Oct 15, 2018

By Yue-Ching Cheng, Diploma Program Coordinator & Instructor


As an instructor in Recreation Studies with a background in community recreation service delivery, I’m often split between the higher ideals of Recreation/Leisure and the pragmatic reasons for the existence of recreation as a whole. After spending some time teaching at Langara, I’ve been exposed to a number of different perspectives of recreation, but I’m always brought back to more pragmatic reasons for recreation. Increasing the sense of community in citizens, improving the health of individuals, decreasing health and economic inequities are amongst the reasons that I remain a proponent of the work recreation professionals do. Some focus on the process or the rationale of why others focus on the end product.

With many recreation professionals working in municipal environments, I wonder if many of them know why they engage in their work. Do they do it because they subscribe to the ideals of recreation or are focused on the end results of their work?

Regardless of what they personally believe to be the reasons that their work is important, ultimately, achieving the ideals of recreation do not seem to be in the mandate of many organizations. What is a recreation professional to do in this case? How will they justify the resource consumption of their expenses? Perhaps it's these questions that have encouraged me to lean toward the pragmatic reasons for recreation.