Illinois State University Kinesiology Professors David Thomas and Karen Dennis and board members of the Vladimir/Canterbury Sister Cities Association were invited speakers at the VI International Sports Forum: Russia—Country of Sports. The conference was held October 10–13 at Vladimir State University in Vladimir, Russia. Both professors were part of a round table presentation on heart rate variability, sport, and health.

The VI International Sports Forum is considered as the most representative sporting and business forum held in Russia. Established in 2009 by degree of the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, the forum serves to determine priorities, activities and development perspectives of the sports industry in Russia. The forum gathered approximately 3,000 leading representatives from the sport movement and sports industry.