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Cooperation and joint action between recreation services and sport groups leads to innovative programs that develop physical literacy and encourages Canadians to be active for life.
CS4L has provided a framework for recreation, sport and education to come together to create innovative new programming to promote sport and physical activity in communities across Canada. Each year, we are seeing new program development and discussions for further strategic changes.
Municipal recreation and parks departments commonly carry out annual strategic planning processes, as well as more comprehensive master plan processes every 5-10 years.
- Annual strategic plans should consider the inclusion of strategies related to sport development and the advancement of CS4L principles.
- Master planning processes should fully engage sport groups, and go beyond their space and facility needs to identify opportunities for greater collaboration and joint program development.
- A community “Sport Summit” could bring sport groups and municipalities together to identify issues and opportunities for collaboration.
- A community “Sport Strategy”, involving key partners, should be developed and included in municipal policy.
- Work with local sport groups to increase physical literacy and the exposure to sport entry skills.
Sport councils are mechanisms to encourage greater cooperation and collaboration among sports groups. Municipal council and appointed recreation advisory committees encourage their development in order to provide a collective voice for sport in a community. They are intended to break down barriers between sports, serve as a liaison on sport issues, and support joint advocacy regarding sport needs. Effective sport councils must be able to focus on the broad needs of sport, and engage in joint action such as promoting sport participation and awareness. Having a municipal staff liaison is important, while still maintaining the autonomy of the sport councils to advocate and provide advice.
Another form of collaborative sport action is the development of sport hosting committees. These have a more focused mandate of obtaining sport events and supporting the actual hosting. They include broad representation from sport as well as the business community, tourism, and municipal government.
The Vancouver Sport Strategy marks the beginning of a process to define the City’s relationship with key stakeholders in sport and the people who lead, volunteer and participate in sport programs, events, and facilities. The strategy identifies six goals with detailed recommendations and outcomes for success.
Newfoundland & Labrador are promoting healthy, active kids by offering a cost-free Active Start drop-in program twice a week. Using a large gymnasium at the NL Sport Center and its large range of equipment, children have the opportunity to learn the fundamental movement skills that are identified through CS4L as essential to physical literacy.
The Toronto Charter for Physical Activity outlines four actions based upon nine guiding principles. It is a call for all countries, regions and communities to strive for greater political and social commitment to support health, enhancing physical activity for all.