2017 RECR 4400: Research Questions

What are the benefits of outdoor recreation, and the advantages of Queensborough Community Centre’s (QCC) Youth Services implementing more outdoor recreation opportunities to foster positive youth development (PYD)? – Matt Bains
Outdoor recreation provides a wealth of benefits for youths, as spending time outside for recreational purposes has been shown to greatly benefit the physical, mental, cognitive, and socio-emotional health and development of youths (Mainella et al., 2011). Unfortunately, there are barriers that can limit a youth's ability to participate in outdoor recreation, including coming from a lower-income family and being new to Canada as an immigrant or refugee. Despite these barriers, QCC’s Youth Services has strategies and resources available to ensure its outdoor recreation programs, events, and opportunities are accessible to all youths. These involve utilizing QCC’s surrounding natural and modified spaces, applying for grants, and maintaining a low cost, or no cost approach to their youth programming. In addition to helping Queensborough youths recognize the health benefits of outdoor recreation, an advantage of QCC’s Youth Services implementing more outdoor recreation opportunities would be that they are helping foster PYD within Queensborough's youth community. By utilizing the Search Institute’s Framework of 40 Developmental Assets that features eight different categories: support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, and positive identity (Benson, 2000), QCC's Youth Services staff will have an excellent guideline for planning and implementing better-rounded programs, events, and opportunities for the youths they serve. As a result, this will present the potential to provide Queensborough youths with additional resources they need to grow up successfully (Benson, 2000). Also, if other QCC staff like Recreation Facility Clerks, Recreation Leader Attendants and Programmers make the effort to interact and learn about youths they see around the centre, this will help QCC demonstrate a great level of support and care in helping foster PYD. Furthermore, this will allow for QCC's community to come together around a shared vision for, and commitment to the healthy development of its young people (Benson, 2000, p. 65).

What are the benefits adults receive through recreational play and how can the West Vancouver Community Centre look to incorporate more recreational programming designed towards play for adults? – James Ray
This question can be answered in two parts. The benefits which adults receive through recreational play include, reduced levels of stress, improved brain function, added creativity, improved social, mental and physical health, and a higher level of self-esteem (Brown 2008, Eime, 2013, Robinson 2016,). The West Vancouver Community Centre can only incorporate recreational programming for adults designed towards play if adults start participating and actually paying for the programs offered. Primary research findings which I conducted showed that while adults were attending programs, they were not paying for them, which showed lower numbers for attendance and lower revenue numbers. How can the West Vancouver Community Centre look to incorporate more programming for adults when they are making such little revenue off of it when compared to child and senior programming? The second issue here was the negative stigma associated with play, and how adults simply didn’t want to participate in play because they had an idea of what play was, when in reality few adults know what play really entails (Brown, Ted Talk, 2008). In order for the West Vancouver Community Centre to be able to incorporate more recreational programming designed towards play for adults, the recreational field needs to do a better job of pushing the importance of play, the benefits received through recreational play, and most importantly what play actually is. Most adults view play as children running around screaming and shouting, when in reality play is, “play is something done for its own sake. "It is voluntary, it is pleasurable, it offers a sense of engagement, it takes you out of time. And the act itself is more important than the outcome." (Brown, Ted Talk 2008). Until the recreational field does a better job of promoting play, we cannot expect adults to feel the need to participate in play, and without adults participating in play, community recreation facilities are not going to offer programs which would fail. Below photo is of myself at Deer Lake Park before my run/walk.

What are the benefits, to Field Hockey BC (FHBC) coaches, of aligning coaching courses to the, Canada Sport for Life (CS4L), Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model, and how does this support the development of the whole athlete? – Jenn Chohan
The answer to my question is highlighted by literature which shows LTAD is becoming more widely adopted around the world in place like Australia, the UK and the US (Cote & Vierimaa, 2014; Brooks, 2016) and is starting to be used within Canada by sports like Volleyball, Soccer and Basketball (CAC, 2017). The movement of Canadian sports toward LTAD has also been supported in the research content. I have seen through the research that coaches want and need more information regarding building a whole athlete through sport training. We have also seen through the literature that athletes feel life skills should be supported through their training. Athletes are at the core of what FHBC does. The environment FHBC creates will play a huge role in the experience the athletes will have, and the culture that is created on the ground. As CPRA (2014) highlight: “All who work in recreation need to acquire and attain the core competencies for recreation and the capacity to address changes in the physical and social environments that impact recreation.” If FHBC is committed to an athlete-centered, coach-led approach, they need to have well trained coaches to attract and keep people motivated to be involved and engaged in the sport, and who understand and can support the culture FHBC is striving to create. The coaches need to be able to support the development of all athletes, in all aspects of the sport and life, relative to the athlete’s stage of development. We have learned through this paper that the LTAD model takes not only sport skills into account, but movement, social, emotional and physiological skills. (CS4L, 2014) LTAD is built around stages based on skill level (developmental age) not age groups (chronological age), but have had to attach ages as this is what our sport systems are built around. Through aligning to LTAD, FHBC has taken an opportunity to be a leader in coach education and within the LTAD model. This will help give coaches more of the information needed to support the growth of the people they coach and have an effect on the community as a whole, as coaches are the people on the ground creating the environment the athletes train in.

