Workshops to teach physical literacy skills

"Screen time and all these couch-potato kids are going to have an impact.”

Everyone with a stake in the health of children in the community is encouraged to attend one of two free physical literacy workshops being presented by the Cowichan Valley Regional District on Oct. 23 and 24.

Physical literacy is defined as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life, all things that some experts feel are being lost in modern society.

“It’s about getting parents and coaches to understand that being physically literate is just as important as learning to read and write,” CVRD child and youth programmer Denise Williams said. “It’s interesting how something so simple is lost, and we’re trying to get that message back. Screen time and all these couch-potato kids are going to have an impact.”

The workshops are being led by Dr. Dean Kriellaars, a faculty member of the University of Manitoba School of Medical Rehabilitation’s Department of Physical Therapy, a member of the Spinal Cord Research Centre, and a scientist of the Manitoba Institute of Child Health.

Kriellaars’s Human Performance Laboratory has numerous students and staff directed to undertake research on exercise, physical activity and obesity. He has been awarded two major university teaching awards, as well as national and international awards for scientific research and innovation, and also works with the Cirque de Soleil team out of Montreal.

According to Williams, coaches and parents and anyone else who works with young people will benefit from the workshops.

“Our hope is that teachers will come out because it’s a pro-D day,” she said.

The workshops are presented by a partnership between several local agencies, including the CVRD, Island Health and the governments of Ladysmith, North Cowichan and Cowichan Tribes, and are made possible thanks to a grant from RBC.

They take place on Friday, Oct. 23 at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre and Saturday, Oct. 24 in the Island Savings Centre’s Heritage Hall. Both workshops run from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

For more information call the Island Savings Centre 250-748-7529.