The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport commissioned this report on behalf of the True Sport Movement – Canada’s national movement for sport and community.

Our goal with this report is to provide the evidence that sport can be a powerful and positive influence in our communities. We want to help communities, policy makers at all levels, business leaders and those in sport, to see the tremendous potential that lies within our community sport system. We hope that they will work together, and come up with new approaches that put this potential to work for Canadians.

There is one very simple idea at the heart of this report – good sport can make a great difference.

The True Sport Report” outlines conclusive proof of how good sport can be used intentionally to positively influence a wide range of societal goals, including child and youth development, crime prevention, education, social inclusion and economic and environmental sustainability”.

The report demonstrates that sport can be used to influence public policy to the benefit of Canadians in the following areas:

Health

  • Sport can increase the number of active Canadians, and increasing physical activity levels by just 10 per cent would save Canadians over $150 million annually in direct health costs alone.
  • Participation in sport can stem the tide of child obesity – 10 per cent of Canadian children aged 7 -13 are currently at risk of disability, disease and premature death because they are obese.

Child and youth development

  • Youth involved in sport are more likely than non-athletes to eat healthily and weigh less, and less likely to smoke, use drugs, engage in sexual activity, or feel bored or hopeless.
  • Girls experience particular benefits from sport due to its protective effects against osteoporosis, anxiety, depression, suicide and adolescent pregnancy.

Social development

  • Sport can help to strengthen communities by building social capital and fostering greater inclusion of marginalized groups like the disabled.
  • Sport can help to facilitate the integration of newcomers.

Economic development

  • Sport plays a significant role in the economy of Canadian communities by providing jobs and enhancing skills and productivity.
  • Sport contributes to economic development and renewal. For example, in 2004 Canadian households spent $15.8 billion on sport.

Environment sustainability

  • Many investments in community sport are investments in green space, with users often becoming advocates for their protection, proper maintenance and expansion.
  • New greener standards for sport and recreation facilities are helping to ensure that sport is doing its part to make our communities more sustainable.
The Report - Executive Summary

Introduction

  • True Sport is a national movement for sport and community. Its core mission is to be a catalyst to help sport live up to its full potential as a public asset for Canada and Canadian society – making a significant contribution to the development of youth, the well-being of individuals, and quality of life in our communities.
  • There is now evidence that sport’s benefits go far beyond the positive health effects of physical activity that have long been understood. A growing body of research points to community sport’s fundamental role as a primary generator of social capital and related benefits across a broad spectrum of societal goals including education, child and youth development, social inclusion, crime prevention, economic development and environmental sustainability. Perhaps most significantly, no other domain of community life has demonstrated sport’s capacity to connect so many young people to positive adult role models and mentors, opportunities for positive development, and help in acquiring critical life skills.
  • Evidence documenting these benefits is causing a new picture of Canada’s community sport system to emerge – that of a critical, yet largely untapped, reservoir of public benefit that, with intentional effort, can be made to deliver even more for Canadians. To realize these benefits, though, the sport we do must be good sport, driven by positive values – when good sport is used intentionally, it can have even greater benefits.
  • Research indicates that this is exactly the kind of sport that the vast majority of Canadians want, understanding intuitively that this is the sport that generates the greatest benefits. True Sport undertook this research initiative in order to provide concrete evidence of these benefits – to put data and examples around this intuition and aspiration.

This report is intended to enable communities, policy makers, and business leaders to see the tremendous potential that lies within our community sport system and to catalyze new approaches that will put this potential to work for Canadians.

Publisher
True Sport,www.truesport.ca is a national movement for sport and community. Its core mission is to be a catalyst to help sport live up to its full potential as a public asset for Canada and Canadian society – making a significant contribution to the development of youth, the well-being of individuals, and quality of life in our communities. To request a copy of the report please contact: info@truesport.ca

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