Multisport Programs

Across Canada, leaders in recreation, sport and education are working together under the CS4L framework to promote physical literacy for children and youth. Multisport programs are great innovations in this area. 

Physical literacy opens up sport and activity opportunities for children, youth and individuals of all ages.  As children develop fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills, they are able to take part in a wider range of formal sport activities that require these skills, and their choice of lifelong health-promoting activities is broadened.

To develop physical literacy, recreation providers and sport organizations are implementing innovative new “multisport” approaches, such as programs that combine similar sports such as ice sports or water sports.

This approach allows children to build physical literacy and explore the sport(s) they would be most interested in pursuing in the recreation or performance/competitive pathways. It also allows late-entry participants more opportunities to explore a variety of sports and physical activities. 

The development of physical literacy in children, especially during the Active Start and FUNdamental stages, is extremely important. There are a number of areas where enhanced collaboration between recreation and sport can support the development of physical literacy and lifelong activity through successful entry into sport programs.

These include:

  • Ensuring physical literacy elements and active play are integrated within pre-school and day-care programs.
  • Providing focused physical literacy development programs for younger children in recreation centres.
  • Ensure HIGH FIVE® training is provided to all staff working with children so they are aware of healthy child development principles, supporting physical literacy development practices.
  • Basic skill learning and play within after-school programs, held in both school and recreation settings.
  • Participants in physical literacy and introductory skill classes exposed to related sport programs available in the facility or community.
  • Information about physical literacy principles, parental roles, and CS4L principles distributed to parents through leisure guides and other communication vehicles to assist them in their child’s development and selecting sport programs;
  • Providing introductory skill exposure opportunities in a variety of sports in partnership with sport in summer camps and other program settings, using appropriate sized equipment.
  • Enhancing local coaches’ understanding of physical literacy through CS4L materials.
  • Municipalities and sport organizations working with school districts to provide training opportunities for elementary school teachers, emphasizing the inclusion of physical literacy elements within their programs.

>> Learn more about multisport programming