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More than fun and games: The role of leisure sport and recreation in welcoming immigrants Brown Bag Seminar Metropolis Project Ottawa, ON January 20, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "More than fun and games: The role of leisure sport and recreation in welcoming immigrants Brown Bag Seminar Metropolis Project Ottawa, ON January 20, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 More than fun and games: The role of leisure sport and recreation in welcoming immigrants Brown Bag Seminar Metropolis Project Ottawa, ON January 20, 2009 Susan Tirone, PhD School of Health and Human Performance Dalhousie University

2 Acknowledgements Dalhousie University Research Development grants (FASS, FHP) Coaching Association of Canada Metropolis Project

3 This presentation What does the leisure, sport, and recreation research tell us about welcoming immigrants CAC Study of sports, coaching and newcomers in Halifax, 2007 Policy implications arising from the studies

4 Leisure, sport, recreation & welcoming communities Leisure Activity or experience that is (1) freely chosen, (2) is intrinsically motivated & (3) that provides the opportunity to use an individuals particular skills in interesting ways (Kelly, 1996). Includes walking, gardening, visiting, socializing, sedentary activity like reading, hanging-out & sports Sport Sport is a regulated form of physical activity organized as a contest between two or more participants for the purpose of determining a winner by fair and ethical means. Such contest may be in the form of a game, match, race, or other form of event. (Canadian Heritage) Recreation Physically active leisure

5 What the research says: Leisure, sport, recreation & welcoming communities Leisure, sport and recreation have the potential to Contribute to healthy lifestyles Alleviate stress Build social capital Create the space for friendships to develop Foster positive youth development Provide opportunities for sharing traditional cultural practices such as ethnic foods, cultural and religious celebrations, dance, music and games

6 For newcomers leisure, sport and recreation have the potential to: Provide opportunities to develop language proficiency Provide opportunities to develop support & friendship networks in a new community Afford time to enjoy freedom, beauty, and safety of Canadian communities Participate in meaningful traditional cultural practices (More than fun and games)

7 Challenges faced by newcomers in their leisure, sport & recreation Poverty Discrimination & Exclusionary practices Language barriers Absence of preferred activities (Frisby, Alexander, & Taylor, forthcoming; Tirone, 1999-2000)

8 CAC study – Halifax The research team: Susan Tirone & Lori Livingston (Co- Leads), Jordan Miller & Emma Smith Background Industrialized countries need immigrants to sustain population Public policy implications of current immigration trends (Lee, 2007) Balancing long vs short term interests Challenges related to entry + integration Shifting demographics of the migrant work force Need for chain migration patterns Brain drain from developing countries Implications for leisure, sport, recreation

9 Finding ways for newcomers to feel welcome – is very important if we want them to stay long term Not just a source of labour But as fully participating & valued members of our communities Leisure, sport and recreation have an important role to play in welcoming (Lets not use word retention)

10 Purpose of CAC study To explore issues of participation in sport, and more specifically coaching, by new Canadians in the sports of soccer, basketball, and badminton in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

11 Methods Qualitative, in-depth interviews Phenomenological 7 Newcomer KI, 10 Sport KI 8 Caucasian, 3 African NS, 3 Middle Eastern, 1 Spanish, 1 Caribbean, 1 Greek 4 females, 13 male Focus group – 7 participants Occurred after interviews were complete

12 Findings Three themes Level of involvement Different perceptions and expectations Interest in inclusion Range of ideas about participation of newcomers in sports Responsibility for supporting newcomers in sports Range of ideas about leadership, direction & policy

13 Theme 1: Level of Involvement Apr 16, 2007 02:30 AM CANADIAN PRESS It depends where they come from. If theyre from Europe, theyve been involved in the professional academy, theyre probably going to be higher than what we have... A lot of kids come over from Africa who have very good technique, but just played street soccer. I would like to point out that most of the new Canadians that come here want to play for recreational purposes I think a lot of it is to relieve the stress they are under so I see them as recreational users

14 Theme 2: Interest in inclusion Oh I think its particularly important to help new Canadians integrate into larger communities and be active at the same point, setting those habits up for life-long good health. I take more of my time for the new Canadians because one of the things is language barriers and so I try to make sure that they have the proper information and that they are able to understand it... I find that it opens a lot of doors for you, you get to know a lot of people, you get to socialize in areas that normally if youre not involved in sport, its a little bit more difficult. So for newcomers in particular, especially you know with bringing their language barriers. Newcomers to Halifax? I think its a means of, I suppose, getting out in the community and socializing so that definitely helps it. It helped me when I did it.

15 Theme 3: Who is responsible? It probably comes from CAC. Theyre the policy making board in regard to coach education in Canada at this point I think too that Sport Nova Scotia has to start stepping to the plate now and start advocating for access for all. Just because theyre from another country, doesnt mean they dont know sports exist. If they want to be involved, theyre going to find it, its as simple as that. Well I think its a combination of everyone.

16 What will it take to ensure more newcomers and minorities are involved? More women have to be coaches first of all. There are a lot of sports that cant afford full time persons in the office and I really believe that is there is money available for at least one person in each sport to make a living out of promoting the sport in the community or elite level. Its important for newcomers to be involved in leadership roles in a variety of areas so that leadership roles are more reflective of the community and more people feel comfortable and reflected or represented. Respect the people that youre involved with and part of that respect is a recognition that there are going to be differences between people whether theyre athletes or coaches and ensuring that that is respected.

17 Policy suggestions arising from CAC study Canadian Geographic, Jan/ Feb 2006 Policy guidelines at federal, provincial and local levels Examples of good practice Information packages designed to inform newcomers NCCP sociology module Direction and incentives from Sport Canada for local associations to promote inclusion Template for community forum

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