How can recreation improve the lives of socially isolated seniors in White Rock? – Emiko Angus
There is a significant amount of research on the correlation between negative health effects and social isolation. Social participation and engaging in recreation has proven to reduce these effects and has a positive impact on the lives of socially isolated seniors. Participating in recreation improves their lives by giving them a sense of accomplishment, increasing their self-confidence, giving them a chance to socialize, being part of a community, developing close relationships, staying healthy, relieving stress, and providing an opportunity to try new things (Bell, Menec, Novek & Tran, 2013). Having social interaction while participating also enhances their quality of life, decreases the likelihood of depression, and reduced risk of morbidity (Bell et al., 2013; Dean, Kolody, Matt & Wood, 1992; Gilmour, 2012). While there are many benefits of participating in recreation for socially isolated seniors in White Rock, there are also many barriers. Throughout the literature, living alone seems to be the most common risk factor of social isolation, and transportation is the most common barrier to participation. Currently, TransLink has limited bus services to White Rock recreation centres. While there are bus stops near each recreation centre, seniors are still required to walk at least 60m to 450m to reach their destination. The buses also run infrequently compared to others within the Lower Mainland. Other barriers include lack of awareness, fear or stigma, cost, and health limitations (BC Ministry of Health, 2004; Bell, et al., 2013; Gilmour, 2012; Government of Canada, 2014). Without a social support system, it is a challenge to overcome these barriers alone, which is why helping seniors in White Rock overcome these barriers and combat social isolation in our society is extremely important, especially with the growing senior population.

What are the benefits of recreational activities for older adults and why are these benefits important to this group living in an independent retirement community? – Laura Kerr
Seniors aged 65 years and above are taking over the population all around the globe. Several studies have concluded that the number of older people will surpass the number of children, aged 14 years and younger, globally in 2045 (Cankovic et al., 2016; Dube & Choyal, 2012). In Canada, this phenomenon is expected to happen between 2015 and 2021 for the first time ever (Stats Canada, 2016). As the population is aging, it is imperative to be ahead of the curve and be prepared for this influx of seniors, specifically in the recreation field to assist them in maintaining healthy and fulfilling lives. According to the findings, residents living in these communities experience many benefits and with the aging population, communities can expect an influx in their own populations and need to be ahead of the curve to ensure these benefits continue to provide success in one’s life.

With seniors being better educated on the health and mental benefits of recreational activities, it is important to ask “how do we stay ahead of it”. With the aging population and Canadian seniors living longer, it is important for recreational professionals to continue their personal education and research into the benefits of activities and how to develop new standards. With this education and research, it is also important to develop environments where they can feel engaged and motivated to participate which will contribute to them taking initiative in their recreational pursuits.

It is important to educate ourselves on independent retirement living as these types of communities are not somewhere you “go” because you are “old”. These communities provide older people the opportunity that “life can go on until death” (Keith, 1982) and could even possibly get better through the activities, relationships and experiences they encounter.

How do providing recreation opportunities to the employees of a non-recreation workplace affect the culture of the organization? - Stacey Smith
Providing recreation opportunities to the employees of a non-recreation workplaces affects the culture of the organization in many ways. Providing recreation at work to employees introduces an element of fun into the workplace which can "lead to improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, reduced staff turnover, improved staff attitudes towards the organization and higher staff morale."

By introducing physically stimulating activities for staff such as on-site gyms and employee wellness programs it can "lower levels of stress, increased self-image and self-esteem and improved physical fitness" of all employees. "Organizing walking meetings, implementing on-site gyms, planning staff retreats or after work functions and incorporating a travel incentive commuting program can improve productivity of employees and can enhance the company culture which could lead to an even greater improvement in efficiency" therefore resulting in a positive change in the company culture.

