Combating social exclusion in sport and recreation


Date published: 2016-10-20 11:40:00 AM

“Sport and physical activity have a role to ease people into a totally new culture and environment,” Wendy Frisby says.

Recently retired from The University of British Columbia, Frisby was a professor in the School of Kinesiology. She has always been interested in those outside the sports system, and in how changes could be made to get them involved so they can set the various benefits of sports and recreation.

Frisby and her research team examined physical activity inclusion practices for Chinese immigrant women in Vancouver, to find out whether sport and physical activity had a role in their settlement.

Bringing together 50 Chinese immigrant women, along with representatives from the City of Vancouver, provincial ministries and Sport Canada policy-makers, the study aimed to make sports systems, especially at the local level, more inclusive.

“We attempted to involve those who have the power in the community and in government to make change—involving them in the study, as well as tapping into their instrumental knowledge,” Frisby explains.

The team conducted workshops analyzing barriers. Their study ultimately provided policy recommendations to facilitate change.

In light of the recent arrival of refugees in Canada, this project is timely in its attempt to address not only issues surrounding physical and mental well-being, but in finding solutions that enhance social inclusion and participation through sport.

This research was funded by Sport Canada through the Sports Participation Research Initiative.