Ever wonder how NB Physical Literacy came about?
Here's our story!
It started in the fall of 2013, with a series of informal conversations involving people from different sectors about how there is a lot of interest in Physical Literacy. Particularly there was interest from people involved in Recreation, Sport, and Coaching wanting to learn more. The conversations generally talked about how do we as a province become a leader in physical literacy based programming. We knew that we already had much of the necessary support to make the move, but weren’t having the interest we felt we needed in learning more about it. We also thought that we needed to work to engage more with both Education, and Early Childhood Development. In January 2014 we had a meeting with representation from across several sectors in order to discuss what we can do to help promote the things we are doing. The meeting included: Jamie Shanks (Rec NB), Manon Ouellette (Coach NB), Darcy McKillop (Sport NB), Bobby Despres (Fredericton Tourism), Steve Harris (Government of NB), Karel Prickett (UNB Student), Kelcy Kuhn (HEPAC), Mylene Ouellet-LeBlanc (Acadian Games).
We decided that we should host a Physical Literacy Summit in order to promote the work that is being done province wide, in the area of Physical Literacy. We also acknowledged that we needed to expand the group of people sitting around the table and try to add a bit of diversity, as a result Greg Duquette (UNB), Fran Harris (Education) both joined our informal organizing committee. We also brought on an intern from the University named Brittany Dillman. With this group we set about to organize the summit, and find the funds to run the event.
We were fortunate to have support right away, and secured funding from the Government of NB, and City of Fredericton Tourism. This gave us the base we needed to move ahead and organize the summit. We hired Karel Prickett as a part time coordinator, and continued to meet every second week to organize the event. Things slowly came together on this end, and we were really pleased.
We knew that what we wanted from the summit more than anything, was something that we could set to work on as a group. The final session of the Summit on Saturday was a brain storming session, that had participants work in groups to answer what we felt were some important questions for our group moving forward. We wanted to have the participants help us chart our future path as NB Physical Literacy. We put the information together, and had a look at what came next.
Once we were done, we knew that the big project was to inspire leadership from across the province. So we needed to be able to build capacity. We then set out to do just that. We went in search of funding to hire a staff person, and in April of 2015, we hired Cindy Levesque as our Physical Literacy Consultant, she is a staff person of Sport NB, with a main portfolio of working with the NB Physical Literacy Coalition.
We have spent 2015, trying to establish the coalition, and start to work toward building capacity around the Physical Literacy movement. We have started training members of the community with Play Tools, and have trained a group to deliver the Physical Literacy 101 workshops across the province. We will be running the second NB Physical Literacy Summit in May of 2016, so stay tuned for more information.