Introduction: The renewal process for Calgary's Sport Policy opens a door for the outdoor education and activity community to engage with the city to promote non-competitive outdoor activity to a much greater degree than has been possible in the past. A major reason for this opportunity is the change in how the sport community sees sport promotion given the rising acceptance of the Physical Literacy Philosophy.
The 'Community Sport Hub' is a three year pilot project led by the City of Calgary in partnership with Calgary Board of Education Martindale School, six traditional sports organizations (wrestling, tennis, hockey, volleyball, cricket, and basketball) and with the Alberta Chapter of the Outdoor Council of Canada.
What is a 'Sport Hub'
The goal of the sport hub is to create a place where people of all ages and abilities can participate in a wide range of physical activities. Central to the hub are values of inclusiveness, sharing and collaboration. Great efforts are made to keep activities fun and ensure that the competitive aspects of sport are harnessed to re-enforce the desire to participate, rather than exclude those of lesser ability.
Year 1 at the Martindale Hub
Three programs are being piloted during this school year:
- An In-School Program once a week. Sports take turns to present their program for five successive weeks to students grades 5 to 9. All students participate.
- An After-School Program that provides a venue for those students who choose to participate further in the featured sport.
- A Community Program that recruits participants from the surrounding community for an independent program. Participation is free in this year.
Where do we fit in
We see a number of potential benefits for us to participate in this hub:
- To be active for life a person must develop comprehensive physical literacy which includes 'Outdoor Literacy'. By participating in this program we expect gain insights into how to join our goals with those of the powerful and well-funded sport movement. As we learn from this movement we hope to be able to contribute our expertise in supporting inclusiveness for participants, collaborative team-work, and personal development.
- A major goal of our program is to develop a self-sustaining outdoor literacy 'club' within the community that is intimately connected to the Hub. This will create a new and powerful tool for empowering an immigrant and new-Canadian community that has very little access to outdoor activity to overcome the skill, knowledge, attitudinal and cultural barriers that prevent most from becoming active for life.
- One the hub concept has been fully developed we expect that it will be picked up by communities across Calgary and beyond. By getting in on the ground floor and helping shape its development we create the potential to introduce outdoor activity to all Calgarians.
What are we actually doing?
- The 'In-school Program': We will present a playful program of outdoor activities between February 21 and March 21
- The After-School Program': This will follow on from the In-School Program from February 28 to March 28.
- The 'Community Program': This program will commence in Mid May and will continue through to late August. a progression of outdoor literacy attributes will be developed through a range of evening, day and multi-day activities. selected volunteers will be trained to help deliver the program. This group is intended to become the core of the proposed 'Outdoor Literacy Club'.
This project is sponsored by the Calgary Foundation's 'Community Grant Program. Without their generous support we would not be able to participate.
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