Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Happy Birthday OSPAPPH!

It's hard to believe but this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Ontario Society of Physical Activity Promoters in Public Health.

From its humble beginnings as an informal collaboration of individuals with a vision to a fully incorporated Society with an elected Executive and Strategic Plan, OSPAPPH remains committed to being the unified voice of physical activity promoters working in public health.

We invite you to take a walk down memory lane to see what we've accomplished over the past ten years and have a glimpse at what the future holds:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Letter Sent to Ministry Education - Physical LIteracy

**This is a follow-up on our ongoing work on physical literacy in education and childcare settings (read more on Projects page).

As part of the next phase in our strategy, we have set up a small working group to continue moving the advocacy effort forward.  The working group members are:  

  • Alison Bochsler, Co-chair, OSPAPPH
  • Chris Sherman, Co-chair OSPAPPH
  • Lisa Kaldeway, Special Project Officer, OSPAPPH
  • Chantal Lalonde, Special Project Officer, OSPAPPH
  • Dr David Colby, Medical Officer of Health, Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa)
  • Chris Jones, Executive Director, PHE Canada
  • Drew Mitchell, Director of Physical Literacy, Sport 4 Life Society 

On January 26th, OSPAPPH submitted a letter on behalf of the working group to the Honourable Liz Sandals, Ontario Minister of Education. The letter outlines the physical literacy policy recommendations and requests an opportunity to meet with Minister Sandals or an assigned delegate.

The letter represents a key milestone in our advocacy efforts to elevate physical activity as a public health priority in Ontario. In fact, since 2011, we have recognized physical literacy as a key public health and physical activity priority. Close to thirty individuals and/or organizations officially endorsed our policy recommendations (see our Backgrounder Document for the full list of endorsements). In addition to the endorsements, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) passed resolution A15-6 Physical Literacy in Education and Childcare Settings June 2015 and submitted their own advocacy letter to the Ministry of Education to which they’ve received a response.

The working group looks forward to engaging with the Ministry of Education to identify priorities and strategies for ensuring that all children and youth are provided with the education and environment to support the development of physical literacy.

In the interim, the working group will be seeking public health and stakeholder input to gather success stories of physical literacy strategies already occurring across the province.

Your OSPAPPH Executive

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New OSPAPPH 2016-2020 Strategic Plan

Dear OSPAPPH members & Physical Activity Supporters,

We are pleased to share our 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.  For more information, please click on the 'About Us' tab or contact us via email:  info[at]ospapph[dot]ca.

OSPAPPH Executive

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Physical Literacy Consensus Statement - We Need Your Input

Dear OSPAPPH Members, 

As practitioners or researchers whose work is in some way connected with physical literacy and/or the promotion of physical activity, sport and recreation, you are being invited to participate in a survey soliciting your opinion on a draft of Canada’s Physical Literacy Consensus Statement. 

Increasing interest in physical literacy among various stakeholders has led to many developments in advancing its promotion and support through a proliferation of initiatives. Excitement around the emergence of this new term has also led to a variety of definitions, and  sometimes a misuse of the concept by using it interchangeably with terms such as ‘physical activity’, ‘physical education’, ‘fundamental movement skills’ or ‘motor skill development’. Consultation with sector leaders in Canada revealed that a common definition was needed and desired. A uniform definition with consistent language would provide clarity for the development of policy, practice and research.

The Consensus Statement has been prepared by a Steering Committee comprised of ten individuals from seven organizations with both a Canadian and international perspective*. These organizations, coming with various perspectives and definitions of physical literacy, convened to examine a process to develop a Consensus Statement.  What resulted was agreement to put forward the definition developed by the International Physical Literacy Association, which is based on both evidence and consultations with a variety of sectors.

This Consensus Statement presents a definition of physical literacy as well as a description of the elements of the definition.  As the final stage in the development of this Consensus Statement we are seeking to gain feedback about the clarity of the Consensus Statement, as well as level of agreement, perceived importance, and support for the Consensus Statement from a large number of practitioners in the fields represented by each of the contributing collaborators (e.g., sport, recreation, education, public health, health promotion, physical activity, etc.).

Acceptance of a common definition is important for the alignment of strategic efforts in policy, practice, and research aimed at promoting physical literacy.  Following this broad stakeholder consultation and subsequent revisions, the final Consensus Statement will be launched at the International Physical Literacy Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in June, 2015. Further discussions will lead to the production and publication of a more detailed background document on the process and outcomes related to the production of the Consensus Statement.

