How Sport Participation Can Develop Physical Literacy

How Sport Participation Can Develop Physical Literacy

There’s no getting around it – children need to be active. Especially from a young age. According to Physical and Health Education Canada (“PHE Canada”), research has shown that being physically active later in life is directly related to an individual’s ability to be confident in an active setting.

Much of that confidence comes from having learned fundamental movement and sport skills as a child, also known as physical literacy.

Why is it important?

Without physical literacy, children can withdraw from physical activity or sport and turn to more inactive or unhealthy activities in their leisure time. This can lead to decreased muscle development and coordination, potentially contributing to health issues further down the road. Developing physical literacy is also helpful for decreasing the risk of injury while being active.

In order to avoid these negative outcomes, fostering physical literacy through a quality physical education program is of vital importance! Since children may not always draw these conclusions on their own, parents, guardians and educators play a vital role in creating the foundation for children to become physically active.

 

How a sports-focused camp can polish those skills 

If can be difficult as parents or guardians to choose the best course of action to convince their children to get active. With screen time and childhood obesity on the rise among children around the world according to the Canadian Pediatric Society, this can be more difficult than ever. But True North Camps is here to help.

True North offers year-round programming for children of all ages in a variety of sports – baseball, basketball, flag football, soccer and multi-sport – that will help develop physical literacy while also ensuring that all participants are having fun!

Each sport is unique and will assist in developing a particular set of fundamental movement skills, so participation in a multitude of sports is encouraged. For example, baseball may be better at developing hand-eye coordination and precision by hitting or throwing, while football might focus more on running or agility through avoiding defenders. By practicing these fundamental movement skills, children gain the confidence and ability to participate in a variety of physical activities.

The staff are here to help

While the positive health effects are undeniable, some children may still struggle to open themselves up to the idea of sports participation. The idea of going to camp for a whole week or joining a sports clinic can be frightening to children, especially younger ones, who haven’t had such an experience before.

In assessing a physical education program, PHE Canada has created the Physical Literacy Checklist where they list “environment,” “instruction,” and “professionalism” among their list of qualities to look for in determining how well a program will support the development of a child’s physical literacy.

That’s where one of True North’s greatest assets come in – the staff.

Potential staff members at True North are subject to an intensive hiring process that only picks the best of the best. Not only must staff be good instructors having extensive sport playing and coaching experience, but they must also be able to think on their feet and adjust games or drills appropriately based on the dynamic and skill level of each group. True North staff must also be committed to creating a positive and inclusive environment to give children the best chance at developing physical literacy while having loads of fun.

While a child may be hesitant to join an unfamiliar sport program, True North’s staff make it a priority to ensure that all participants feel welcome and leave the program not only having learned new sports skills, but also having had a great time. Developing physical literacy by staying active is important, but so is having fun. After all, getting active is far more natural when children are having a good time.

Information on dates, scheduled programming, fees and instructions to sign up and more can be found here.

Allan Perkins
Allan is a long-time camp counsellor, private lesson instructor and clinic director for True North Camps. He played AAA level baseball in the Toronto area for almost a decade and played four years on Ryerson University's varsity baseball team. Allan has a passion for all sports and wants to help promote a healthy and active lifestyle for everyone.