True Sport Champion &
Executive Director, Recreation PEI
In 2020, I became a volunteer champion for True Sport, a movement based on the idea that good sport can make a great difference.
When sport is done well, it provides many benefits to the participants, the volunteers, and the community at large. (Read the recently released True Sport Report to find out all about it.)
But we also know that sport experiences aren’t always great and sometimes they can be really bad. But often they’re just average because we rely on the power of sport to make it great, rather than intentionally taking steps to ensure that it’s great.
Bad, and even average, experiences lead to high drop-out rates. And once participants leave a sport, it can be very difficult to get them back.
Embracing the True Sport principles is a concrete way to change the culture of sport and make sure that all kids get the benefits of sport participation. The principles are:
All of these elements need to be balanced in sport and recreation programs to make great experiences that keep the participants involved for a lifetime.
Does True Sport Live in Your Facility?
Facility operators can create welcoming and safe spaces which become the heart of communities. Recreation facilities are the places where we play together, connect with our neighbours, and strive for excellence.
But we should be intentional about ensuring that these spaces are delivering great experiences. It’s a shared responsibility of everyone involved in sport and recreation including the coaches, volunteers, participants, spectators, administrators, and the facility owners and staff.
It’s not as obvious how facilities can activate True Sport. The national organization has put together the following infographic for some quick ways facilities can begin their True Sport journey:
Chances are, you are already living many of the True Sport principles already. These actions are small steps to ensure you are being deliberate in making sport great.
True Sport has a number of different resources for groups wanting to put the movement at the heart of decision making, including Guidelines for Communities.
If you are interested in learning more about True Sport check out their website. Or give me a ring and I’d be happy to chat about it!