Participation in this survey is voluntary. By accessing and completing this survey you are giving your implied/passive consent to participate in the survey. The survey does not collect information about your name or email address and responses will be presented in group format only. A summary of findings will be available on the ParticipACTION website ( once the results have been published and will also be sent to participating organizations for distribution to members. If you have any questions about this study, please contact Dr. Mark Tremblay at 613-737-7600 ext 4114 or The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Ethics Board (REB) has reviewed this protocol. The REB considers ethical aspects of all research studies involving human participants at the CHEO and its Research Institute. If you have any questions about your rights as a study participant, you may contact the CHEO REB Chairperson at 613-737-7600 ext 3624. Note: Canada’s Physical Literacy Consensus Statement is in draft form and not intended for general circulation.

Click on the link below for more information on the survey and instructions on how to get started.  Thanks for your time!

We encourage you to circulate the survey link to your colleagues and among your networks. This stakeholder survey will be open from April 9 until April 24, 2015. 

*Canada’s Physical Literacy Consensus Statement is the result of a collaborative process between ParticipACTION, Sport for Life Society, the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, PHE Canada, Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, and the Ontario Society of Physical Activity Promoters in Public Health. Representatives from the International Physical Literacy Association also contributed in an advisory capacity. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Support for Physical Literacy Policy Recommendations Growing

Good morning OSPAPPH members and stakeholders,

As many of you know, we've been hard at work promoting our physical literacy Key Messages and the accompanying policy recommendations!  Statements of endorsement have been sent out to all 36 Ontario public health units (to Medical Officers of Health and Boards of Health) and to key health, physical activity and education stakeholders.   We're excited and overwhelmed by the response so far which includes endorsements from:  Health Nexus, the HALO Research Group, Chatham-Kent Public Health MOH and BOH, Eastern Ontario Health Unit MOH, Haldimand-Norfolk MOH, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit MOH, Oxford County Public Health MOH, Peel Region Public Health Family Health Division, and Durham Region Public Health MOH.  We've also received a number of verbal confirmations and we are just waiting to receive the signed endorsements.

In addition to all the endorsement excitement, we are also thrilled to have been featured in the news!  Following the Chatham-Kent Board of Health’s endorsement of our policy recommendations (thanks to a great presentation by our very own co-chair Chris Sherman), a great write up was done in the local paper and our efforts were even featured on Active for Life!  We were all a bit star-struck to see OSPAPPH’s name in print and are so happy to be able to share it with everyone!

We would like to thank our members and stakeholders who have taken the time join in on the discussion on physical literacy.  Your efforts are helping to create a rich dialogue on physical literacy across the province.  This is helping to raise the profile of physical literacy as an issue of public health importance.  

OSPAPPH believes that the conversation has only just begun.  As we continue to move forward in our advocacy campaign, we hope that more people will join in and lend their voice to the issue.

To add your name to our growing list of supporters of our policy recommendations, all you have to do is download our statement of endorsement,  sign it and send it back to us no later than March 15th, 2015. Simple as that!

If you have questions or require additional support, don't hesitate to contact our Special Project Officers, Lisa Kaldeway and Chantal Lalonde (info[at]ospapph[dot]ca).  

Your OSPAPPH Executive,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BC Teacher Elevates PE and Physical Activity for All

Our friends at Active for Life featured Physical Education Specialist Samantha Butler from St Patrick's Elementary School in British Columbia.  The athletic director and school guidance counselor shared how her school has elevated PE and physical activity for all students by focusing on skills development and sport for all!

It's an uplifting interview that provides us a glimpse of what some schools are already doing to to give students the knowledge, skills, opportunities and attitudes to lead healthy and physically active lives!

Do you have any examples to share?  We'd love to hear from you and share your stories with our readers!

Also, don't forget to add your name to our growing list of endorsers of our physical literacy policy recommendations.  Together, we can help elevate physical activity and support the development of physically literate students in Ontario!



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why we're focusing on Physical Literacy

I was going to write up some great big post on why we decided to focus our advocacy efforts on physical literacy but an article recently published in the Globe and Mail builds a great case.  As Richard Monette puts it:  

"It is hard to believe that we have arrived at a point where we need to help children learn to move, but here we are. It is time to take on the task and help our kids. It takes a village to teach the right skills essential to a better life."

Our call to the Ontario Ministry of Education to support the development of physical literacy is in response to this unfortunate truth.  Physical activity is an important public health issue and as a society, OSPAPPH believes that more can and should be done to ensure that education and childcare settings are environments where children can learn how to move with confidence and competence and provide them with a solid foundation for a physically active life.

To add your name to our advocacy effort, download our official endorsement statement, sign it and email or fax it to Chantal Lalonde  by March 15th 2015.

Actively Yours,

OSPAPPH Executive

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