What benefits do older adults derive from active recreation? What is the South Surrey Town Centre currently doing well to promote active recreation for this age cohort and how can they encourage greater participation? – Rachel Venner
There is a great grange of benefits that older adults can attain through participating in active recreation. Physical benefits include the prevention of diseases and chronic conditions as well as enhanced physical functioning that enables improved quality of life and independence (Warburton et al., 2006; Fern, 2009). Other aspects of overall health, including mental emotional and social components can also be improved through active recreation opportunities. Active community recreation provides a platform for older adults to interact with peers while also providing the chance to build self-confidence and pride, thus contributing to an improved overall sense of well-being and perception of health (Kelley et al., 2014; Fern, 2009; Hickerson et al.). These benefits indicate that active recreation participation is key to achieving the South Surrey Town Centre’s (SSTC) Mission of attaining individual and community wellness. There are many ways in which the SSTC is promoting active recreation for older adults. The SSTC offers free yearly programs and events for older adults that focus on healthy active aging; they provide a variety of programming for older adults that may have functional limitations associated with aging; and the program instructors are very encouraging and accommodating, all of which helps to support older adults in their active recreation pursuits. All of these factors highlight what the SSTC is currently doing well to promote active recreation participation for older adults, which ultimately facilitates health and wellbeing for this age group. With this in mind, there are also areas within the SSTC which could benefit from positive change that will further promote active recreation participation. Primary research indicated that there is a lack of diversity in active programming for older adults that may not have functional limitations associated with aging. To counter this, it is recommended that the SSTC begin to offer more sports programming and potentially host a Community Senior Games event yearly where participants can compete in their chosen sports. In addition, transportation, confidence in ability to be physically active, and lacking knowledge on how to begin being active were noted as prominent barriers to older adults’ participation in community recreation. In order to minimize these barriers, it is recommended that the SSTC add social components to exercise programs, offer one-on-one sessions to provide personalized care and guidance in active recreation, create walking clubs, and set up alternative transportation options for older adults. Overall, these recommendations will assist the SSTC in encouraging more older adults to be physically active so that they can continue to thrive in the community and achieve high levels of wellness.

In what ways do dogs encourage recreation among families? How can the District of North Vancouver (DNV) incorporate more pet-friendly activities and spaces to promote family recreation with dogs? – Lissa McQuitty
Dogs encourage recreation for families by being internal and external motivation to get outside and move, they get people walking at parks and hiking in the mountains, but it begs the question of why there is still an epidemic of obesity in North America and how can we fix that? Research studies like Bartram (2016), Cherniack & Cherniack (2015), and Arhant-Sudhir et al. (2011) are some studies which have proven that dog owners are getting in more recreational walking per week than non-dog owners; so dogs can be motivators for walking and increased physical activity. The District of North Vancouver (DNV) only has a couple programs for dog owners, and they are obedience training only and for those over 16 years of age (so, not helpful for the whole family). As dogs are exercise motivators, why not add more activities and clubs that can get the whole family out? In my recommendations to the DNV and the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission (NVRC) I spoke about adding more activities, special events, walking and hiking clubs and more. Some possibilities are boot camp classes, agility classes, dog swims, and educational sessions at parks. Not only will this get the community members moving, but it can be an added revenue stream for the NVRC. Activities beyond walking are possible with dogs and counts towards being more physically active. If the community can create more activity programs and events, and work on promoting them to dog owners, then the community itself can become more physically active, healthier and happier due to more active lifestyles and community building. Dog parks create spaces for dogs and their owners to recreate in, enjoy nature, exercise, build relationships, build social capital, and increase the community’s sense of safety. However, they can also cause citizen concerns if not maintained well or if rules are not followed, so community consultation and dialogue can help address those issues when building parks and planning for the future of the community. The DNV already has a lot of parks for dogs, but they are not well promoted in the community, so some extra advertising could help get families out to new places, and can help build the community. If the DNV wants to get ahead of controversies over dogs in parks, they should follow the best practices of Surrey (City of Surrey, 2012) and Vancouver (City of Vancouver, 2017) and engage with the citizens before planning takes place for parks. Adding more well designed spaces can only encourage more recreation. As a “dog is man’s best friend”, it makes sense to create spaces and activities for families to recreate with them and the DNV has room to grow in this area of recreation programming and planning for their community. But the best advice comes from the founder of K9 Fit Club, Tricia Montgomery (Collins, 2017), who says to “get off your butt and work out with your mutt”.

What are the possibilities and implications for the City of Surrey's Community Recreation Services Division providing targeted programming for emerging adults aged 19-24? – Arielle Patterson
Surrey is a city that is experiencing rapid growth and development in part due to a significant increase in the population across demographic groups over the last five years (Statistics Canada, 2017). The City of Surrey’s Community and Recreation Services Division (CRS) is tasked with the role of providing inclusive opportunities for all residents to be able to pursue recreation and leisure experiences. Unfortunately, emerging adults are a group whose specific recreation needs and wants are often overlooked by professionals in the field. The term, emerging adults, describes the population of young people between the ages of 19-24 who are post secondary students, new to the work force or contemplating their future in a period of transition between adolescence and adulthood. This population of individuals largely feel as though they do not belong to either the youth or adult demographic and spend these years experiencing change, uncertainty and experimentation with independence (Arnett, 2000).

