Summary of Notes: Recreational Sport Roundtable
The purpose of the summary of notes is to document key takeaways from the recreational sport roundtable held on October 7, 2020. The sector-specific roundtable was comprised of approximately 15 representatives of major associations and groups with representation from across different disciplines, regions and intersectional identity communities. The goals of the roundtable were to:
- Ensure various stakeholders representing different sectors and industries are heard, having an opportunity to express their thoughts/ideas.
- Understand on-the-ground impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for sectors and organizations.
- Have constructive discussions to help identify potential avenues that could help accelerate recovery.
- Build a common understanding of the kinds of support needed, and the role of government(s) therein.
At the opening of the roundtable, representatives shared their general experience of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their sectors and organizations. The introduction was then followed by three segments around the following recovery framework:
- Resilience and Sustainability;
- Diversity and Inclusion; and
- Environmental Sustainability.
Resilience and Sustainability
To stimulate the discussion in the first segment, the following question was asked: What would recreational sport organizations need to move towards a more sustainable/adaptable business model to prevail through similar situations in the future? Some of the key ideas and takeaways included:
- Receive targeted infrastructure and capacity investments to address the sector’s underlying economic needs.
- Receive support for the development of recreation and sport programming, based on a revised funding model that encourages more flexible, nimble programming to meet the needs of Canadians.
- Receive support for initiatives that promote lifelong active living and keeping people active outdoors year round.
- Explore program delivery models that are consumer-driven, implement entrepreneurial thinking, and meet participants where they are: participant-led solutions, focused on youth and families.
- Develop closer relationships with the health sector.
- Grow partnerships between government and non-traditional stakeholders and the not-for-profit sector in order to specifically target issues at different levels (e.g. municipal).
- Take advantage of the consensus around the values of safe, welcoming and inclusive recreation and sport to drive innovation.
Diversity and Inclusion
To stimulate the discussion in the second segment, the following question was asked: What diversity and inclusion opportunities can be leveraged from the present circumstances for positive change? Some of the key ideas and takeaways included:
- Federal leadership in anti-racism efforts introduce a values-based system (in response to the Canadian values theme of Speech from the Throne).
- Support efforts to increase the representation of women, people with disabilities and other equity-seeking groups in sport and recreation organizations, particularly in leadership roles.
- Prioritize the hiring of individuals from equity-seeking groups to ensure that Canadians with lived experience are engaged in decision-making and program design and delivery.
- Invest in capacity-building so organizations have the financial stability and human resources to direct more effort to diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Explore opportunities for interdepartmental collaboration and determine how recreation and sport can support other federal departmental outcomes.
- Meet the current challenges in delivering school-based physical activity and sport by creating a national dialogue on school-based initiatives that meet the diverse needs of Canadian children and youth.
- Improve government accountability mechanisms to ensure funding recipients are contributing to diversity and inclusion outcomes.
- Support the continued use of online tools to ensure conferences and knowledge-sharing initiatives are accessible to all.
To stimulate the discussion in the third segment, the following question was asked: What environmental sustainability opportunities can be leveraged from the present circumstances for positive change? Some of the key ideas and takeaways included:
- Support and promote active transportation.
- Draw inspiration from the experiences of investing in physical activity and sport in other countries, such as Australia.
- Build and refurbish recreation and sport infrastructure to make progress on green infrastructure goals, with a focus on icehouses and pools.
- Develop a long-term economic strategy for sport and recreation organizations designed to create the financial sustainability needed to engage multi-year planning and implementation of environmentally sustainable initiatives.
- Support initiatives aimed at connecting Canadians to nature and green spaces, particularly Canadians living in densely populated urban environments.
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