Based on Sport for Life principles, Long-Term Athlete Development promotes system alignment and integration between sport clubs, provincial/territorial and national sport organizations.
Sport for Life addresses the overarching system and structure of sport and physical activity in Canada, including the relationship between school sport, physical education and high performance sport at all levels from policy to program delivery.
Long-Term Athlete Development calls for system alignment and integration by bringing together athletes, coaches, clubs, school sports, recreation, provincial and national organizations to build a better sport system in Canada.
Athlete development is the core business of national, provincial/territorial and local sport organizations. Without quality athletes in sport programs, these organizations would not be viable. Consequently, it is in the best interests of these groups to collaborate, align and integrate in delivering optimal athlete development programs.
Long-Term Athlete Development must also be supported and promoted by all levels of government, including:
• Provincial/Territorial ministries responsible for sport and recreation.
• Provincial/Territorial health ministries and Health Canada.
• Provincial/Territorial education ministries.
• Other relevant federal and provincial/territorial departments and ministries.
• Municipal governments.
Long-Term Athlete Development initiatives and support programs must be designed and implemented with a focus on the needs of athletes, and a commitment to cross-sectoral collaboration and cooperation. Coaches, teachers, and recreational professionals may lead athlete training and physical activity programming at the ground level, but they need to be supported by administrators, sport scientists, health, and government across multiple sectors.