Multi-sport initiative brings together Canada’s top national sport organizations

Multi-sport initiative brings together Canada’s top national sport organizations

A new campaign to promote the benefits of a multi-sport approach for kids has launched in Canada.

The website and an accompanying video feature four elite Canadian athletes:

  • Miah-Marie Langlois, who plays professional basketball in the Russian Women’s Baseketball Premier League and on the Canadian women’s national basketball team
  • Nik Ledgerwood, who plays for Calgary Foothills FC and the Canadian men’s national soccer team
  • Marie-Philip Poulin, who plays for Les Canadiennes de Montreal and the Canadian women’s national ice hockey teams that have won two gold medals and a silver at the last three Winter Olympic Games
  • Mike Soroka, a pitcher in the Atlanta Braves organization who also plays for the Canadian national team

The initiative was funded by the Canadian Olympic Committee, and was supported by four national sport organizations (NSOs): Baseball Canada, Canada Basketball, Canada Soccer, and Hockey Canada.

“This shows collaboration between four of the most important NSOs in our country,” said Active for Life’s Richard Monette. “At the highest level, sports are no longer competing with each other for participants. Instead, they are cooperating to ensure that parents understand kids should play more than one sport.”

“The research shows that specializing too early in one sport frequently leads to kids getting injured and burning out, and some start to quit sport altogether,” added Monette. “There is growing evidence that kids who play multiple sports through childhood and adolescence tend to stay active longer, and more of them go further in competitive sport.”

The video shows the four athletes performing tricks and skills from sports other than the one they’ve specialized in; activities they all played as youngsters, and before they specialized in the sport in which they have become world-class athletes.

7 responses to “Multi-sport initiative brings together Canada’s top national sport organizations

  1. Could not agree more with Multisport principles. Our athletes are getting injured due to being in repetitive motions constantly with one sport. How can we address this from the top down? I am a personal trainer. I run dryland for my daughters hockey team(they are 12) and you can already see patterns of dysfunction in their bodies(tight hip flexors, poor foot function, stiff ankles, stiff hamstrings).

  2. My son played table tennis for 1.5 years (5 years old – 6.5 years old) then went to soccer player another 1.5 years. Now he is 8 years old, he is swimming and practice 4 days a week. i am just curious if he quit swmming wanna go to something else would it be alright or try to build him up. Thanks

  3. Jen

    Firstly, I can’t agree more with what you say to the burnout factor both for parents and kids.
    Our organisation has been running multi sport programming for over 23 years now across Canada (based out of Toronto).

    Our company is called Sportball, we teach kids between the ages of 16 months to 12 years old.

    The kids get exposure to 8 different sports in one program. We will coach the younger age group in a fun creative way so that they buy into a storyline instead of the skill itself.

    Coaching kids to achieve success in each progression of skill that goes into the sport is our goal. It’s a great way to keep kids healthy, happy and hopefully achieve a life time of sport participation.

  4. Love the message, however it’s exactly opposite of what’s actually taking place in MOST community levels where… if you’re the squeaky wheel, you are labeled as ‘the problem’ or ‘not committed’ vs informed.

    When NSO’s put campaigns like this together without thorough consideration of how to activate + hold their constituents accountable to the ‘talk’, they/we lose credibility. Fully understand the need to create awareness, but let’s not pretend this is happening when it’s not (yet), at the levels we need. Who’s ensuring athletes have the ability to do what’s being proposed. I know this community doesn’t.

    Which is ironic as we preach team collaboration vs individual agenda across every age group and sport, yet lack that very practice through our NSO, PSO, LSO hierarchy where there is very little vertical (same sport) or lateral (different sports) alignment.

  5. It is interesting that baseball is one of the NSO’s involved in this project. My son is 7 and his baseball organization has him playing 5 times a week (2 practices and 3 games). I want him to try many sports but I’m burnt out, I can’t find the time to get him elsewhere. And he is getting burnt out. I’m guessing this will be his last year at baseball (if he makes it through this season). The frustrating part for me is that registration is based on boundaries to where I live. I have no choice but register for this organization if my child wants to play. I think the NSO’s need to work with PSO’s to enforce local organizations to set age appropriate playing boundaries. No 7 year old should play one sport 5 times a week.

    1. Hi Jen.
      You are totally right that there needs to be more alignment from NSO to PSO and to local minor baseball (or any sports) associations. One suggestion is that you can share the link and the video with your son’s baseball coach, the association and maybe also parents of his teammates. Who knows, It might help create change, or at least some conversations about what is good or not for young kids in baseball.
      You can also share the following link: where you will find many articles of why it is better for a 7 year old kid to play more than than one sport.
      We hope that your son doesn’t burn out of baseball. Let us know if there is anything that we could provide that might help you make this situation better.

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