenges!

We are also organising some activities that require additional (free) registration


Pre-Conference Dinner Tour of Belfast City Hall

6.30-7pm, Thursday 28th September

Belfast’s iconic City Hall was opened in 1906 and has a varied history, including links to the Titanic. A free tour of City Hall is available to a limited number of guests. To register for the event, please click here:


Thursday morning is our ‘ActiveAM’. We invite all delegates to join us for some organised physical activity.

Conference Jog

Meet at 7am (start at 7.15am),Thursday 29th September

We have asked a local politician and former Mayor of Belfast to lead a gentle 30 min conference jog along the banks of the river Lagan. We will meet at the University sports centre ( Shower/changing facilities are available in the sports centre. To register for the conference jog, please click here:


Conference Spin Class

Meet at 7am (start at 7.15am),Thursday 29th September

Delegates can join a 30 minute instructor-led spin class in the University sports centre. Shower/changing facilities are available. To register for the conference spin class, please click here:


Conference Circuits Class

Meet at 7am (start at 7.15am),Thursday 29th September

Delegates can join an instructor led 30 minute circuits class in the University sports centre. Shower/changing facilities are available. To register for the conference circults class, please click here:


Conference Yoga

Meet at 8am,Thursday 29th September

Delegates can join an instructor led 30 minute Yoga session. This will be held at the Whitla Hall (conference venue). Yoga mats will be provided. . To register for the conference yoga, please click here:

If you plan on participating in the organised physical activity opportunities, Queen's Sport require you to read their Health Commitment Statement here

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