Dr. MJ Bazos MD, Patient Handout
Sports for Children

Sports for Children: Advancing Children’s Healthy Development through Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child declares that every child has the right to recreation opportunities.

How participating in sport and physical activity can help children:

Physical Activity and Youth:

What can children and youth do?

Boys and girls age 5 to 12 years old spend approximately 14 hours a week in physical activity. Only one-third of Canada’s children and youth meet the energy expenditure standards for optimal health and development.

"High quality sport and recreation programs...could significantly reduce the incidence of behaviour and emotional disorders in children and youth."

What does a good sport and recreation program look like?

Children and youth are more likely to participate when their parents participate in sport and recreation. Joint child-parent activities have a strong relationship with satisfaction,
interaction and stability.

The Pitfalls

Programs in Action:

S.T.A.R. (Skills Through Activity and recreation) is a non-profit organization which provides free recreation to children age 5 to 15 who live in economically disadvantaged families. The program offers skill development in a variety of sport and non-sport activities to raise children’s self-esteem and self-confidence. STAR is committed to actively pursuing high-risk children (and their families) to gain their involvement. For more information email star.hamilton@sympatico.ca.

Hi 5 – Quality at Play is a program of Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) which is committed to assisting children along the path of healthy development through developing and maintaining a high level of knowledge and expertise in child development among recreation and sport practitioners; assisting parents with making informed choices about their children’s recreation activities; and providing practitioners with the tools for enhancing and maintaining a high level of quality in programming. The City of Toronto is committed to Hi 5 in its recreational programming. For more information, email highfive@proontario.org.

Coach Capability Profile is a coaching assessment tool in development by the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA). It is to be used by coaches to help them provide quality leadership to enhance the psychosocial development of children in sport. For more information email info@ophea.org.

Youth RoadRunning is a program of Participaction designed to support at risk youth through participation in a running club. For more information email david@participaction.com

Making All Recreation Safe (M.A.R.S.) is a program of Canadian Parks and Recreation Assocation, for the purpose of prevention of harassment and abuse, particularly in children and youth. In playgrounds, schools, on sports fields, and in community spaces. For more information email cpra@activeliving.ca

Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport: www.caaws.ca