The Power of Intramural Sports
In part four of the "Voices from the Field" in our Adapted Practicum, we engaged with David Inglis, OASPHE President and advocate for school-based intramural sport programming. From a exercise physiologist and physical education teacher lens, tryouts for school sports teams are often packed with hopeful athletes. As a result, coaches have to turn the majority of these students away. With youth physical activity (PA) levels declining and girls' PA sharply declining after grade nine (ParticipACTION, 2020), this is a consequence we as health and physical education teachers simply cannot afford. That is why the prospect of introducing intramurals into publicly funded schools is exciting. this provides an alternative, competitive route for students who are not selected for the official school team.
From an equity lens, if the fees are subsidized, the otherwise prevalent and often detrimental financial barrier stands to be eliminated. Therefore, children from lower SES households stand to benefit the most as establishing intramurals within the school may be the required catalyst to improve youth PA levels country-wide!
ParticipACTION. (2020). ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth (p. 58-69). ParticipACTION.