Talent identification and development in sport

In April 2024, Ghent University and HAN will organise an international expert meeting on talent identification and development in sport. The focus of this four-day event will be on the science and practice of detecting, orienting, identifying, selecting, transferring, and developing sport talent, including research on the acquisition of athlete skills, expertise, and sport performance. The research challenge (pitches) and workshops provide ample opportunities for in-depth discussions, debates, and interaction among the world's leading researchers in these fields.


Over the past few years, researchers been disappointed with the quality of scientific engagement and discourse in our areas at international conferences, especially given how expensive these conferences have become. With this combined event, we are trying to push the envelope of what type of interaction and engagement is possible at this atypical conference in Belgium and The Netherlands.

A team of internationally renowned speakers will kick off the international expert meeting on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th April in Ghent, Belgium. The first part of the conference will focus on meaningful student engagement and roundtable discussions where students will interact with leading researchers to get feedback on ideas and research projects during a 'Talent Research Challenge'. On Wednesday, all participants make the transfer to Nijmegen for the second part of the conference where keynote speeches and workshops will alternate on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th April in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Buy your tickets now

Choose between a week ticket or seperate tickets for Ghent or Nijmegen. 

Talentontwikkeling met Johan Pion
  • Ticket Ghent €300,- Access to the congress on April 8th and 9th in Ghent.
  • Ticket Nijmegen €300,- Access to the congress on April 10th and 12th in Nijmegen.
  • Week ticket €455 ,- Access to the congress in Ghent and Nijmegen.


The transfer from Ghent to Nijmegen (± € 60,00) is included in the week ticket price. Accommodationcosts are at own charge.

To ensure all our intended attendees can bring students for the Research Challenge, we need to know who is planning to come so that we can send specific details to each potential attendee. All researchers can submit an infographic (A4) with their projects. The best 20 will be invited to present and pitch their actual work in Ghent on April 8th and April 9th, 2024. The top 3 pitches will be awarded (€1000,00 – €500,00 – €250,00). More information about this challenge further below.


Watersportlaan 2 te 9000 Gent, Belgium

HAN Univeristy of Applied Sciences - Gymnasion, Heyendaalseweg 141, Nijmegen

We look forward to welcoming you in Ghent and Nijmegen


Conference timeline

Invited speakers

Joe Baker

Researcher, University of Toronto

Sean Cumming

Professor, University of Bath

Steve Cobley

Professor, The University of Sydney

Jörg Schorer

professor for movement and sport science, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg

Andreas Hohmann

Professor, University of Bayreuth Germany

Antje Hoffmann

Mark Pfeiffer

Professor, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

Wim Derave

Professor, Ghent University

Matthieu Lenoir

Professor, Ghent University

Marije Elferink-Gemser

Researcher, University of Groningen


Irene Faber

Jan Willem Teunissen

Researcher, HAN University of Applied Sciences

Johan Pion

Professor, HAN University of Applied Sciences & Ghent University


Hylyght Research-Challenge

Researchers can submit an infographic and receive a €100 refund for their accepted submission. The infographics will be part of the program booklet with the intention of displaying an overview of projects from around the world.

How to submit your infographic?

Create an A4 (1 side portrait) with icons that succinctly explain the following:

  • Background
  • Project
  • Benefits
  • Goals and outcomes

Please send the infographic to johan.pion@han.nl to participate in this challenge.

Submit you infographic before February 15th, 2024!


4 experts decide which of the submitted infographics will be accepted.

The decision will be announced March 1st, 2024!

Accepted submissions take part in the pitches

During the pitch sessions in Ghent, participants (maximum 20) whose infographics were accepted can present their work in a 2-minute pitch (maximum 6 slides of 20 seconds).

Followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer session.

Participants with accepted infographics will be refunded €100 in Ghent and the laureates will receive €1000, €500 and €250 respectively.

hylyght challenge