Based on the findings in the research process, the possibilities that exist for emerging adults actively engaged in recreation include a higher rate of participation in programs which can introduce them to new activities, new peers and expand their community experience. Accessing targeted recreation programs will also increase their physical health by warding off a number of ailments and diseases (Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute and ParticipACTION, 2009) in addition to improving mental health and reducing depressive symptoms (Street & Ray, 2007). Targeted recreation programs can also promote the acquisition of important life skills and healthy coping strategies (McPhie & Rawana, 2015). Ultimately, having a variety of targeted recreation options, that speak specifically to their needs, can give emerging adults the sense that the community listens and supports their navigation through the transition to adulthood. From an organizational perspective, there are a number of implications to the City of Surrey’s CRS Division by providing targeted services and programming for emerging adults that should be considered. One implication is an increase in participation due to facilities and programs that are welcoming environments to emerging adults. Increased emerging adult representation in recreation facilities has the potential to increase revenue opportunities as well as better reflect the community in which the facility serves. Even taking into consideration the possibility of a lower fee for emerging adults, significantly increasing the number of participants can offset the lower cost per patron and produce positive revenue results. Another implication to CRS is the possibility for collaborative connections between functional committees that often work in isolation from each other. If an Emerging Adult Subcommittee is struck, Coordinators from differing functions will have an opportunity to share knowledge and experience while supporting the needs of a population. Additionally, the development of strategic planning and partnerships can streamline work processes, stretch limited resources and create innovative opportunities for emerging adults that will improve their experience in this life stage.

The data collected while conducting this research confirms that Surrey is a rapidly growing city with a large population of children and youth who will soon be adding to the emerging adult population in this community. It is important to ensure that there are clear, identifiable and targeted opportunities for current and future emerging adults to access low-barrier recreation close to where they live. Introducing additional recreation opportunities and dedicating resources to support this population through to adulthood is recommended because through streamlined, increased efforts, CRS can accomplish its mission by encouraging all people in each life stage to live a healthy and engaged lifestyle through recreation.

How can KinVillage Community Centre utilize its recreation services to show the social benefits of recreation, for both their members and volunteers, in order to create a sense of community? – Brooke Lemire
There are many social benefits seniors’ receive from attending senior recreation centers, like KinVillage Community Centre. Seniors enjoyed attending senior recreation centers because they like to interact with peers who have similar interests as they do. Seniors made strong, supportive friendships, which expanded their social networks dramatically. Internal communities’ facilities become stronger, in addition to communities outside of the facilities – seniors made lasting friends that extended beyond the facility and interact with them more than they would before attending programs. With the formation of supportive friendships, seniors in turn were happier with greater self-determination, self-worth, self-esteem, had a better outlook on life, and had more social support. In addition to attending programs and activities at senior recreation centers, volunteering to lead recreation programs allows for interaction with peers and sharing skills which increases self-worth in the volunteer. Whether a senior is a participant or a volunteer, they need to have daily connections and interactions with their peers in order to maintain their overall health, specifically, their social health and maintain a strong community. KinVillage has numerous programs and activities that generate social benefits for seniors and help to build their community. The programs I found that stood out were ballroom dance lessons, luncheons, Shari’s Saturday Social, bus day trips, and KinVillage Apartment Community Fieldtrips. All of these programs significantly contributed to the social benefits recreation has for seniors. Overall, through researching literature in addition to discovering more about KinVillage Community Centre first hand, I discovered that the organization is a great social opportunity for seniors in South Delta with a strong community that has endless potential.

How does the City of Coquitlam encourage the development of interpersonal skills in early childhood through its aquatic programs? – Erin Cooper
To answer my research question, the City of Coquitlam is not providing their staff with the training to properly encourage interpersonal skills in early childhood through their aquatic programs. The organization understands the importance of social skills as they are mentioned in the cities master plan and instructors have expressed their understanding. Even though they do not have any training on the subject, I discovered that instructors are both consciously and unconsciously incorporating these skills in their lessons. One thing that is consistent is that instructors do see the benefit of social skills in early childhood and teaching them. Games and unstructured play are the two ways interpersonal skills are being included in lessons. During games instructors are ensure that participants are sharing and communicating with each other. If a situation such as a disagreement arises instructors are quick to ensure that the conflict is resolved with student help. My most important finding was that unstructured play allows children to naturally practice their social skills with each other. I discovered that these situations were where most of the interpersonal skills were shown within the children I observed. Instructors encourage this by allowing them to spend time communicating with each other and giving them tasks or games to complete while they are busy with other children. The instructors in Coquitlam have a great opportunity to foster social skills in early childhood. If the City of Coquitlam were to incorporate the recommendations in my paper the instructors will learn the tools to ensure that they are confident in allowing participants to interact in a positive way.

