Our Current Situation:
- Canadian 3-4 year olds spend 50% of waking hours sedentary…for 5-7 year olds it’s 57% and it’s 68% for 12-17 year olds
- Canadian’s rank sport as the second most positive influence in the lives of youth after family.
- Children who participate in sport are more likely to reach recommended physical activity levels than those who do not.
- If a girl doesn’t participate in a sport by age 10, there is only a 10% chance she’ll be physically active at age 25. ~ PARTICIPACTION
So….what are we going to do about it…?
We designed a program for children in the Active Start stage (5 and 6 year olds), rooted in physical literacy!
Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life. ~ International Physical Literacy Association
‘Physical literacy is crucial to the acquisition – by every child, youth and adult – of essential life skills which are an indispensable means for active participation in the societies and economies of the twenty-first century.’ ~ Dr Dean Kriellaars; Adapted from UNESCO
Research has shown that being physically active later in life depends on an individual’s ability to feel confident in an activity setting. That confidence most often comes from having learned fundamental movement and sport skills, or physical literacy, as a child. Research has also shown that without the development of physical literacy, many children and youth withdraw from physical activity and sport and turn to more inactive and/or unhealthy choices during their leisure time.
The development of fundamental movement skills and motor skills is critical to establishing the foundation for participation in many sports and physical activities. A child who has not had the opportunity to develop these basic motor skills experiences difficulties or barriers when participating in sport experiences, or later school-based programs that involve more difficult skills.
~ Physical and Health Education Canada
If you can…
Sport for Life (S4L) is a movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada. S4L links sport, education, recreation and health and aligns community, provincial and national programming.
Kids who have fun playing a sport are more likely to stay active and healthy for their entire lifetime. They also have a better chance of becoming a top athlete. So make it fun, and make it quality!
Designed properly, children’s sport are fun and they provide exciting challenges and rich skill development.
S4L is a movement to make sport and activity better and more fun for our kids. The goal of S4L is to focus on the best interest of kids, and not on the goals of coaches or parents who simply want to win at all costs.
The three main outcomes of S4L are: Physical Literacy, Excellence, and Active for Life.
Physical Literacy is the concept that children need to learn how to move when they are in preschool and elementary school. Just like reading and writing, children need to learn how to properly move.
The idea behind physical literacy is this: if we give children the opportunity to do the right physical activities at the right time in their development, more of them will enjoy getting active and stay active. They will develop more confidence in their bodies and better sport skills.
To develop physical literacy, children need to learn fundamental movement skills, and fundamental sport skills. What’s more, they need to practice these fundamental skills for hundreds of hours in the playground, at school, in recreation programs, and within sport clubs before they reach puberty.
Children should acquire physical literacy in each of the four activity environments – land, water, air and snow and ice.
With physical literacy, the door opens to a world of opportunities in sport and physical activity.
~ Additional sources from: Changing the Game Project, USA Football and East Scarborough Multisport Collaborative
For more information to help parents give their children the right start in life through the development of physical literacy, check out our friends Active for Life.
Get More From Sport, an education campaign developed by Hockey Nova Scotia and Soccer Nova Scotia, with support from Sport Nova Scotia, has been designed to promote multi-sport play. The goal of the campaign is for every parent of an athlete aged 12 or under to visit this site, as you now have. See the evidence and read the facts. Take the test. Hear from sporting greats. See the movement. From there, parents will have the information to make the best decisions for their growing athletes. Hopefully, the grown-ups will worry less about the score, or the level, or “getting ahead,” and simply foster a love of sport that keeps children active for life.