The word around the watercooler: Coaches' perspectives of an inclusive physical literacy program for children and youth


Background: Physical literacy (PL) has gained increased attention as a comprehensive approach for promoting life-long engagement in physical activity. PL considers the knowledge, understanding, competence, confidence, and motivation an individual must have for life-long physical activity. Despite the low physical activity levels reported among children and youth with disabilities, little empirical research has explored the application of PL within this population. Purpose: To explore the narratives of coaches' experiences leading an inclusive PL group program for children and youth with and without disabilities. Methods: A series of focus groups were conducted with 11 program coaches (7 female). Data were analyzed using thematic narrative analysis, adopting an interpretivist paradigm, where participants' stories were explored from a relative and subjective understanding of the world. Findings are presented as a creative non-fiction that focuses on three composite characters to maintain the coaches' narratives, as well as to be used as an educational tool for future coaches of the involved program and others like it. Findings: The creative non-fiction explores the dynamic nature of space, novelty, inclusivity, diversity, and in(ter)dependence over the program's development. The ever-changing nature of inclusive PL programs is highlighted through coaches' interaction with each other, the program participants, parents, and the program itself to ensure that all abilities are welcomed and celebrated. Conclusion: The use of a creative non-fiction provides a novel method for exploring PL coaches' experiences and knowledge dissemination. Additionally, findings aid in the development of further inclusive PL programs for children and youth.