December marked the beginning of conversations about the plans we want to achieve in the year 2022. These plans were given more form after the two focus groups that took place at Village Square Leisure Centre. The focus groups helped to clarify which specific barriers need the most attention in the Calgary sport landscape. Reducing these barriers will lead to a more comfortable and easily accessible environment for newcomer youth, especially newcomer girls.
The kids who attended the focus groups gave us great insight into the sports and physical activities they are interested in participating in, as well as how they would like to go about participating and trying new sports.
Now when starting to plan events that are catered towards newcomer youth, I can take a look at the sports mentioned by the sample group who attended the focus groups and choose an appropriate venue based on the sport and location for the Centre for Newcomer clients.
As a certified and active coach in the sport of gymnastics I will be splitting my time planning events for Centre for Newcomers, and attending competitions with my athletes in the first in-person competitions they have been given the chance to attend since February 2020. I will be taking part in a Canada Winter Games training camp in mid January with my athletes which will be a beneficial experience to train with guest coach and former Olympic medalist Jason Burnett. In-person events will be greatly beneficial for all the kids who have been restricted from getting to participate in extracurricular activities with their friends.
It’s no over exaggeration that Covid-19 has had a major impact on all sport activities, but the majority of programs that were allowed, or chose to stay operational were club sports with the same participants over a long period of time. This should highlight the importance of having events designed respectively for newcomer youth, whose families may not have extra money to be allowed toward pricey sport programs.
I am looking forward to learning and developing my personal and professional skills over these next months that are hopefully filled with events that can cater towards clients needs and wants.
By: Kalena Soehn