Eric Sinker from ViaSport

COLUMN: Physical Literacy is more than just new lingo

Eric Sinker from ViaSport, BC explained the impact this comprehensive model can have on the healthy active lifestyle

At the recent Sports Awards event in Nelson, 70 plus people heard how they, their families and their community fit into the Canadian Sport for Life movement.

Eric Sinker from ViaSport, BC and keynote speaker at the event, explained the impact this comprehensive model can have on the healthy active lifestyle recommended for all Canadians. From playground to podium the model ranges from infants to seniors with the Active for Life grass roots and/or high performance concept.

Acquiring the skills and confidence to enjoy a wide range of sports and physical activities in a variety of environments is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Such is the definition of physical literacy.

As in all skill development, literacy is built upon in stages.  In math, equations cannot be solved without learning multiplication first. In music, a grand opera cannot be written without an understanding of notes and scales beforehand. Likewise, a baseball player will not become a pitcher without first knowing to throw a ball with the opposite arm to leg (bilateral) movement.

Developing a healthy lifestyle for a community is a multi-sector effort. Health, education, recreation and sport sectors work together to recognize the obvious crossovers and connections. Prevention of ill health through physical activity, sport and education (see Live 5-2-1-0 at or the MEND program (available in Nelson) will improve health and reduce health care costs in the long run.

Sinker aptly tied the efforts and dedication of the honoured volunteers at the awards to outcomes of those efforts over the years.

“Without these enablers providing the opportunities for activity and bringing the sectors together for the common goal, the possibility of active for life wouldn’t exist” he said.

He is absolutely right of course. Each honoured volunteer gave many years of dedication to their chosen sport. It may have been for their kids, themselves or their community. In any case, physical activity and healthy lifestyles were being forged – hopefully for life.

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