What are the benefits of youth engagement and how can Coquitlam’s Parks, Recreation & Culture (PRC) Department reach out to more youth to participate in youth engagement opportunities and initiatives? – Zara Quek
Youth engagement is one of the principles of positive youth development where youth are empowered by having a voice while they work closely with adults. Youth should be thought of as the leaders of today, who deserve the chance to have their voices be heard in the decisions that affect their lives and their communities (Perkins, et al., 2003). Youth engagement engages youth in meaningful and positive ways such as participating in an activity that focuses outside the self, contributing with planning and implementation, and being a part of community decision teams (Scheve et al., 2006; BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, 2013a; CCYC Network, 2013, p. 6). Youth engagement has also been described as sustainably involving youth in meaningful decision-making that affects them (Checkoway, 2011). Providing youth with youth engagement opportunities and initiatives are beneficial to the youth, adults/organizations, and the community as a whole. There are numerous models of youth engagement that provide organizations an opportunity to explore what type of youth engagement opportunities best fits their organization and the youth they serve. There are also challenges and barriers to participation in youth engagement but by acknowledging these barriers, recreation practitioners would be able to find ways to limit these barriers and encourage participation Findings showed that even though Coquitlam does provide youth the opportunities and initiatives for youth engagement, Coquitlam could also utilize their current staff members that work for other municipalities and use their knowledge and expertise to further strengthen Coquitlam’s youth engagement opportunities and initiatives. Coquitlam’s PRC Department could implement a program similar to City of Surrey’s Youth Engagement Program, or the City of Port Moody and City of Port Coquitlam’s Youth Employment Training Program to attract more youth to youth engagement. Another thing that Coquitlam’s PRC Department could also do to reach out to more youth is to have more of a social media presence and utilize the youth from Coquitlam Youth Council or Coquitlam Youth Leadership Committees to be more actively involved in communications and promotion.

How can the Geriatric Re-enablement program engage clients post discharge in community recreation opportunities to help decrease social isolation? – Karla Nogue
Through research and largely from researching what happens in other communities, I was able to find not necessarily answers, but recommendations to the GRU as to how to better support the clients who discharge from the GRU program.

I was able to provide 4 recommendations to GRU and my agency advisor as to how there could be some potential changes and perhaps even more research into how to better support discharged geriatric individuals in the community. The first was to recommend more involvement from the recreation professional at the discharge state of the individual. The function primarily at this point is for follow up or referrals to services that are provided in the community. The second was to look at ways to enhance the communication between the recreation professional working in GRU and community recreation professionals. Trying to look at programs and services that are missing or are provided and how to better entice discharged GRU clients to become involved once they are back in the community. The third recommendation thought outside the box a bit and really took a page from some information I stumbled across from another source. It was to investigate and perhaps provide more research into the possibility of a community based recreation professional for older adults in the community. My last recommendation was to have the recreation professional, both community and in the GRU strengthen the relationship between seniors support services to find better opportunities for volunteers and to really try and enhance the volunteer programs available to seniors.

What are the benefits to participation in recreation within the Baby Boomer demographic, and how is the City of Coquitlam Recreation Parks and Culture engaging this group? – Chelsea Rogers
Recreation professionals must be made more aware of the unique personalities, attitudes and lifestyles of the Baby Boomer generation, in order to accurately serve them. To do this, the City of Coquitlam must make it a priority to educate their staff on how to work and recreate with this diverse group of participants.

The importance of participation in recreation and leisure in the lives of adults aged 50 plus requires more attention than ever before, as it is a critical contribution to healthy living. The City of Coquitlam offers a lot of potential to address these concerns that I have discovered within this specific demographic. By introducing more programs that encourage participation from this age group, this allows all community members to benefit from the vast selection of recreational opportunities the City has to offer.

Recreation is important for every individual, especially those approaching an older age. Because we are addressing such a large group of people, who rely on recreational activities to keep busy throughout the day, recreation is affecting more lives than ever before. Individuals, especially those in this generation, are affected by how they are perceived by others when attending facilities that are identified by age.

