Canada Soccer and FIFA make improvements
Physical & Health Education Canada (PHE Canada), Canada Soccer and FIFA announced they have reached an unprecedented participation level of 864,100 Canadian students who will be learning about physical literacy through soccer skills. In a special edition of the Move Think Learn – Soccer In Focus school resource, the programme will help inspire Canadian youth to stay involved in soccer and leave a legacy for sport, for women, and for Canada that reaches far beyond the competition.
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The Move Think Learn – Soccer In Focus resource, created to celebrate the hosting of the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™, was introduced into physical education curriculums across Canada in 2014. This resource is a special edition to PHE Canada’s series of programs for students that support teacher planning for physical education. It gives students an opportunity to develop important physical and decision-making skills. The resource, for grades 4 to 6 and 7 to 9, includes supplemental cross-curricular classroom lessons highlighting unique aspects of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, as well as a variety of Teaching Games for Understanding activity ideas to get students engaged, moving, and learning the tactics and skills needed to participate in soccer. This program is supported by FIFA and an integral component of the Legacy programme for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
The announcement was made at Fisher Park PS/Summit Alternative in Ottawa on 18 February 2015. Students from the school demonstrated the various soccer skills from Move Think Learn – Soccer in Focus and were inspired by Canada's Women’s National Team goalkeeper and Olympic bronze medalist Karina LeBlanc. LeBlanc, a two-time CONCACAF champion, has competed in the FIFA Women's World Cup™ four times. She is striving to compete for Canada on home soil at this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
In attendance at the Wednesday announcement were: the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport); Karina LeBlanc, Canada Soccer goalkeeper; Chris Jones, Executive Director and CEO, PHE Canada; and Jennifer Offord, Principal, Fisher Park PS/Summit Alternative. Also in attendance were hundreds of Fisher Park Public students and teachers participating in the program.
“FIFA is working closely with Canada Soccer and the National Organising Committee to leave a long lasting legacy beyond the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015,” said Thierry Regenass, FIFA Director of Development and Member Associations. “By supporting such a programme, we are hoping to reach many schools and students and encourage more girls to play football. Connecting with schools and young children is at the heart of FIFA’s development projects and our association with PHE Canada was the most natural one.”
“Soccer is the most popular and widely played sport in Canada, so it is the ideal activity to help Canadian youth develop their physical literacy skills,” said Peter Montopoli, Chief Executive Officer of the National Organising Committee for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™. “The Move Think Learn – Soccer In Focus resource supports the development of many fundamental soccer skills and is helping to build strong, active youth in Canadian communities which will have a lasting legacy that benefits Canadians long after the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ has come and gone.”
“Soccer is a wonderful team sport,” said Karina LeBlanc. “Soccer teaches cooperation and team-building and creates an inclusive environment for learning. The sport has done so much for me, and really helped bring out the best in me. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help inspire Canada’s youth to get involved and reap the many benefits that soccer provides.”
“We are excited to showcase this unique resource. Using purposeful game-play experiences is a key part of a quality physical education program, and contributes to the development of physical literacy,” said Chris Jones, Executive Director and CEO of Physical and Health Education Canada. “The soccer resource alone has been accessed by thousands of teachers, representing a reach of over 800,000 children and youth. This enthusiasm is exciting to see, and we are eager to continue building on this success.”
“I am very proud to see that hosting the largest women’s sporting event in the world is already resulting in an outstanding sport legacy for our youth,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “We know having the best women's soccer players in the world competing in Canada will inspire young Canadians, especially girls, to realize the benefits of physical activity and sport. I am confident ‘Move Think Learn – Soccer In Focus’ will be another valuable example of the benefits we are seeing as we celebrate the Year of Sport in Canada.”