Sport for Life mobilizes Inclusive Physical Literacy

Sport for Life is putting together a special team.

If sport and physical activity organizations across the country want to get serious about physical literacy development for participants with disabilities, then our PL 501 — Inclusive Physical Literacy workshop is the perfect place to start. And now we’ve trained six new learning facilitators to continue mobilizing that knowledge far and wide across B.C.: Marni Abbott-Peter, Patrick Waters, Rob Stiles, Meredith Gardner, Catherine Edwards and Nadine Barbisan. In working across 21 communities as part of the Physical Literacy for Communities–British Columbia Initiative, supported by the  Province of British Columbia, there is a need to develop capacity to deliver this workshop throughout the province and beyond.

“It is so great to be on the frontlines sharing information about inclusion and physical literacy for people with disabilities. Improving overall health and well being for people with disabilities, especially children, is crucial for a healthy, active society,” said Abott-Peter.

“This work will have long-term, multi-faceted implications.”

Among the new learning facilitators are some of the most forward-thinking minds in the Canadian physical literacy ecosystem. Marni Abbott-Peter is a gold medal-winning wheelchair basketball Paralympian, Hall of Famer and runs the Let’s Play Wheelchair Basketball program in B.C. Patrick Water is a ParaSwimmer with his sights set on Tokyo 2020. Rob Stiles runs the Northern Adapted Sports Association. Merdeith Gardner is a Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity expert and founder of the Count Us In training. Catharine Edwards is the general manager of Pacific Sport Vancouver Island. Nadine Barbisan is the program manager for BC Wheelchair Basketball Society.

The PL 501 — Inclusive Physical Literacy workshop stresses the importance of physical literacy development for participants with disabilities. It explores the concept of inclusion and talks about how to plan and create universally accessible programs, amd then gives participants the opportunity to develop their own adaptations of games and activities to be inclusive of different abilities. These adaptations allow people with different disabilities to participate and have a quality first experience.

And Sport for Life’s Andrea Carey is excited about how this workshop can be a catalyst for change in organizations.

“Every person needs to develop physical literacy to participate in the activities of daily life, including their vocations, physical activities and sports. As leaders of programs, we all have a responsibility to plan for including all abilities. Start with yes, be creative, ask questions and look for ways to make sure that each person can engage in their own physical literacy journey,” she said.

“This workshop is just the beginning of what we hope to accomplish, giving participants the tools to mobilize this knowledge onwards. Using the skills and ideas learned in the PL 501 — Inclusive Physical Literacy workshop, they can go back to their individual organizations and establish more inclusive practices and programming. The impact could be huge.”

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