The physical literacy for communities project: Year 1 findings and next steps


Physical literacy is the competence, confidence, motivation, knowledge and understanding necessary for continued engagement in physical activity. Physical Literacy for Communities (PL4C) is a nationwide initiative to bring together key stakeholders in order to develop physically literate communities. Children in two of these communities (South Surrey/White Rock, British Columbia and Hamilton, Ontario) will be evaluated yearly on their physical literacy in order to track the progress of the initiative and identify areas for intervention. Baseline (Year 1) movement competence data from these communities will be presented here. Children 6-8 years of age (n=195; 54% male) completed the PLAYfun assessment of movement competence between October and December 2017. Findings revealed that, on average, participants did not demonstrate movement competence as they scored in the "emerging" category on the PLAYfun total score and each of the domain scores (running, locomotor, object control upper and lower body, and balance). Moreover, significant differences in competence were present between males and females. Males significantly outperformed females on the PLAYfun total score (t=-3.87, p<.001), in addition to the domains of running (t=-3.88, p<.001), object control - upper body (t=-7.39, p<.001), and object control - lower body (t=-5.15, p<.001). These findings suggest that sex differences in movement competence commonly seen in middle childhood are already present at 6-8 years of age. Implications, possible intervention strategies, and future directions for the PL4C project will be discussed.

Acknowledgments: This project is supported by funding from Sport for Life Society.