Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

Recreation, Sport & Physical Literacy


NB Physical Literacy

‘Learning to move is just as important as learning to read and write’

In October 2014, New Brunswick hosted a Physical Literacy summit that brought together over 120 delegates from a large variety of fields. The goal of the Summit was to bring together parents, teachers, coaches, instructors and program providers responsible for the physical literacy development of our children and provide opportunities for all to build their knowledge and enhance their skills to provide developmental and fundamentally sound movement practices.

Building on the Summit, the task in 2015 has shifted to bringing the message of Physical Literacy to all stakeholders. RSS students are well positioned to be Physical Literacy champions. But before they attempt to do so, is there a clear understanding of what Physical Literacy is/means?

According to: IPLA

  • Physical Literacy can be defined as having acceptable fundamental movement skills combined with the confidence and motivation to participate in physical activity across a variety of environments.
  • A physically literate individual has the the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.

According to:  PHE Canada

  • Individuals who are physically literate move with competence in a wide variety of physical activities that benefit the development of the whole person.
  • Physical literacy focuses on the development of the whole child — meaning it is not just about the understanding and practice of physical activity, it also includes a child’s knowledge and understanding of why physical activity is important and its resulting benefits, as well as the development of attitudes and habits to practice these skills on a regular basis.

According to: CS4L

  • Physical literacy is the cornerstone of both participation and excellence in physical activity and sport. Individuals who are physically literate are more likely to be active for life.
  • Becoming physically literate is influenced by the individual’s age, maturation and capacity.
  • Ideally, supporting the development of physical literacy should be a major focus prior to the adolescent growth spurt.

When to develop PL

Who is responsible for PL
What do you say RSS 4092ers? Are you ready for this responsibility?
Take this quiz to find out…


UNB Faculty of Kinesiology: Bachelor of Recreation & Sports Studies, MBA in Sport & Recreation Management, and Master of Arts in Sport & Recreation Studies

3 thoughts on “Recreation, Sport & Physical Literacy

  1. Great interview:

    Effects of poor physical literacy in children carry into adulthood. Many children struggle with basic skills such as jumping, skipping and throwing.

    Exercise is the ‘cheapest, safest drug.’


  2. Learning how to move is just as important as learning to read and write.

    As a child I developed a wide range and variety of physical skills. This allows me as an adult, to go play a pick-up basketball game with my friends, go to a soccer field and kick around a ball, be able to go to the gym successfully or throw around a football if need or want be.

    You hear a lot of teenagers/ young adults say, “well I don’t know how to go to the gym or I’m no good at sports”. If a child is taught from a young age how to develop the basic motor functions and movement skills that are required for activities they will develop not only the ability to participate, but the confidence and self-esteem to complete these tasks successfully. This will foster into their development of adulthood, leaving them with a life-long array of physical activities they can participate in.

    The physical literacy conference did a wonderful job at introducing and expanding on the idea of physical literacy. They educated the individuals attending on how we as a recreational society can incorporate this into basic recreational sports and programs.

    I now understand the crucial benefits that derive from physical literacy and will do my best to incorporate these ideas into my future occupation.

    – Katelyn Peters


  3. Physical literacy is a vastly under utilized and commonly unappreciated term. So often we associate `play` with unregulated nonsense that children partake in for social benefits but in reality it is one of the most important concepts in childhood development. The Canadian Sport for Life Model (CS4L) emphasizes in steps the importance of being active from the grassroots level all the way up through the system into the competitive stage (Play to Win), and then even beyond that to live a healthy and fruitful life (Active for life). If we can teach PL, then play will be reincorporated into every Canadian`s life, and reaffirmed as an imperative aspect for the improvement of quality of life.


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