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Physical Literacy

"Experts agree that physical literacy, which is the focus of I Am Game programs and camps, is just as important as reading, writing and math."*


What Physical Literacy Means

As with any learned activity, basic skills provide a strong foundation for future success. Sports are no different. 

"Physical Literacy is the mastering of Fundamental Movement Skills and fundamental sport skills that permit a child to read their environment and make appropriate decisions, allowing them to move confidently and with control in a wide range of physical activity situations.”**

If children have fun participating in physical activity and a variety of sports at an early age, they are more likely to become physically literate.  They will have confidence to pursue their favourite sports. They will continue to try new activities that will keep them active and healthy throughout their life.

How Physical Literacy Is Developed

Physical Literacy is developed by practicing and applying fundamental movement and sport skills while moving progressively through the Active Start, FUNdamental, and Learn to Play (Train) stages.***

Because variety is a critical part of developing physical literacy, skill development should take place in a variety of physical environments. These include:

  • Land – foundation for many games and sports
  • Water – foundation for swimming and other aquatic activities
  • Snow and Ice – foundation for winter sliding activities
  • Air – foundation for gymnastics and other aerial activities

By practicing and developing skills, children build confidence and a desire to continue to participate.

How Parents And Teachers Can Help

Childhood obesity and inactivity are on the rise. At the same time, sport participation rates among children and youth are declining. Too many young people are not being given the opportunity to develop physical literacy. 

To develop fundamental movement skills, children need encouragement, opportunity, and instruction.  By providing these, parents, educators and coaches play a major role in helping children develop physical literacy.

Sources: *Active For Life, ** and **Canadian Sport For Life, Videos courtesy of Ophea Canada.