To eliminate this anxiety, I recommended that the City of Coquitlam provides programs that encourage all ages to recreate together, as well as invite older adult participants to bring their adult children to the facilities with them. In addition, the City plans to combine all of their three leisure guides into one, which will influence community members to join activities based only on difficulty, not on age. Recreation professionals for the City of Coquitlam are able to offer services that suit the needs of every individual, including the young minds in older bodies, and older minds in younger bodies, while still eliminating the stigma associated with being a senior. An example of this would be offering programs for 50 plus in all facilities, not just pavilions, as well as in outdoor recreation programs, which offer an environment that any age is welcome to, and allows Baby Boomer participants to feel welcomed in an activity that is directed to both older and younger community members.

How can the City of Burnaby's Youth Services improve youth social wellness in order to improve their community connectedness? – Nikole Rampuri
A connected community is one that provides an emotional sense of comfort to those who reside in it. Many youth who come from “tough” inner city environments face a large number of difficult issues (Bocarro and Witt, 2003). The community being discussed in my paper was Burnaby, with a focus on it’s southeast community. Social wellness is the part of psychosocial health dealing with our interactions with others on an individual and group basis. It is our ability to use and provide social resources and support in time of need, and our ability to adapt to a variety of social situations. Social wellness is important for youth to develop because they are constantly facing changes and social adversity. If youth feel supported in times of need, it is hoped they will make better choices when facing life’s challenges. In order to improve social wellness it is proposed that the respective agency focus more on relationship-based programming, diversify their programs to meet different needs, provide more low-income youth with resources and expand their life skills.

How can the South Surrey Town Centre create more awareness and support patrons in making nutritious food choices that are a better reflection of the City of Surrey’s mission/vision? – Aaron Clarke
After careful examination of all of my findings, I feel the answer is not one that I expected. The South Surrey Town Centre, and the City of Surrey in general, does not currently support their patrons in making nutritious food choices, aside from including some healthier options in vending machines and concessions. This is in part due to a lack of any centralized City of Surrey policy on nutrition, as well as other barriers such as lack of upper management support, or fear of financial loss. The vision of the City of Surrey is currently not being represented in terms of supporting the healthy nutritional choices of the members within the community.

What risks and rewards are associated with the training and development of front-line recreation auxiliary staff and why would an investment in such programming be beneficial to the City of Victoria’s Recreation Division? – Jill Naydiuk
There has been a large and very positive cultural shift within the City of Victoria and the Recreation Division over the past few years. Positive organizational change drives positive culture which in turn supports those working and learning within it. The City of Victoria provides a common focus and direction for all departments moving forward that is set out by three plans: the Official Community Plan, Strategic Plan and the Financial Plan. The Recreation Division’s alignment with these organizational plans, their attendance to their own goals and the ongoing collaborative support provided by the Human Resources Department, will help to ensure that the goals associated to the training and development of auxiliary staff, are met. The research found that the Recreation Division is not concerned with the turnover costs of auxiliary employees. Instead, they consider such costs to be part of this particular employee group and accept and anticipate the associated costs. There is also no tracking system in place to determine the turnover rate of auxiliary staff, so any cost savings that might occur in this area, appear unknown at the current time. The research findings also suggested that more can be done in terms of training and development for auxiliary staff. Because training involves all staff within the Recreation Division, all staff including auxiliary, would most likely reap the benefits of additional in-service training sessions for example. There are also no employee feedback systems in place for staff and exit interviews are not always utilized for auxiliary staff. Through information gathered in the interviews in particular, it was noted that the City of Victoria and its Recreation Division are an aspiring – if not already, learning organization that supports opportunities for learning.

What Are the Benefits of Structured and Unstructured Play, And How Can Spirit in Growth in Success (SIGIS) Child Care Society Incorporate Both Types of Play? – Denise Charron
To answer the first part of the question the benefits of structured (adult led) and unstructured (free/ child led) play has many levels. Depending on the play depends on the benefits that a child receives. One point that researchers can agree on is that children receive benefits essential for learning and development when participating in play. Many benefits of play can be divided into “areas including physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.” (Brussoni, Olsen , Pike, & Sleet, 2012) “Skills that are developed through play are unlimited, but some include goal setting, emotional control, planning, teamwork, fair play. (Brimacombe, n.d.)” (Charron, 2017)
Unstructured or free play offers benefits but is not limited to: increased intrinsic motivation (Gray, 20110; problem solving, empathy, creativity, socialization, and organization skills (Bishop, 2013); and demonstrate decreased anxiety and behavioral problems. (Jachyra & Fusco, 2016) Some researchers mentioned that some children had increased self-direction. (Barker, et al., 2014)

