Recreation and Sport Studies

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

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Bullying in Recreation and Sport Settings

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

Bullying in Recreation and Sport Settings: Exploring Risk Factors, prevention efforts, and Intervention Strategies 

The research journal article is a good read for RSS students and is going to be the subject of discussion. The article is going to be summarized and critically analyzed on certain key points of interest.

Bullying is a social phenomenon that is defined as “repeated negative actions that involve a differential of power whereby the individual who is more powerful attacks or harasses the individual who is less powerful with an intention to harm or disturb” (Olweus, 1993).

The rates of youth being victimized, bullying, or functioning in both roles are different amongst nations.  In the US, 22% boys and 16% of girls reported being victims or bullies. Lithuania in this case has much higher rates of bullying.

People who are victimized by bullies can suffer from a range of problems like bodily harm, depression, social anxiety, loneliness, and thoughts of suicide. People who have been bullied reported having higher rates than those who were not bullied to experience health maladies such as sleeping problems, stomach aches, and headaches.

What is more, bullying is known to ostracise under-represented populations like immigrants, the disabled, overweight, sexual minorities, and more. People who are bullied tend to be more likely to not participate in sports or recreation activities. Being subject to bullying, while simultaneously participating in sport or recreation activities can even further intensify the ostracization the victim receives. Where the phenomenon of bullying really becomes an extraordinary problem is that bullies tend to be disenfranchised people themselves who experience internal problems like anxiety, depression, academic challenge, and lack of social skills. In a sense, bullies in themselves can be subjects of wide societal bullying. It is an interesting scenario where the bully and victim end up being more similar than not based on their respective internal struggles.

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Examining the Impacts of Grant Funding

As RSS professionals, many of us will turn to grants throughout our careers to help fund programs, initiatives, and projects to assist in the delivery of sport, recreation and wellness within our area of work. Grants give individuals and groups the opportunity to organize and pursue projects that they might not have otherwise been prepared or able to undertake. Grants can be defines as:

  • “The provision of funding to community groups or organizations by outside parties through a COMPETITIVE application”.
  • “Granting is a strategy that government bodies have adopted as part of a mandate to encourage and support community efforts to address local issues and concerns”.                        (Smith & Littlejohns, 2007)

Throughout the country there are multiple national grant and funding opportunities available. Below are examples of opportunities from three different sectors:

  • KidSport – National Non-for-Profit Organization
  • JumpStart – National Charity
  • GoodLife Kids Foundation – National Private Foundation

Each province has similar grant and funding opportunities. In this context, examples of grants and funding opportunities provided by the New Brunswick Department of Healthy and Inclusive Communities are:

  • NB Amateur Sport Fund
  • NB Professional Coach Employment Program Grant
  • Sport and Recreation Organizations Grants (Provincial and Regional/Local)
  • NB Athlete Assistant Program

For the complete list of grants, guidelines and requirements provided by the NB Department of Healthy and Inclusive Communities, visit this link:

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Recreation & Sport Studies in a Faculty of Kinesiology: Awkward Partnership or Perfect Fit?


According to the Andrews et al. (2014) critical essay McKinesiology, “kinesiology is fraught with hyperfragmentation and hyperspecialization” (p. 335). As part of a broader shift in universities towards a corporate model of operational efficiency, the McDonaldization of society (Ritzer, 2004) is evident in the McDonaldizaiton of higher education.


This thesis posits that the ‘McUniversity phenomenon’ crosses the spectrum of Faculties and Departments, of which Kinesiology is not exempt. Thus, according to Andrews et al. (2014), “Kinesiology has been McDonaldized: It is cheaply produced in a standardized and highly predictable form; it is outwardly seductive and appealing, popular and (ful)filling, but closer inspection reveals a bland and insubstantial structure; it offers anything but a balanced and healthy composite of the various food groups …” (Andrews et al., 2014, p. 342).

