Recreation and Sport Studies

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

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Hockey and Newcomers to Canada

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

Hockey is known as Canada’s sporting pastime, so for people moving to Canada, it is not a bad idea to learn about the game. In the article, newcomer to Canada, Gihad is willing to be learn the rules and how to coach hockey for his son. This is not only beneficial to Gihad, it is also beneficial to his son. For example, Gihad states “ I’m not here to close the door on myself and my kids and stay inside, I can do that in Egypt, I don’t have to come here to do that”. With the rising numbers of obese children, Gihad is moving in the right direction to keep his children active in a new country.

Multiculturalism is something that most of us have been exposed to in the past; this article highlights a great case of multiculturism in sport. When he arrived in Canada, Gihad did not have any idea what the game of hockey was about or the rules of the game, but that did not stop him from wanting to learn and give his children the opportunity to take part in the Canadian culture. For the coaches to give Gihad a chance is really positive. Coming from a small town, I would not see insistences like this. I think this is also a great learning experience for the kids as well to see Gihad on the ice learning how to skate and the determination he has to learn the game is setting a good example of the kids.

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The Importance of Recreation and Sport for Immigrants in Canada

Canada had a foreign-born population of about 7 million people, making 1 in 5 people in Canada Foreign-Born in 2011, which in about 20% of our entire population. With such a large population of immigrants, it is important that we facilitate ways of integrating them into Canadian society. Sport and Recreation is one avenue that can benefit the multiculturalism in our country.

Overview of Canada’s Multiculturalism Act

“Canadian multiculturalism is fundamental to our belief that all citizens are equal.”

  • To support all of Canada’s cultures
  • Assist members of all culture groups to overcome barriers to fulfill participation in Canadian Society’s
  • To promote creative encounters + interchanges
  • Assist immigrants in acquiring at least one official language 

Although we have a Multiculturalism Act in place, there are no policies that promote opportunities for immigrants in Sport and Recreation activities.

The idea of multiculturalism is relatively well understood and accepted as a philosophical and policy framework, but it provides little if any direct guidance for service providers to follow, and ensure that programs and opportunities for immigrants are put in place.

The benefits of having sport and recreation opportunities for immigrants help ease in the personal transition to a new country, and also can be measured economically and socially as a whole community.

On the individual level, involvement in sports as athletes, coaches, participants and spectators is important for establishing community connections, continuing the activity they enjoyed before immigrating and partaking in a healthy lifestyle, not only physically, but mentally, socially and emotionally. Immigrating can be a stressful time, so sport and recreation can also help in creating a sense of belonging, providing a chance to develop new friendships and share cultures, and most importantly creating a sense of inclusion.

On a community level, economic and social benefits are more likely to be seen by having recreation and sport opportunities that allow immigrants to feel included and welcomed in their new society.

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