It was a lot to take in.
For the 300 delegates that attended our latest International Physical Literacy Conference in Winnipeg, there was an onslaught of experiences on offer. Starting off with a day of active workshops, we then spent the following three days hosting presenters from all over the world in the Fort Garry Hotel Conference Centre.
“This year we were able to successfully bring together leading voices in the physical literacy movement for an opportunity to not only learn, but also network and share work across sectors,” said Sport for Life CEO Richard Way, noting that presenters came from countries such as Qatar, Ireland, Sweden and Australia.
“It was so heartening to see the multitude of ways physical literacy initiatives are enriching people’s lives across the globe, and to hear the inspiring stories of how that work is progressing.”
For those who have attended in the past, IPLC was an opportunity to appreciate the progress the physical literacy movement has made.
“I attended in 2013 and 2015, so it’s amazing to see the evolution among researchers, practitioners and policy makers. There was a lot of information to take home to make a difference,” said Dr. Anne Pousette, a family physician from Prince George, BC.
Clinical kinesiologist Bill Gillespie of Qatar was similarly impressed by the scope of the event, and the expertise on display.
“It was a warm welcome into the exciting world of physical literacy and I definitely feel more prepared to be an even stronger advocate for active living and initiatives that ensure physical literacy is accessible to all,” he said.
The conference featured keynote speeches from Catherine Carty, Dr. John Cairney, Dr. Guy Faulkner, Dr. Dean Dudley, Dr. Dean Kriellaars and Dr. Stephane Lenoski. They touched on wide-ranging topics, from the link between physical inactivity and mental health to the importance of inclusion. One evening was spent in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where the talks explored the concept of physical literacy as a human right.
“I’m going to remember that night for a long time, because of the amazing story shared by young Ahmed,” says Way, speaking of a young Syrian newcomer who shared with the conference.
“Even after he lost his leg in a bombing, he never lost his passion for sport. Now that he’s living in Winnipeg, he’s keeping active by playing sledge hockey. It was so clear he has a passion to excel, but don’t be surprised if in 10 years he shows up with a maple leaf on his chest.”