Teaching Physical Literacy at WinSport

Camp Leaders

Physical Literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to participate in physical activity for life.

A person who is physically literate would look like someone who has the foundational skills, knowledge, and confidence to be introduced to a new sport or activity and be successful at that activity.

Being physically literate allows people to have the freedom to participate in any sport that interests them, as well as allows them to adapt their physical activity to the season, their financial situation, and the activities available for their age.

Having the skills and confidence to access activities at every stage of life gives people a higher quality of life and has an immense impact on their overall health and wellness.

“I think it's important to recognize the opportunities that we offer here at WinSport for developing physical literacy,” said Jazlyn Valadao, a practicum student from Mount Royal University working with the Wilderness Explorers Program and summer camps at WinSport.

“We do offer programs year-round, and we do offer programs in multiple seasons in different environments through each season. You can look at the WinSport programs and you can see a program for almost anything.”

The love of sport, physical activity, and wellness is at the heart of physical literacy, and it's all about how we can get kids involved and how we can continue their involvement for their entire life.

There is such a huge selection of avenues for introduction to sports at WinSport, the summer sampler camp is just one of the many opportunities to explore sport camp options, and also to give kids the chance to develop the foundational skills of all the sports offered.

“We have such a wide selection of camps, and even just in the outdoor adventures, if you're more into figuring out what you can do with the materials outside, the Knots and Knives program is really great,” said Valadao.

“And if you want to focus more on leadership, we have an Outdoor Leadership program, and it's just about building positive experiences that make you excited and willing to be outside and to get active.”

Another program that people may not expect to develop foundations of physical literacy is the Outdoor Adventures program.

Outdoor education programs are an amazing resource to tap into the “for life” aspect of physical literacy.

The outdoors is a means for physical activity that people have access to for free, and at any stage of their life.

“The outdoors is completely free,” said Valadao.

“Anybody at any financial state at any stage in their life can decide to walk out their front door and take a walk, or, if you have a car, then you can drive out to the mountains and go on a hike. But you do need to know how to be prepared for those experiences.”

There is very minimal equipment needed to be able to go outside. There are however skills that you need to build to be successful outside year-round.

The Outdoor Adventures program teaches the participants how to move in outdoor spaces, how to be observant of life around them, how to play well with others, and how to use nature to tap into their imagination.

The little ones also learn many great practical skills along the way like how to dress appropriately for the weather, how to leave no trace, how to identify animal tracks, and how to listen to your body when it comes to being safe and taking risks.

Everyday, participants are provided with the opportunity to interact with things that can spark their imagination and allow them to explore their limits through risky play without hazards.

The instructors are inclusive to everyone and all their feelings and offer them a safe space to learn new ways to tackle anxiety and continue to participate in child-led play.

Overall, WinSport is continuing to offer camp programs that are giving the participants the opportunity to fall in love with sports and the outdoors, which is a love that will grow for life.

“Once you feel comfortable here at WinSport, then you're going to feel more confident to try something new. And then that's where you build the confidence to approach new opportunities.”