What the authors are suggesting is a learning environment where, “today’s McKinesiology departments tend either to be exclusively bio-science focused, or unapologetically bio-science centric (the social sciences and humanities being grudgingly tolerated, but habitually underfunded and undersupported” (Andrews et. al, 2014, pg. 342).

A different perspective on ‘Kinesiological relations’ is offered by Kretchmar (2014) entitled: Complementary Kinesiology: Why its not wise to choose sides or work alone. Kretchmar offers his examples of the dichotomies within Kinesiology These dichotomies include:

  • Movement as a means (duty)  Movement as an end (play),
  • focus on health focus on meaning, and
  • an alliance with medicine  alliance with education.

Within these dichotomies, Kretchmar (2014) identifies a “Kinesiology Sweet Spot” well within the margins of Science (Biology, Physics) vs. Humanities (Social Science, Arts) and Life (Physicality) vs. Quality of Life (Mental/Spiritual) that permeate Faculties of Kinesiology across North America.


It is this sweet spot that Kinesiology faculties (and graduates) would be best served. Thus, according the Kretchmar (2014), “the best custodians in complementary kinesiology will be those who neither choose sides nor work alone” (p. 261).

RSS 4092ers: What are your thoughts on either of these two positions? How do they relate to your experience in UNB’s Faculty of Kinesiology?

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Discussing ‘Towards a National Recreation Agenda’

There are a number of issues facing Recreation in Canada including:

  • perception as a “soft service”
  • fragmentation of efforts and resources
  • rising health challenges
  • aging infrastructure
  • moving up$cale
  • demographics shifts
  • climate change

According to Brenda Robertson’s closing remarks at Recreation Rising event in January 2013, “recreation is adrift and rudderless in a sea of possibilities”.

Our 2015 RSS 4092 students were asked:

1) What is the most significant issue?

2) Who is responsible for addressing the issue(s)?

3) What can be done to “fix” the issue(s)?

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KIN 6300 – A Discussion on a Discussion Paper! Towards a National Recreation Agenda

So this is my first ever blog. Buckle up kiddos, here we go!

The topic of discussion is coincidently a discussion paper. Towards a National Recreation Agenda: Working Together to Foster, Healthy Flourishing, and Sustainable Individuals, Communities and EnvironmentA bit of a mouthful, but don’t let that intimidate you – it’s definitely a read that anyone and everyone can relate to in one way or another.

Firstly, what is recreation? It’s when you play sports or get sweaty doing something, right? No. As discussed in our Kin 6300 class, recreation has the good or bad rep (depending on how you look at it) of being associated with playing sports or working out. Recreation is a giant umbrella with various activities under it, that don’t always have to be physical. The definition of public recreation in Canada given in the discussion paper states “recreation includes all those activities in which an individual chooses to participate, and includes sports, physical recreation programs, artistic and creative expressions, social and intellectual activities. Recreation is a fundamental human need and right and is essential to the psychological, social and well-being of each Canadian” (National Recreation Agenda Working Group, 2013). Now that I’ve obviously made a connection to every individual in this vast country, feel free to read on.


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KIN 6300 discussion: What is Leisure?

Leisure, as defined by my peers, means many different things. It can be a state of mind or simply being in the moment. It can be classified as unstructured play or just being relaxed. It can be self-expression or having freedom and choice. Leisure meant something different to each one of us — what does it mean to you?

Past research describes leisure as a personal experience. There is a focus on choice and freedom, which can reinforce the emphasis on individual benefits. There are also certain perspectives of leisure that are connected to the process of development and change. Social, economical and political factors can determine whether individuals are controlled or empowered, liberated or repressed, in regards to their leisure. Leisure activities, defined by the participant, allow individuals to feel intrinsically rewarded through directed action. This attitude they experience is either a temporary feeling or a way of life.

Essentially, there is one common theme that emerged in past definitions of leisure and activities: it is completely and totally individualized for the participant.

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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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