A message from the International Division of Sport for Life

We believe that all children in the world should have the opportunity to develop physical literacy. We also believe that everyone needs to work together to make the world a better place, and that as global leaders we have a responsibility to share knowledge and empower others to activate change.

This is why it is part of our strategic plan to aspire to contribute to six of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals:

Sport for Life created the International Division with the goal of ensuring that we continue to be global partners in sustainable development. We have a small but dedicated team who help us expand on our original mandate and ultimate purpose, which is to improve the lives of Canadians through quality sport and physical literacy.

Before this division was created, we were seeing consultants from around the world using our information and resources. This was good for our goal of sharing knowledge, but revenue was not being reinvested into services to our partners. Once we made ourselves available for international workshops, contracts, and projects, that revenue was now available to be reinvested in our Canadian non-profit for the development and implementation of resources for Canadians.

As an organization we have also learned from other Canadian organizations that are providing leadership in global development, like the Coaching Association of Canada, which has spread the National Coaching Certification Program internationally. We’ve also looked at organizations like Hockey Canada, Baseball Canada, and Basketball Canada that have shared their development expertise throughout the world.

At this moment, we are actively providing expertise toward the facility and program development of a sport academy within a new international school in Egypt. We have been working on improving sport and developing physical literacy in countries throughout the Caribbean, in Central and South America, as well as with Egyptian multi-sport clubs. We have been working with the Bahrain National Olympic Committee, Change the Game Sweden, and New York Road Runners on developing physical literacy for youth ranging from modifying programming to hosting international conferences.

It is worth reiterating that not a single dollar of funding or resources from Canadian partners destined for Canadian sport and physical literacy development has gone or will go towards our international endeavors. Meanwhile, 30% revenue from the international division is earmarked for our Canadian non-profit, along with any profits made.

Historically, Sport for Life has been reactive internationally, only working with partners that first approach us about opportunities related to the Long-Term Athlete Development framework and physical literacy, opportunities with Olympic Solidarity and national olympic committees to lead development initiatives, and opportunities with national governments to provide physical literacy expertise and training. With these international opportunities we work to enhance partnerships with Canadian national sport organizations, as our work abroad connects back to them when there is a desire for sport-specific expertise.

In the future, we plan to take a more proactive approach in seeking out opportunities for collaboration with international partners. This will provide us with a pathway towards accomplishing the six Sustainable Development Goals mentioned above. In this way, not not only does the international division bring revenue back to Canada to further develop quality sport and physical literacy for Canadians, but our international partners and clients often become strong champions and advocates for Sport for Life.

The more Sport for Life’s message is heard, the closer we are to our goal of everyone having an opportunity to participate in quality sport and physical literacy experiences. Globally this means we’ll continue to connect to the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for Physical Activity to make vital contributions to social-economic enhancement, health and well-being, and overall human development.

For more information contact sarah@sportforlife.ca.

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