A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE
Broadly speaking, the Sport for Life Society strives to improve the health and lives of all Canadians. Sport for Life – a national not-for-profit organization – consists of leaders from the sport, recreation, education, health and business sectors. Sport for Life educates and informs sector leaders to enable them to better understand and deliver Long-Term Athlete Development, quality sport and physical literacy programming. Programs and on-going education are supported through the open source resources and partners and clients are encouraged to incorporate gender equity, accessibility, socioeconomic inclusion, and cultural diversity into their programs and to actively support sport for all.
Through all of the work that Sport for Life does, the Society strengthens its three pillars: improving the opportunity for more and enhanced physical literacy programming, preparing more Canadians to pursue excellence in sport, and increasing the likelihood of Canadians staying active for life.
Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a seven-stage training, competition and recovery pathway guiding an individual’s experience in sport and physical activity from infancy through to adulthood. Sport for Life supports the implementation of Long-Term Athlete Development within all levels of sport organizations, Games franchise holders, multisport organizations, the federal and provincial/territorial governments, and schools.
Physical Literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life. Sport for Life facilitated the development of the Physical Literacy Assessment of Youth (PLAY) Tools, which have been used to evaluate the physical literacy levels of over 25,000 children and youth across Canada.
Special Projects consists of the development of new and innovative resources, with an emphasis on inclusion, that will be activated across the other divisions. Currently, Sport for Life has partnered with the Aboriginal Sport Circle and consulted with more than 70 Aboriginal leaders across Canada to develop an Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway. In addition, Sport for Life is working on a project to integrate and involve new citizens into sport, and also creating a resource to address physical literacy for older adults.
International Partnerships builds on the international work that Sport for Life experts have been doing for years by bolstering existing relationships while seeking out new opportunities. Sport for Life has facilitated the use of Long-Term Athlete Development for more than 30 sports in over 50 countries, and currently works in eight countries – including six Caribbean National Olympic Committees in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee.
The Sport for Life Society evolved from 10 years of work supporting the expansive Canadian Sport for Life “movement.” The purpose of Canadian Sport for Life was to create cross-sectoral partnerships between sport, education, recreation and health, while aligning community, provincial, and national sport and physical activity programming. Sport for Life Society continues this work with an even wider focus.
Organizations, projects and programs have different needs and will implement quality sport and physical literacy through a range of methods. Sport for Life engages these groups through a community based approach and delivers the appropriate support – – whether through one, some or all six areas of activation:
- Education & Training
- Resources & Tools
- Engagement & Programming
- Policy & Strategy
- Evaluation & Research
Sport for Life makes an impact throughout Canada and abroad by hosting the annual Sport for Life National Summit, which features roughly 500 delegates (speakers and attendees) representing 10 to 15 countries. In addition, minor events including Long-Term Athlete Development Workshops, Community Workshops, webinars and various presentations can reach up to several hundred people at a time. In the June 2015, Sport for Life partnered with the International Sport for Life Society to host 400 delegates in Vancouver at the biannual International Physical Literacy Conference.