By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Recently, the Town of Coaldale received an RBC Learn to Play Community Grant for the PLAYCoaldale project. “PLAY stands for physical literacy and you — a provincial-wide initiative that has various communities creating a cross-sectoral group of champions to enhance and develop the physical literacy skills across the lifespan in their communities,” said Stephanie Wierl, community services manager for the Town of Coaldale.
“I was a part of creating PLAYLethbridge in my previous role and I am very excited to be bringing the PLAY initiative to Coaldale,” she added.
Physical literacy, Wierl noted, is the ability for individuals to move with confidence and competence through a variety of movement skills and has been a major focus for the sport, recreation and educational sectors for a few years and is strongly connected to Sport Canada, ParticipACTION and Canadian Sport for Life. “I truly believe that if all sectors including school, home, recreation, health, sport and early childhood education supply the tools necessary for children to develop the fundamental movement skills such as run, jump, and throw, we all provide safe and positive environments for children to explore their movement, become confident and competent in their bodies’ ability to move — we will set kids up for life and allow them to lead healthy, active lifestyles,” said Wierl.
PLAYCoaldale’s vision, according to Wierl, is to provide the tools necessary for coaches, leaders, teachers, parents and practitioners working with children 0-12 years, to become active for life.
Wierl said the initiative’s key outcomes will include: (1) Provide training, certification and professional development opportunities for coaches, leaders, practitioners and parents in the areas of multi-sport coaching, long-term athlete development and leadership. (2) Host a community-wide Physical Literacy Summit, community initiatives and events. (3) Supply resources and tools for coaches, leaders, practitioners and parents to enhance physical literacy. (4) Support local organizations in aligning their children and youth programming and values with physical literacy. (5) Assess the level of physical literacy in the community.
Last week, PLAYCoaldale was unveiled to the community. “The purpose of the event was two-fold. Since the RBC grant is a community-wide initiative that involves the various multiple sectors, I took to the rink in order to recruit some leaders and champions who also believe in life-long physical activity. In order to create these fantastic opportunities in our community we need input from the community and what better way to do that then creating a PLAYCoaldale Leadership Team. I also simply wanted to spread the word about PLAYCoaldale and start to create the buzz and excitement in the community,” said Wierl.
Wierl added the hope of the initiative is to create kids who are active for life. “PLAYCoaldale will provide the tools, training and certification for practitioners, parents, teachers and coaches to implement in their programs, classrooms or practices. By providing the training at the top, we begin to create a sustainable model that should see positive effects on the level of physical literacy and physical activity of our children,” said Wierl.
For more information on physical literacy Wierl said check out http://www.physicalliteracy.ca or http://www.activeforlife.ca and stay tuned as PLAYCoaldale turns to social media to get the word out. Wierl noted she is in search of creating a strong PLAYCoaldale Leadership Team.
“Any interested individuals can connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 403-345-1325.”