A RE-AIM evaluation of a trauma-sensitive sport program for newcomer youth


Intentionally structured sport for development programs can offer newcomer youth opportunities to build social relatedness and develop resilience-related life skills. This study evaluated the implementation of Bounce Back League for Newcomers, a weekly, afterschool, virtual or in-person trauma-sensitive sport program hosted by BGC Canada. Multiple methods including interviews, logbooks, surveys, and forms were used to map each RE-AIM dimension across training, delivery, and program outcomes. Reach: 59 youth across five clubs attended 58% of sessions (on average) over a 4-month season (32 boys, 26 girls, 1 unidentified; ages 7-12, Mage = 9.41 ± 1.04). Effectiveness: Staff reported successes in youth's willingness to engage, comfort with peers, and increased life skill development by end of season (? 26%, significant at t[37]= -9.89, p< .001, eta^2= .722). Challenges were reported in youth's attention/focus, disengagement, self-esteem, and language barriers. Adoption: Twenty staff participated in the training workshop, reporting high satisfaction, and increased knowledge of trauma-informed practices (? 15%) and sport coaching (? 40%). Implementation: Staff reported success in managing behaviours, maintaining structure, and integrating life skills. Staff used strategies for enabling youth empowerment, enhancing comfort, reinforcing expectations, and fostering relationships. Challenges were reported in matching activities to youth's motivation levels, managing effective transitions between activities, and virtual engagement. Maintenance: staff reported intentions and value for continuing programming, however sustained programming will depend on continued funding. Findings were used to further adapt the program with newcomer-relevant practices and can inform effective implementation of trauma-sensitive sport for development programs for similar youth-serving organizations.

Acknowledgments: This project was funded by The Department of Canadian Heritage - Sport Canada