Sport skills for life opportunities for vulnerable children
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SPORT SKILLS FOR LIFE: Opportunities for Vulnerable Children . Presenters: Amanda McIntosh Taunya Geelhoed . ABOUT US…. Taunya Geelhoed. Amanda McIntosh. Community-Schools Partnership Facilitator –Surrey School District Former Director of Children & Family Programs –YMCA

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SPORT SKILLS FOR LIFE: Opportunities for Vulnerable Children

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SPORT SKILLS FOR LIFE: Opportunities for Vulnerable Children


Amanda McIntosh

Taunya Geelhoed


Taunya Geelhoed

Amanda McIntosh

Community-Schools Partnership Facilitator

–Surrey School District

Former Director of Children & Family Programs


Bachelor of Arts, Education & Human Kinetics

–Trinity Western University

  • Run, Jump, Throw Program Coordinator

    –BC Athletics


  • First Contact Coordinator

    –Athletics Canada

    Bachelor of Arts, Public Relations & Marketing

    –University of Louisiana


  • Surrey, British Columbia

  • 2nd largest city in British Columbia

  • 40 minutes East of Vancouver

  • Over one third of total population are immigrants

  • Population: over 462,000


Mission Statement: Through quality teaching and learning, we commit to engaging our students in their growth as individuals and in their development of the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary to contribute to a healthy, democratic and diverse society.

Educational Facilities

  • 100 Elementary schools

  • 19 Secondary schools

    History of the Organization

  • Surrey School District was formed in 1906

  • British Columbia’s largest school district

  • As of Sept 30, 2011: 70,018 students enrolled



  • Disproportionately large number of low-income, immigrant and Aboriginal students currently enrolled in the Surrey School District.

  • According to Statistics Canada (2006)

    • In Canada, 16% of families lived under the Low Income Cut-Off rate.

    • In Surrey’s inner city neighbourhoods: Whalleyand Guildford

      • percentage of families living below the Low Income Cut Off increased to more than 22%.

    • Surrey had the second highest Aboriginal population in Metro Vancouver with over 2,700 Aboriginal students enrolled.


  • The Community-Schools Partnership (C-SP) is a department of the Surrey School District that collaborates with municipal, funding and community partners to work alongside schools in:

    • Identifying specific needs of children and families

    • Enhancing existing school and community responses

    • Collaborating with community organizations to develop strategic and sustainable programming

    • Bringing community resources to the families and the schools in order to increase the abilities of vulnerable children to flourish.

  • Began in 2007 as a partnership between the City of Surrey, United Way of the Lower Mainland and the Surrey School District

  • C-SP directly supports more than 50 schools and is emerging in its ability to support and be an asset to additional schools across the district

  • Some of the specific programs and services that may be found include:

    • Out of School time extended learning and enrichment opportunities

    • Recreation and cultural programs

    • Parent engagement activities

    • Youth transition programs

    • English language learner support

    • School/community staff support

    • Early learning

    • Community outreach


  • YMCA is a charitable organization dedicated to the development of people in spirit, mind and body.

  • 150 years of experience in providing programs for children.

  • Ahub for people from diverse backgrounds to connect, organize and form communities.

  • The YMCA works in partnership with families, respecting the diverse cultural backgrounds that enrich their programs, and recognize that all families have different needs, interests and expectations.


Athletics Canada

  • As the national sport governing body for track and field, including cross-country running and road running, Athletics Canada supports high performance athletics excellence at the world level and provides leadership in developmental athletics.

    BC Athletics

  • The provincial non-profit amateur sport organization. A branch member of Athletics Canada (AC).

  • The purpose of the Association is to promote, encourage and develop the widest participation and the highest proficiency in the sport of Athletics.



  • Canadian Tire – Jumpstart Foundation

  • Ministry of Sport Cultural Development – Afterschool Sport Initiative (ASI)

  • Weston Bread, Healthy Active Kids (Wonder Bread)


  • True Sport

  • Coast Capital Savings

  • Please Mum


  • An inter-city elementary school identified a need for programming for primary students.

