College of the Rockies is the recipient of a $25,000 RBC Learn to Play Project grant to continue to support local elementary schools in improving physical literacy in students. The College is one of 199 organizations from across the country to receive a 2015 RBC Learn to Play Project grant.
Representatives from the College’s Kinesiology and University of Victoria/East Kootenay Teacher Education programs began an applied research project in the fall of 2014, with funding support from ViaSport, aimed at assessing and improving the physical literacy of elementary school children. Assessments were done at two Cranbrook elementary schools with a lunch-hour physical literacy intervention implemented at Steeples Elementary.
Physical literacy refers to the mastering of fundamental movement skills (FMS) including running, skipping, hopping, and galloping. Physical literacy is important for children as those who have the necessary skills are generally more active, are more likely to feel prepared to participate in sports or other physical activities and will be more capable of learning more complex skills later in life.
“We are so grateful to the RBC Learn to Play Project for this funding,” says Sandi Lavery, “With this money, we will be able to order more equipment and expand our assessments to all of the elementary schools in Cranbrook. We will also be able to grow our lunch-hour intervention program to four schools this year.”
The College’s Physical Literacy project has been widely recognized. Lavery attended the International Physical Literacy conference in Vancouver to present on the first phase of the project. The positive feedback she received included an invitation to the National conference in January as well as an offer to attend that International Physical Literacy conference in Liverpool in June, 2016.
RBC and the Public Health Agency of Canada, in partnership with ParticipACTION, have committed $2 million in RBC Learn to Play Project grants to help community-based organizations build and deliver quality sport and recreation programs that address the widespread lack of physical activity among Canadian youth as well as declining rates in sport participation. The RBC Learn to Play Project is committed to supporting programs and organizations which help children develop the confidence and skills they need to enable them to play and become happy, healthy and active for life.
“We are proud to support the work of College of the Rockies,” said Jane Broderick, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at RBC. “Sport and physical activity can transform lives and have a powerful, positive impact on our communities. The College’s physical literacy project will have a direct impact on the lives of Canadian youth by encouraging them to participate in sport and physical activity, learn basic skills and help build their confidence.”
The RBC Learn to Play Project grants were announced in conjunction with RBC Sports Day in Canada, a national celebration of the power of sport to build community and get Canadians moving. RBC Sports Day in Canada takes place on November 21, 2015 in communities across the country.