Recreation and Sport Studies

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

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Sport Plan New Brunswick: A Policy Review


The Sport Plan for New Brunswick was developed in 2008 in collaboration of a Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport and Sport New Brunswick. In addition the committee held representatives of the Canadian Sport Center Atlantic, Center for Coaching Education and Recreation New Brunswick. Continue reading

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The Relatively Older Advantage

KIN 6300 Seminars: The Relative Age Effect

Our age is one of the few defining factors today’s society uses to interpret our status and measure our future potential. Typically this is done by using age brackets or by looking at annual age groups. We (I say this meaning Generation Y) have mostly grown up in a society where status, education, friendships and sport are divided by age, where society tries to collectively group together youth that are the same ages for developmental purposes.


But what if I told you, that this creates advantages and disadvantages for these youth? What if I told you that grouping kids within the same annual age, still doesn’t even the playing field in development.

 You might ask:

What are you talking about? They are the same age; of course it’s even.images1

My response:

Within a given year there are 12 months, in which a kid born in January has 11 months of development and maturity under them then a kid who was born in December. And the most miraculous part is they are the same annual age.

Furthermore, our current social, education and sport systems have had to deal with the problem of how to group children for equal and safe competition.

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Youth Programs & Positive Childhood Development

Positive development effects that emerge out of participating in a recreation or sport program include:

  • Life skills
  • Affiliations
  • Self-concept
  • Physical development
  • Psychological/emotional development
  • Social development
  • Intellectual development

Recreation and Youth Development by Peter Witt & Linda Caldwell (2005) states that research has found that there are also therapeutic benefits related to participation. For example, play and participation therapy have been used in situations involving children who are homeless, who have experienced violence, who were abused or sexually traumatized, or who lived in situations where their parents were substance abusers. This therapy often helps children restore feelings of normalcy and provides them with a sense of security. Some children will also use participation in programs or sports as an escape from their daily lives.

How can we improve?

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A Critical Review of Chilhood Obesity

As a graduating undergraduate in RSS, an article I would recommend reading is:

Prentice-Dunn, H., & Prentice-Dunn, S. (2012). Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and childhood obesity: A review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Psychology, Health & Medicine. 17(3), 255–273.

Childhood obesity is an important disease that is becoming more prevalent in Canada. More than 30% of children in Canada were reported to be overweight and obese in 2010 which is doubled compared to previous years. With current trends, obesity among children is said to go upwards to 70% by 2040. Due to this increasing issue, much research has been done to identify the causes and try to prevent the disease from growing.

As a kinesiology student, I feel I have a right to be a part of the group to facilitate change, whether that is with physical activity, nutrition, sport, or overall health and wellness initiatives. Childhood obesity is a topic I am most passionate about because it one of the number one reasons to premature death. Many people do not realize how to exercise, or eat healthy, and I think by combined informative prevention initiatives as well as physical activity programs targeted to the child that need it most, the community can start to change.

The article I reviewed involved a critical analysis of the topic of childhood obesity. The article was a review of the literature over the past ten years throughout 17 cross-sectional studies. The article focused on the dose-response relationship between physical activity and sedentary behaviours to overweight and obesity among children ages 2-19 to include all ages of children and youth. Results throughout the research showed there was a strong link between higher physical activity levels and a reduced risk for obesity in both girls and boys. Also many of the studies reviewed the most popular sedentary activities that contribute to the issue, which are television and video games. The article also highlights the importance of caloric intake due to increased accessibility to unhealthy foods and the media. In summary, the article shows that there is a strong link with obesity to physical activity and nutrition that is supported in a number of studies within the past decade. With this information, I feel that I am more aware of the issue of childhood obesity and its importance to prevent such a disease from spreading even more.

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Youth Development through Sport vs. Technology

The following interesting article we found on physical education teachers discusses how it might be beneficial to get them to start thinking like game developers.

Pill, S. (2014). Game Play: What Does It Mean for Pedagogy to Think Like a Game Developer? Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance; 85 (1). 9-15.

  • Game design has been applied as an analog for course and curriculum design. The article described how sport teachers in physical education can think like a game developer. Thinking like a game developer requires thinking about sport teaching as a carefully designed learner-driven system of interconnected experiences. This aspect of game design emphasizes the value of time spent in the design process (Pill, 2014).
  • Particularly applicable to the teaching of sport in physical education, the internal architecture of digital games (rules, goals, competition, space/environment) guide the design of a learning experience in which players act to solve problems that develop core competencies. Digital game play is governed by constraints just as the play of sport is defined by the constraints that permit, restrict, or eliminate actions from the game to provide internal logic of the play. The learning principles emerging from the cognitive sciences and being used by digital game designers should then be as applicable to sport teaching in physical education as they are to the construction of digital game play (Pill, 2014).
  • Teaching this way in physical education requires recognition that physical education extends beyond learning to move to intellectual aspects related to decision-making. This is a departure from the traditional physical education method and from the variability and critical interpretation of the learning environment toward a nonlinear pedagogy (Pill, 2014).

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