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Municipal Recreation’s Role in Program Development
- Preservation and development of outdoor environments within an open space system, including parks, pathways and bikeways, playgrounds, sport fields, and natural areas and features.
- Providing a broad range of community indoor facilities, many within multipurpose complexes.
- Developing program opportunities for personal growth and development, learning, and enjoyment.
- Ensuring programs and facilities are affordable and accessible.
- Supporting the efforts of related community organizations to provide services within a community development approach.
- Taking part in collaborative efforts to address local issues and improve overall quality of community life.
In short, municipal recreation is responsible to the whole community and all its residents. While a significant part of the municipal recreation role involves the direct provision of opportunities within indoor and outdoor environments, it also includes supporting local voluntary organizations in their provision of services. In most communities, the greatest single benefactor of support has been the sport delivery system – especially in terms of the use of municipally owned indoor facilities and outdoor sport fields.
For example, many children learn to swim and skate in municipal lessons. In addition, pre-school programs include basic movement education and physical literacy elements, as well as unstructured exploratory play. In many cases, learn to swim programs include awareness of aquatic sport opportunities and the transition to community sport programs. Children may also learn skills in individual activities such as tennis in municipal programs when at the right maturity level. Finally, a number of municipalities have partnered directly with sport organizations to offer exposure clinics or camps (single or multi-sport) within their offerings.
A critical element in building a stronger relationship between recreation and sport is increasing the levels of mutual awareness and understanding that the two sectors have of each other. Building awareness needs to occur at the national, provincial/territorial, and local levels.
- Programs are accessible to all children and youth whether they are able-bodied or have a disability.
- Multi-sport programs for the pre-adolescent children are focused on skill development.
- Sport programs are delivered by trained or certified coaches or instructors.
- Sport training opportunities are at reasonable cost to ensure access for all children.
- Sport and physical activity programs are linked strategically with other interventions to address social problems.
- Information material about CS4L and LTAD for parents is available at community centres.