Stoked on Science: Recreation for Revelstoke Kids

Jade Harvey

Special to the Review

Those of you who have read my articles before will know my background is in earth sciences, relating to the natural world and its interconnecting systems.

For more than 10 years, I have shared my knowledge about this with young people, my intention being to encourage them to develop a connection with the world they live in.

Engagement with science directs kids to learn critical thinking skills, problem solving and broadens their view of their place on Earth.

The other side of my life is coaching kids in sport. From a background in high level gymnastics and as member of a particularly sporty upbringing, I was able to find early joy, accomplishment and personal development in a variety of sports growing up.

I developed skills from the age of three that I attribute to influencing my success to this day.

I revere the cooperation and communication skills I learned through team sports throughout school in soccer, field hockey and basketball.

I started coaching at age 16 and since then have systematically taught a variety of sports around the world.

Scientific studies show there are many benefits associated with positive recreation experiences including healthy physical and psychological development, positive stress management, reduced alienation, loneliness and antisocial behaviour.

These I can all personally attest to and have seen across the hundreds, even thousands, of kids I have interacted with other the years.

The Vancouver MDI Report in 2010 found that children who watch over two hours of TV per day are more than four times sadder than those who don’t watch any TV.

We are, however, living in an age of technological revolution. According to a Tucker study released in 2007, totally isolating kids from technology can induce an ostracizing effect from the peer group.

Stories have been recently been relayed to me where bullying exists because of this—especially for girls, where the most important social influences is their peer group.

Sport and recreation is so important for developing healthy kids and again especially girls.

A study done in 2004 by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity found if girls don’t participate in sport by age 10, there is only a 10 per cent chance she will be physically active when she is 25.

We can’t have this. Kids need sport, and the accompanying physical literacy to take with them into their adult lives.

So how do we balance the new technological era and trying to keep kids fit and healthy in a world? To me the key is balance.

I just look after them for awhile and hand them back, but I am passionate about the health of your kids and my future unmade ones.

So here is my plan. With the backing of the City of Revelstoke and our amazing sport and recreation manager who has awesome programs running already, I’m going to plan and implement some new recreation programs for kids age 6-12 in Revelstoke.

From some multi-sport days or after-school clubs that incorporate the latest research about the principles of healthy child development and learning fundamental movement skills to locally focused courses on wild topics such as survival skills, bush skills, I’m aiming to connect our kids with experts that will teach them in a fun, creative way about cooperation, fair play, physical activity, a love of the outdoors and artistic expression.

So watch this space for these fall programs to be announced and if you have any thoughts, suggestions or queries please feel free to email me at stokedonscience@gmail.com. Have your say about what sport and recreation in Revelstoke means to you.

Let’s get Revelstoke youth totally stoked on science and sport.

Jade Harvey graduated with a first class honours BSc in physical geography from QMUL, a top five university in Europe. Having spent the last eight years travelling the mountainous regions of the world, mountain guiding and lecturing on science in schools she now likes to share her passion for science through writing and telling stories at the Regent Hotel and CMH Revelstoke.

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