Recreation and Sport Studies

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


Physical Literacy – Urban vs. Rural Areas

Physical literacy in urban and rural areas should be significantly different, but it mostly depends on your family and your neighborhood. As we all know, physical literacy is the mastering of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills that permit a child to read their environment and make appropriate decisions, allowing them to move confidently and with control in a wide range of physical activity situations (Mandigo, Francis, Lodewyk & Lopez, 2009). Many people suggest that physical literacy “just happens” in child development. This is only true in certain children who are raised in environments where physical activity is encouraged but is also a way of life. On the other hand, some children are raised in more dangerous environments where free physical activity is not encouraged, in order to stay safe. Physical literacy can be developed through a sport or activity, or acquired through the movements that you are comfortable with naturally.

Screen time is becoming the first choice for many, so this means there are less physically literate youth today in both rural and urban areas. For all children, it seems that their parents want what is “safest” for them, so they could end up just putting them in front of a screen to keep them occupied instead of sending them outside to play with friends. Recesses are becoming shorter and physical education classes are no longer mandatory in every school.

Initially, we assumed that there was a cut and dry difference between rural and urban physical literacy, but we found out they were pretty similar. When looking at rural communities, they could have smaller opportunities for recreation and sport activities, or longer commutes to participate in activities (especially if they live in really small areas). On the other hand, some rural communities have loads of recreational activities and yard space so the kids can start working on fundamental movements at a young age. Most of the time, rural town residents are able to walk most places they need to go. When looking at urban communities, there could be an outstanding number of recreational and sporting activities, but more competition. Individuals in this area may have to drive to most of the places they go, which means they will not spend as much time outside.

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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?
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