This October, teachers, coaches, recreation leaders, and community health professionals are coming together to talk about one thing: How to ensure that children get active, stay active, and develop a life-long enjoyment of physical activity.
The Physical and Health Literacy Conference (October 22 and 23) takes place in Halifax, and is being coordinated by Sport Nova Scotia and Teachers Association for Physical and Health Education (TAPHE).
Amy Walsh is one of the people helping to bring it all together. “One of the big motivations for working with TAPHE and organizing this event is the epidemic of physical inactivity we are seeing in our youth,” says the director of sport development for Sport Nova Scotia.
“If we teach children the fundamental movement skills and they develop the ability to do the right skills at the right time when playing sports, they will in turn develop confidence and an enjoyment of sport,” adds Walsh. “And if skills and confidence develop, then children are more likely to stay active throughout their lives.”
By bringing together educators and representatives from both sport and recreation, the conference is an opportunity to educate those who may not know about the importance of physical literacy and long-term athlete development (LTAD). It’s also a chance to share ideas and collaborate on solutions.
Engaging teachers, health, and sport leaders from across the province at the same time is one way to help reverse the catastrophic physical inactivity trend and begin to work more closely together to enhance physical literacy programming for youth in Nova Scotia.
Teachers are critical to developing fundamental movement skills and initiate a love of activity. Recreation leaders provide multisport and physical literacy programming opportunities. Provincial sport organizations build on LTAD by ensuring that kids are developing the right sport skills at the right time. They all need to keep in mind the physical, mental, and emotional developmental phases that all children go through as we help them become active, healthy, productive adults.
Registration for the Physical and Health Literacy Conference is now open.