Structured activities offered benefits such as increased positivity, endurance, and “healthy physical, psychological and social development.”(Coutinho, Mesquita, Davids, Fonseca, & Cote, 2015, p. 56) Researchers also found children had a better outlook on their body image, self- confidence, and “emotional and social skills.” (SPARK, 2013, pp. 1-3)
As one can see the benefits of play gives children create a well-rounded experience for children to learn and develop; with these skills children will utilize them into the future and into adulthood. As such, for recreation professionals it is imperative that we provide opportunities for structured and unstructured play to aid in children’s development and learning. This can include programs that are indoor and outdoor and allow a little risk (with supervision) to help children learn what their own boundaries are and what they are comfortable with.
In relation to SIGIS, they incorporate both types of play through a child directed or centered approach; where the children lead the activities and they create opportunities for those activities to happen within a scheduled day. They also have some rules, within their free play; however, within those rules the children are able to have free play time. During the day they have scheduled activities; but they are still child led. For example, gym time in on the daily schedule; however, the children get to decide the activity and the children get to decide whether to participate or not. If a child does not want to participate then they get to cheer, help the staff with the boundary lines, or do a low key activity, such a card game. SIGIS represents a great way to incorporate the balance of both types of play while still keeping the program child centered.

How do community centres in the City of Richmond allocate community recreation space for programs, services and events to best support, and balance the needs of the community demographic? - Stacey Bridal
The community centres in the City of Richmond do not have a standard policy or procedure to allocate community recreation space, and there is a bit of an understanding among programmers that certain age groups get programmed during certain times. At Thompson specifically when introducing new programs, services and events the programmer in charge will communicate with the other coordinators in the office to ensure the space is available and doesn't conflict with other opportunities. From doing my literature review research, I found a few space allocation policies from Ontario and one from Burnaby where it allocates priorities for how community recreation spaces are used outlining that city programs and services are first priority, community partnerships come next, and so on. Richmond has an incredibly diverse community of 218,037 people and over 140 ethnicities were identified from the 2011 census. The Diversity Services Section of the City of Richmond does a great job of providing opportunities for residents of Richmond to have accessible recreation programs, services and events, but in order to better understand how we do at providing a variety of recreational opportunities for all ages I recommended that a matrix be created to review each "age group" and identify how many offerings are at each community centre that fit into those age groups, and then break it down further to understand if there are certain areas of recreation (arts, dance, music, sports, fitness, etc.) that we over saturate in some areas in Richmond, and if we are not providing opportunities in others.

What the impact that participating in physical activity has in terms of children’s long-term social and emotional well-being? What is the City of Coquitlam doing to educate the community on how this connects to current children’s programs? - Kristen Berg
The physical, social and emotional benefits to participating in sport are seemingly unlimited as they help promote leadership skills, conflict resolution, working well with others, and also has an element that promotes emotional regulation, a skill that teaches coping mechanisms in difficult situations and how to react to certain stimuli accordingly. The City of Coquitlam does an adequate job of teaching the residents of the community about the benefits, and it could be something to improve upon as based on what I recommended, through website promotion and staff training on how to debrief with each parent at the end of a lesson. There are many positive links between being active and socio-emotional well-being, and children learn by doing: the more they are exposed to the programs, the better chances a child has to learn practice social skills like problem solving, having conversations, making friends, sharing, and being kind. In addition, children can learn about their emotions, and how to properly cope with tough situations such as losing (or winning) a game, or bullying. By learning how to manage these emotions, the child can internalize what they are feeling more, and can talk about what they are experiencing easier with their friends, an adult or their parents. By participating in 60 minutes or more a day, we are assuming a child is either engaging in the fundamental movement skills that enhance physical literacy, or is engaging in free play, both are scenarios where children are likely to form relationships with peers. Again, by looking for opportunities to create awareness of the social skills and emotional behaviors that are part of what physical activity is, and it comes full circle to educating parents on the importance of these programs in a young child’s life, in terms of their social, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Why do seniors participate in recreation at the Century House? How can Century House staff encourage greater participation among senior’s ages 50 to 65? - Keltie Post
The population of seniors is increasing in many Canadian communities (Chartier, 2016; “Framework for Recreation in Canada,” 2015; “Canada’s Population Estimates,” 2015). Research indicates this is mostly due to the aging baby-boomer generation (1946-1964) (“Demographic Characteristics,” 2005, “Population Census,” 2006, “Canada Population Estimates, 2015). While it is unknown what the impacts and consequences of an aging population will be both wisdom and research indicate that participation in recreation is an important part in maintaining good health. (Baker & Palmer, 2006, Dattilo et al, 2015; Hickerson et al, 2008; Hutchinson & Gallant, 2016; Keller, 2016). Century House staff recognized this challenge and trend in the recreation system and wanted to discover how they could attract and retain younger seniors in order to help them age well. Primary and secondary research was conducted to answer this question. Research findings included, the need to address and eliminate the stigma of ageism, enhance social marketing strategies, augment the exterior, enhance the interior appearance, create more opportunities for intergenerational programming and offer additional evening activity and program times. Various best practices and exemplary programs within and outside and recreation were suggested as recommendations, including the Mental Health Commission of Canada best practices for reducing the stigma, the Ice Bucket Challenge social marketing initiatives, the Summit Recreation Centre in Ohio interior and exterior design model and Volunteer Grandparents in Vancouver, BC for creating more opportunities for intergenerational programming. These best practice and exemplary program recommendations could be used at Century House and other similar community recreation centres in order to help move toward making the centre and community a better place.

