Community Sport Hubs (CSH)

The Cause

One of The City of Calgary’s top five priorities is a healthy city, one that encourages healthy lifestyles for all Calgarians.

A body of evidence shows that children and youth are not physically active enough to realize health benefits. For example, the 2014 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth graded Overall Physical Activity as a D-, \"...because most children and youth in Canada are not meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.\"

For that reason, The City is exploring a new concept, Community Sport Hubs (CSH), to stem the tide of physical inactivity amongst children and youth.

Sport is an invaluable, low-cost tool that brings communities together. It inspires, empowers, and builds connectivity. A twist on the CSHs that are common in the UK, Australia and European countries, this made-in-Calgary solution will use sport as the tool for increasing physical activity.

CSHs will offer multi-sport opportunities for children and youth aged 4 to 15. Participants will benefit from structured and unstructured sport (active play) opportunities in-school, before- and after-school, and in the community.

The desired outcome is to increase and sustain physical activity through sport among Young Calgarians (ages 4-15) by increasing the rate of participation in structured and unstructured (active play) sport. There are two prongs of work that make up a CSH: school-based and community based.

Of the two prongs that make up a CSH, the Field Law Community funds will be directed to community-based efforts. Coaches, service providers, neighbourhood sport organizations and the residents will be mobilized to engage children and youth. Barriers will be identified and addressed. Opportunities to be physically active through structured and unstructured sport enhanced. And, a delivery model based on the neighbourhood’s unique community-assets will be implemented.

Who Will it Benefit?

The funding will be directed to one underserved neighbourhood in Calgary.

There are over 200 neighbourhoods in the city of Calgary that could host a Community Sport Hub (CSH). How was the field narrowed? First, we looked at the highest need neighbourhoods. Next, additional information was reviewed such as the number of children and youth and existing infrastructure. Finally, City-staff with direct relationships with neighbourhoods, including Community Social Workers were engaged to assess neighbourhood readiness, barriers, and the strength of current connections with stakeholders.

The top five neighbourhoods were identified.

The likely neighbourhood that will host the first CSH is located in the northeast, a quadrant of the city where sport participation is significantly lower than other quadrants. This neighbourhood is very diverse, which is reflected in the programs and services, sport organizations, agencies, cultural centres and faith-based organizations serving residents.

Based on the 2011 Census, 44 per cent of residents most often spoke a non-official language at home. Nearly 2,500 children and youth aged 5-14 years old or 16 per cent (a higher than normal population distribution in Calgary) of residents live here. Approximately 1,200 students attend the K-9 school located in the heart of the neighbourhood; students reside both within and outside the neighbourhood.

There is a high density of public amenities such as parks, playfields, diamonds and courts and a major indoor regional recreation centre.

The City of Calgary, Community Social Worker previously working in the neighbourhood characterized local schools and volunteers as being in a state of readiness if an outside source of coordination was offered and noted that affordability will be an important factor for residents. In addition, language barriers, transportation, financial issues, as well as, awareness about the initiative, programs and services will be important considerations.