Letter in The Toronto Star: Community Sport in Toronto (by Adam Goodwin)

Letter in The Toronto Star: Community Sport in Toronto

by Adam Goodwin | 2016 | Last Updated: August 22, 2016

Master’s at the University of Windsor

I am currently in the final stages of completing my Master’s at the University of Windsor‘s ninth-world ranked sport management program. While completing my graduate degree, I had the opportunity to examine a variety of topics and ideas. One of these topics was related to the legacies of sporting events (e.g., the Olympic Games). One of our questions, for example, included: Do sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, stimulate sport participation post-event (or, do the Games inspire people to start participating in sport)?

The City of Toronto

In June, The City of Toronto decided to ban sports on roads and in some parks (click the links to the left for stories). The road ban was later rescinded.

The Toronto Star

While all of these events were taking place, I wrote a letter to The Toronto Star in late-June about the issues. The newspaper published a portion of the letter in late-July. I just found the letter in late-August (a lot of lates!). The link to the letter in The Toronto Star is here. It is the third letter in the series.  I have also copied the letter below.

Copy of the Letter

“Torontonians were given various reasons for the City hosting the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games last summer. Many of these reasons were echoed in the mayor’s eventual dropped bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. One of the largest reasons, if you remember: A sport participation legacy from the new facilities and accompanying programs that would benefit the region’s youth and up and coming athletes.

As most in the general public are now well aware of, the post-event sport participation legacy of large-scale sporting events is nil. This has been shown to be true across hundreds of sporting events around the world by countless scientific studies. The reasons for the lack of a sport participation legacy are numerous and complex.

However, in the research I have read, never has a city tried to so intentionally decrease sport participation so drastically, especially so closely following the hosting of a major sporting event (TO2015), and with so much chatter about holding an Olympic Games in the medium-term future the City’s policies around community sport participation are doing just that. Intentionally driving down sport participation. The City has banned kids from participating in sports in two of the most fundamental spaces: parks and roads.

We were told that hosting these large month-long spectacles were for positive sport participation legacies. But, simply, that was never a reason. If the hosting of such events was so important for sport participation then why would the City have so quickly (not even a year post-TO2015) started its systematic and targeted attack on community sport?

Adam Goodwin, Windsor”

Your Call to Action
What are your thoughts on some of the ideas on community sport, mega-sporting events, or a related topic? Share your opinion by commenting below or on social media!
Further Reading
Based on your reading of this blog post, you may also be interested in: Red Deer Bucket List.
These are one person’s ideas, thoughts, and opinions. What do you think? We welcome your feedback and/or opinion! Feel free to comment on this blog post or connect via social media.
Adam Goodwin is a Canadian who has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. He has a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology from UBC, and a Master’s from the University of Windsor. He is a proud introvert and silent leader. He has traveled to 50 major global cities around the world, and has worked in, with, and across all three sectors (business, non-profit, and public). He is currently working with The City of Red Deer. He has family and friends around the world. Follow his travels, work, projects and thoughts by following his blog (click on the bottom right-hand corner to sign up for weekly email notifications).
[Note: Views in this blog posted by me as blog posts, re-blogs, or comments, do not represent my current employer, The City of Red Deer, City Council, and/or my Division/Department.]

One Comment

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  1. I think that one of the issues youth have today is a lack of physical activity and face to face time. I used to play hours of road hockey in my youth. When a car approached someone yelled car. We moved the nets so the car could get by without driving on the gravel shoulder or into snowbanks. Never did anyone stop to reprimand us. Accepting and supportive neighbors make a neighborhood strong. I now live in a neighborhood where I rarely see kids or their parents outside. We are now raising a generation that will probably not live as long as their parents. Daily physical activity is a necessity, and if it happens in my driveway then great.

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