Connor Bishop's Story

Lecturer, Connor Bishop has his University degree dissertation published.

South Essex College Sport and Public Services lecturer, Connor Bishop has had his University degree dissertation from BSc Sport and Exercises Science published on the Physical and Activity Health Journal.

The research is about the autistic experience of exercising in nature-based environments. The idea being that the types of physical environments that individuals exercise in has a different impact on them. Connor said: “I wanted to try and provide a voice to an unrepresented group. Usually autism research is conducted with parents, carers, researchers and academics but without the autistic individual providing their own perspective and experiences, so the purpose of the research was to provide a voice to a niche group.” 

Connor was diagnosed as autistic when he was 19. Connor told us: “When doing my research for my Bachelor’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science, the topic of green exercise came from my supervisor. I had already done some research around disability and social context. I wanted to conduct my own research to provide a voice for autistic people and ensure that underrepresented groups are recognised.”

Studies indicate that autistic people tend to not partake in these activities because of anxieties associated with the unknown and negative sensory experiences. Connor said: “My advice would be to try different things, map out the location, directions, destination, create a schedule and bring people with you to the new environments.”

Connor wrote his study with language written in a way to support the autistic community, which is person first language (autistic person over person with autism). Connor told us it has been an arduous and emotional journey, he said: “I want to ensure the curriculum is inclusive, and that I listen to learners with different needs and neurodiversity. I want people to be their authentic self’s and comfortable”. 

Connor concluded: “I love teaching, I love seeing students learning new facts and seeing that I’ve done a good job and supported them through their own learning journey.”

Connor’s study can be read on: