Parents’ Perceptions of a University-based Children’s Physical Activity Program

  • Richard D Buote Memorial University of Newfoundland http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7981-7854
  • Erin L McGowan Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Angela Loucks-Atkinson Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Kyoung June Yi University of Manitoba
  • Erin M Cameron Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  • Christopher Borduas
  • Matthew J Patey Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Anne-Marie Sullivan Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • TA Loeffler Memorial University of Newfoundland
Keywords: Physical literacy, experiential learning, university-based programming, health promotion

Abstract

Physical inactivity has been called a crisis facing Canadian children and youth. Universities play a role in addressing this crisis; training future health professionals and educators and offering publicly accessible programming, such as physical activity programming. This study evaluates a children’s university-based physical activity program. A mixed-methods design was employed, capturing parents’ experience within the program through an online survey and one-on-one interviews. Participants felt that the program offered a safe place for their children to learn about their abilites while developing social and physical skills. Parents spoke to the importance of offering a quality program in an inclusive environment which could benefit both the university and community. Universities that have appropriate facilities are in a position to provide physical activity programming for their communities, offering potential learning opportunities for students and impacting health and physical activity levels of the community.Keywords:physical literacy; physical education; health promotion; university-based programming; experiential learning RÉSUMÉLes enfants et les jeunes Canadiens vivent ce qu’il est convenu d’appeler une crise de l’inactivité physique.  Les universités jouent un rôle dans la résolution de cette crise par leur engagement dans la formation de professionnels de la santé, d’éducateurs et en offrant des programmes d’activité physique ouverts aux enfants. Cette étude a pour but d’évaluer un tel programme offert à des enfants dans des installations universitaires. Une approche mixte de recherche a permis de décrire l’expérience de parents dans ce programme: un questionnaire en ligne et une entrevue individuelle.  Les participants estiment que le programme offre un endroit sécuritaire à leurs enfants pour développer leurs habiletés tant physiques que sociales.  Les parents mentionnent l’importance d’offrir un programme de qualité dans un environnement inclusif au bénéfice de la communauté et de l’université.  Les universités disposant d’installations appropriées peuvent offrir des programmes d’activité physique à leur communauté, ouvrant ainsi la porte à des occasions d’apprentissage pour les élèves, ce qui peut influencer la santé et le niveau d’activité physique de cette communauté.  Mots clés: littératie physique; éducation physique; promotion de la santé; programmation en milieu universitaire; apprentissage expérientiel

Author Biographies

Richard D Buote, Memorial University of Newfoundland
PhD studentDivision of Community Health and HumanitiesMemorial University of Newfoundland
Erin L McGowan, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Assistant ProfessorSchool of Human Kinetics and RecreationMemorial University of Newfoundland
Angela Loucks-Atkinson, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Associate ProfessorSchool of Human Kinetics and RecreationMemorial University of Newfoundland
Kyoung June Yi, University of Manitoba
Assistant ProfessorFaculty of Kinesiology and Recreation ManagementUniversity of Manitoba
Erin M Cameron, Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Assistant ProfessorNorthern Ontario School of Medicine
Anne-Marie Sullivan, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Associate ProfessorSchool of Human Kinetics and RecreationMemorial University of Newfoundland
TA Loeffler, Memorial University of Newfoundland
ProfessorSchool of Human Kinetics and RecreationMemorial University of Newfoundland
Published
2019-03-01
Section
Feature Articles / Articles de fond