Free multisport program helps more kids develop physical literacy

A new free multisport program in Nova Scotia is helping more Cape Breton Island children develop physical literacy while learning how to play various sports.

Capers in the Community launched this summer and is being offered at no cost in towns throughout the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM). The four-day camp gives children ages five to 12 the chance to try different sports while also building their fundamental movement skills. The program was created by Cape Breton University and the CBRM, in partnership with Active for Life.

Coaches in the program travel from town to town throughout the region to show kids the basics of baseball, volleyball, and hockey. Because money isn’t a barrier to participation, the program is helping more area families give their kids the opportunity to learn how to throw a ball, swing a bat, hit a serve, and pass a puck.

Playing a variety of sports isn’t just a way to explore different kinds of activities. Challenging your body to move in many different ways develops complementary skills and strengthens different muscle groups.


Related read: Change it up—Playing different sports is better for our kids


For example, in a CBC News article on the Capers in the Community program, Becky Hanna, one of the program leads, noted that her own experience in basketball, softball, tennis, volleyball, and gymnastics helped her excel in the sport of her choice—soccer.

The upper-body strength she developed in gymnastics helped her throw the ball more powerfully, she said, while tennis improved her footwork and baseball sharpened her hand-eye coordination.

According to CBRM manager of recreation Kirk Durning, an estimated 1,000-plus children benefited from the program in the first four weeks alone. Many of these kids live in communities that don’t have a similar multisport option, he told CBC News.

“This is unprecedented access, getting the program out to communities that don’t typically see this type of program.”

-Kirk Durning

The program began July 2 in Whitney Pier and New Waterford and will continue until Aug. 8 with camps in Sydney Mines and Prime Brook. Full details of the schedule are available at gocapersgo.ca. You can also get updates on the program on Facebook.

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