Introducing Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity 3.0

Sport for Life is proud to release the revised Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity 3.0 resource document. Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity is a framework for the development of every child, youth, and adult to enable optimal participation in sport and physical activity. This third edition brings a number of important updates and enhancements.

Since 2005, the flagship Sport for Life resource document has been called Canadian Sport for Life–Long-Term Athlete Development. The name has been controversial ever since. For those working with young children or older adults, the term “athlete” seemed inappropriate—“participant” better described the people they worked with. On the other hand, using the term “participant” made no sense to coaches and sport organizations who worked day-in and day-out with individuals who were clearly striving to achieve their athletic potential.

Despite an unwavering belief that every child is born an athlete, Sport for Life, in consultation with 50 of their leading champions, has chosen to call this resource Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity for these reasons:

  • To maintain focus on the key idea that development is a process that takes time, and that sport and physical activity should look very different, based on the individual’s stage of development.
  • To reinforce the idea that long-term development is important both in sport performance and for life-long engagement in physical activity for health.
  • To broaden the focus. Effective development requires the alignment of ALL parts of the Canadian sport and physical activity ecosystem, from community programming through to targeted high performance sport excellence, and this involves far more than just sport organizations.

This resource is intended for everyone within Canada’s sport and physical activity ecosystem. One of the most persistent issues within this ecosystem is the way some groups continue to be marginalized and ignored. As a result, groups such as girls and women, individuals with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, newcomers to Canada, the LGBTQI2S community, aging adults, and those living in poverty and isolated communities remain under serviced and under-supported. Sport for Life works with content and context experts to build detailed components needed for each group and distributes them with the goal of building appropriate and meaningful Long-Term Development pathways for all. 

“I am excited about the third edition of the Canadian framework as it will support improving the quality of sport and physical activity across Canada,” said CEO Richard Way. “We anticipate this resource having a huge impact on individuals’ pathways, regardless if they are seeking to be Olympic or Paralympic champions or active and healthy for life.”

Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity 3.0 is available in English here and in French here.

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