What are the significant impacts that are associated with having an aquatic facility in smaller communities, and will the District of Kent benefit more from an indoor or outdoor facility? - Skylar Gormley
Aquatic facilities can have some major impacts in a community. These impacts can include the teaching of water safety, opportunities for health and exercise opportunities, socialization, and building of community spirit. These impacts work for both urban, and rural, but the major difference for rural communities is they tend to have less amenities then urban communities, so these pools can really be a source of pride of the community. For the case of the District of Kent, the community is surrounded by water, and provides many opportunities for varying forms of water-based recreation. With B.C. having the second most water-based fatalities in Canada (Lifesaving Society Canada, 2016), it is important for the District of Kent to continue the promotion of water safety. But what type of pool would benefit the community the most? Well, both have their pros and cons to the community, and in the end, both would still be able to provide the opportunities to the community that they need.

An outdoor pool has proven to be an interesting attraction to the community, and is able to become a real hallmark of the community and a sense of pride. They can be the catalyst to summer holidays, something kids can look forward to it's opening. However, they have shown to be more costly per swimmer (Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, 2011), and can be difficult operationally to run (Allen & Nguyen, 2011). Also, only being opened for four months can be frustrating to a community, that seems to want to participate in aquatics year round. In comparison, an indoor pool would be able to provide this year round swimming. It is able to take those impacts that an aquatic centre provides, and extend them over the year. It can become more inclusive for people, being able to participate when they want to. It also has the opportunity to provide more jobs to the community, and increase aquatic exposure. However, it also has a yearly operational cost that would be more expensive than an outdoor, and a higher initial capital cost. The other worry is that the participation levels of the four months would only stretch over to a year, not increasing that annual participation, making it operationally difficult to run. These factors all needed to be considered, but in the end, I believe the District of Kent would benefit more from an indoor pool, rather than building a new outdoor pool.

How can building social capital positively affect the community of Clayton? What opportunities exist in building social capital in this community and what role can Surrey Parks, Recreation and Culture play? - Ben Norris
Building social capital in Clayton has the ability to reshape the community and enrich the lives for community members through higher levels of trust, happiness and security. Social networks are very important to the well-being of a person. Surrey has many opportunities to facilitate social capital within Clayton. Specifically with families and young children, the largest demographic of the community. With many community members expressing disappointment in the places to socialize, this is one of many good reasons that Surrey should take this very seriously. The city can play the role of leader when it comes to bridging recreation and the community, with programs and events aimed at creating and strengthening the social connections of people living tin the community. The literature is clear that social capital has many benefits, and recreation is a wonderful way to bridge people together and strengthen community solidarity. Recommendations include more family friendly activities, building a strong community identity through events and creating spaces for community residents to gather, share, and socialize.

How Can Richmond Aquatics alternatively engage the parent and tot demographic using Richmond Aquatic Facilities? - Laura MacKay
It was found that learning to swim was filled with important skills that helped not only a child physical, but also cognitive, social and mental development. It was also found that when parents and children participate in leisure activities together that it is not only benefit for the health of both parent and child but that it also creates bonds and increases learning in the child. One piece of the puzzle that came out of the research was parents are sometimes unsure of how to participate in public swimming with their children. They feel nervous about being responsible for them in the water. Creating opportunities for parent and child to participate together in the water in a way that made them feel safe was the answer to alternatively engage the parent and tot demographic. Offering classes like Mommy and Me Aquafit or Parent and Tot Playtime which are led by instructors or lifeguards should increase participation in this demographic.
Another interesting finding that came from the research is something called Place making. Place making is a concept that originality applied to cities, but is now applied to all community space. The most notable example is the block of Robson Street between Howe and Hornby, its' had Place making applied to it and now instead of just being a road in front of the Art Gallery its full of seating and vendor selling their wares. Place making can be applied to Richmond Aquatics by taking under used areas of the facility and making them more inviting to the parents and tot demographic. An example of this might be to offer a time during the day when at Watermania that the waves are turned off, so the pool is less intimidating for the parents.