  • The C-SP team worked with the school district’s business development department and started to research models and came across BC Athletics & the Run, Jump, Throw program.

    Development of Idea

  • To provide children with the skills needed to connect them to community sport and recreation activities.

  • Jumpstart Academy directly removes participation barriers for disadvantaged inner-city kids:

    • giving them diverse experiences

    • high quality, organized programming

    • instruction and physical activity opportunities

    • no cost

    • in their schools


Why Sport

“Sport is a universal language that can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs, or economic status. Sports can play a role in improving the lives of whole communities.”

- Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary General

  • Only 9% of boys and 4% of girls meet the guidelines for physical activity (Canadian Health Measures Survey).

  • Lack of physical activity is a significant contributor to the health problems that children and families in low-income communities face.

“Sport skills are life skills”

  • KidSport Videos



  • Primary Objectives

  • To increase opportunities for the vulnerable population to participate in sport and recreation

  • To remediate the effects of non-participation due to challenging life circumstances

    • Financial, children who have lived in refugee camps, children who don’t come from active families, etc.

  • To foster social inclusion and strengthen a child’s competence, physically and socially.

  • To connect vulnerable children to sustainable community sport and recreation opportunities


Identifying Participants

  • Targeted opportunity (not open registration)

  • Ensuring that referrals come from a wide variety of school-based staff:

    • Principals/Vice Principals

    • Teachers

    • Counsellors

    • Support workers

    • Community organizations

  • Targeting students who would not otherwise get the opportunity to participate in sports activities due to socio-economic constraints, lack of transportation, or who have undergone significant or challenging experiences


Program Basics

  • 2 days/week in schools (this year) in the gymnasium

  • Immediately after school until 4:30pm

  • C-SP creates the registration forms which go to the schools for distribution (from school staff)

  • The program runs in 3 seasons/school year with up to 30 children

  • (grades 1-7)/season

  • 2 YMCA staff/school

    Who is Involved

  • YMCA leaders

  • C-SP staff

  • School Administration & staff

  • Sportball

  • Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO’s) & For-profit sport organizations


  • Allowing sport specialist to instruct portions of the program is beneficial for the children.

  • How do we approach PSO’s for involvement?

  • What are the challenges with this process?

  • Why do the PSO’s want to be involved?

  • Which organizations have been involved?

    • Softball BC, Golf BC, Rugby BC, Basketball

      BC, Tennis BC, Cycling BC, multiple Community

      Martial Arts organizations, Kwantlen University basketball, Floor Hockey organizations


Run Jump Throw (RJT)

  • Developed by Athletics Canada, RJT is delivered in each province by the Provincial member branches

  • Fundamentals skill development program, designed for children ages 6 to 12

  • RJT is:

    • Integrated for development at all levels

    • Broad based and progressive

    • FUNdamental to all land based sports

    • Inclusive for all abilities and maturational stages

    • Adaptive to special needs and athletes with disabilities

    • Gender equitable

This ‘FUNdamentals’ program teaches the grassroots skills of Track & Field: running, jumping and throwing - which form the basis of all land based sport


  • RJT is a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) accredited program, and is delivered in the introduction to competition stream

    • Community members, sport leaders; can all become certified to deliver RJT after attending a 2 day course (15 hr)

    • Teachers can become certified to deliver RJT after attending a 1 day in-service (8 hr)

  • In 2010, BC Athletics partnered with the Surrey Schools C-SP team to train the YMCA staff and volunteers who would be delivering RJT in the Jumpstart Academy

    • Oct 16-17, 2010 – NCCP certified training – 18 participants

    • Oct 17, 2010 – training – 40 participants

    • Jan 18, 2011 – training – 15 participants

    • Sept 18, 2011 – training – 15 participants

    • Sept 24-25, 2011 – NCCP certified Training – 28 identified participants  


15 HR RJT NCCP Training - Certification Training

  • Practical Teaching with children

  • Analysis of a Run, Jump and Throw – with technical progressions and game applications

  • General Athletic Development

  • Risk Management & Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

  • Ethics

  • Planning RJT Lessons

  • Participants receive RJT NCCP Kit, includes: Teacher Resource Manual, Technical Progressions Manual & DVD, Instructor Workbook, and Reference Guide



    • RJT offers “Fun-in-A-Bag” Equipment bags which contain everything necessary to offer the program!

    • Two options – Bag A and Bag B

    • Each Jumpstart Academy school has their own RJT BAG A

    Fun-In-A-Bag Equipment

    Bag Equipment List --

    Large RJT Bag on Wheels 18”x 18”x 36”

    Stacking cones (6 of 4 colours)

    Agility blocks – 2oz poly foam board (6x4 colours)

    Hurdle cross sticks - 32” white

    Bean bags- 5” (4 colours)

    Hoops 15” diameter (~50cm) (4 colours)

    Skipping ropes ~ 8’ (2.50m) in length (4 colours)

    Throw-on-a-rope (4 colours)

    Relay batons (4 colours)

    Soft discus (4 colours)

    High jump elastic cord – 15’ x ¾”

    Soccer balls - 6'” diameter (4 colours)

    Small balls - 3” low bounce (4 colours)

    Agility ladder (non adjustable webbing)

    Duct tape

    Deluxe Agility ladder (adjustable) *Optional

    Everything you need to run a successful Run Jump Throw program can be found in one convenient bag on wheels!

    Two versions of the RJT bag are sold – A and B.


    Classroom / Behaviour Management

    • Glenn Young (District Helping Teacher – Physical Education Specialist)

      Kids CanMove– Gymnastics BC


      Policy & Procedure Training


    September-December 2010

    • 10 Elementary Schools

    • 20 YMCA staff instructors

    • 300 children/session (900 children/school-year)

      January 2011-June 2012

    • 23 Elementary Schools

    • 46 YMCA staff instructors

    • 690 children/session (2070 children/school-year)

    • Why it was so well received

    • Demand for the program in all Elementary schools

    • YMCA had to hire more staff to accommodate

    • Engagement of more PSO’s to deliver more Sport Basics


    • Need for more training for instructors – RJT / classroom management

    • Logistical challenges:

      • School gym-space

      • Behaviours of students

      • Actually linking the children to community sports

        • Measuring that connection

      • Curriculum is the same for all schools

      • Scheduling with schools on days/week

      • Scheduling of YMCA staff for available days/week

      • Staff turn-over


    • Hired RJT Learning Facilitators to write a curriculum / lesson plan manual for instructors

      • Lessons follow a progression through the skills – designed to be delivered in order, with 2 lessons (1 hour each) per week

      • 24 lessons in total = 12 week program to follow

      • Manual includes instructional strategies, tips for formations, introducing an activity, giving feedback, and class management strategies

    • Identified highly skilled YMCA staff to take full RJT NCCP Training (15 hours)

      • 28 participants

      • Taught by the Learning Facilitators who wrote the Manual

    • High 5 Training

    • Hired a skill teacher from the Vancouver School Board to run classroom management training


    • Training staff in sport basics – to teach the kids without the use of PSO’s

    • A second manual/curriculum created with additional lesson plans

    • Staff assigned to facilitate and monitor the connection to community sport

    • Creation of opportunities for more hours/day to increase staff retention

    • Increase family connection


    • School ends at 2:30pm

    • Attendance is taken on arrival (not a drop-in program)

    • Snack is distributed between instruction periods

    • Sign-out/parent pick-up at 4:30pm


    Want to talk more?

    Amanda McIntosh

    Community-Schools Partnership Facilitator – Surrey Schools

    Tel: 604.576.1381 ext 2003


    Taunya Geelhoed

    RJT Coordinator – BC Athletics / Athletics Canada

    Tel: 604.333.3554


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