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‘Inclusive and equitable’

Rewriting the narrative on physical literacy for all individuals


By Jeff Green

Part of an ongoing series of Gazette stories celebrating researchers who received support as part a major investment by the federal government in science and research on Aug. 29.

Fostering physical literacy for all, regardless of ability level, through inclusive and equitable physical activity opportunities.

Dr. Kyle Pushkarenko is seen wearing dark coloured glasses, a dark blue shirt and a blue sweater. A view of a city street is seen in the background.
Dr. Kyle Pushkarenko is an assistant professor in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

That’s Dr. Kyle Pushkarenko’s goal, now that he’s been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Dr. Pushkarenko, an assistant professor in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, recently received a Partnership Development Grant valued at $199,969 for the project, Physical Literacy for All in Atlantic Canada: Tailoring Frameworks to Meet Organizational Capacity and Individual Community Need.

According to the International Physical Literacy Association, physical literacy includes “the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.”

Dr. Pushkarenko is currently the association’s special interest group lead for inclusion.

Working collaboratively with nationally and internationally recognized partners and nine community organizations, he is tailoring a newly developed framework that meets the needs and capacities of various groups.

Unique research

The investment from SSHRC allows Dr. Pushkarenko and his team to build relationships and network with various organizations, provide education to the groups, pilot the project methodology and mentor and train current and prospective graduate students in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation.

He says the project is unique and pioneering in the physical literacy practice and research communities, both in scale in terms of Atlantic Canada and in context: the intersection of disability and physical activity service provision.

“The project has great potential to re-write the narrative on physical literacy and its development for all individuals, here in Canada and beyond.”

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