Transcript: Are Extracurriculars Really Back? | Nov 18, 2021

Nam Kiwanuka wears a navy blue jacket over a black shirt. She wears her curly brown hair loose. Behind her right shoulder, a lower case red ‘a.’ appears beside the text “The agenda with Steve Paikin.” Text beneath Nam reads “ “Nam Kiwanuka. @namshine @theagenda” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back?”

Nam says, IN EARLY AUGUST,
ONTARIO ANNOUNCED THAT SPORTS
AND CLUBS FOR STUDENTS COULD
RESUME, WITH COVID-NINETEEN
PRECAUTIONS IN PLACE. BUT SINCE
KIDS HAVE RETURNED TO THEIR
CLASSROOMS, IT'S BEEN A VERY
MIXED PICTURE.

TO HELP US KNOW MORE:
IN WINNIPEG, MANITOBA:
DEAN KRIELLAARS, ASSOCIATE
PROFESSOR IN THE UNIVERSITY OF
MANITOBA'S DEPARTMENT OF
PHYSICAL THERAPY AT THE COLLEGE
OF REHABILITATION SCIENCES;

Dean wears a black shirt. He wears his white hair parted on the right. Michelle wears a blue shirt. She wears her blonde hair loose. Text beneath them reads, “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back?” Both Dean and Michelle smile as they are introduced.

Nam says, IN LONDON, ONTARIO,
MY HOMETOWN: MICHELLE LANGE,
ATHLETIC COORDINATOR FOR THAMES
VALLEY REGIONAL ATHLETICS;

AND IN RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO:
GEORGE KOURTIS, HEALTH &
PHYSICAL ED/ATHLETICS/WELLNESS,
PROGRAM CO-ORDINATOR FOR THE
TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD.

George wears a blue shirt as he stands in front of a “TDSB” banner on a wall. Text beneath him reads, “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back?”

Nam says, HI TO ALL OF YOU.

IF ANYONE HAS AN OPPORTUNITY,
LOOK UP GEORGE KOURTIS ON
BREAKFAST TELEVISION BECAUSE
THAT VIDEO WILL HAVE YOU SMILING
FROM EAR TO EAR.

THANK YOU FOR BEING ON THE
PROGRAM.

BEFORE WE START OUR DISCUSSION,
I JUST WANTED TO EXPLAIN WHAT'S
BEEN HAPPENING IN THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO WHEN IT COMES TO
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES.

SINCE SEPTEMBER, SCHOOLS HAVE
RETURNED TO FULL-TIME IN-PERSON
INSTRUCTION, AND AS FAR AS THE
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT WAS
CONCERNED, THAT MEANT, WITH SOME
MODIFICATIONS, EXTRACURRICULAR
ACTIVITIES AS WELL.

A graphic appears, showing cartoon people lifting weights, throwing balls, running and playing tennis. Text beside the graphic reads “Extracurricular Activities in Ontario. High and Low Contact, Outdoor: no mask, Indoor: mask, when safe for the activity. Clubs, Outside with physical distancing, inside with masking and distance.”

Nam says, BOTH HIGH AND LOW
CONTACT ACTIVITIES ARE PERMITTED
OUTDOORS WITHOUT MASKING.

INDOOR HIGH AND LOW CONTACT
SPORTS ARE ALSO PERMITTED, BUT
STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO WEAR
MASKS WHEN THEY CAN BE WORN
SAFELY BASED ON THE ACTIVITY.

CLUBS ARE ALSO PERMITTED OUTSIDE
WITH PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND
INSIDE WITH MASKING AND DISTANCING.

GEORGE, I WANTED TO START WITH
YOU. DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF HOW
MANY SCHOOLS IN THE TDSB ARE
OFFERING EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?

Text beneath George reads “George Kourtis. Toronto District School Board.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

George Kourtis says, SO IN THE
FALL SEASON, IF WE COMPARE IT
TO PREVIOUS FALL YEARS, IT WAS
A VERY LOW AMOUNT, IT EQUALED TO
ABOUT TEN PERCENT THAT OFFERED
INNER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES.

BUT MOST SCHOOLS FOCUSED ON
STARTING OFF WITH WHOLE SCHOOL
APPROACHES AND INTRAMURALS.

SO LET'S TAKE BABY STEPS BEFORE
WE HEAD INTO FULL-OUT COMPETITIONS
FOR SCHOOL VERSUS SCHOOL. SO MOST OF
OUR SCHOOLS STARTED WITH JUST FOCUSING
ON ALL THE STUDENTS IN THEIR SCHOOL
THROUGH INTRAMURALS.

AND AS WE APPROACH THE WINTER
SEASON, THOSE NUMBERS I'M SURE
MAY INCREASE.

Nam says, IT MUST FEEL GOOD TO
KIND OF HAVE SOME OF THAT BACK,
DOESN'T IT?

Text beneath George reads “George Kourtis. Toronto District School Board.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

George says, WELL, SMILES ON KIDS'
FACES, ABSOLUTELY.

AND KIDS BEING PHYSICALLY
ACTIVE, YOU KNOW, STARTING OFF
FROM RECESS TO CONTINUING ON
THROUGH -- BEFORE SCHOOL,
DURING, AND AFTER-SCHOOL
ACTIVITIES, ABSOLUTELY.

Nam says, MICHELLE, YOU'RE IN
THE THAMES VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD
IN LONDON, ONTARIO.

WHAT'S THE SITUATION LIKE THERE?

Text beneath Michelle reads, “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

Michelle Lange says, YEAH, SO I JUST
WANT TO ECHO WHAT GEORGE
HAS SAID IN REGARDS TO OUR
ELEMENTARY ATHLETICS.

WE STARTED SLOW, SIMILAR TO WHAT
THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL
BOARD DID WHERE WE OFFERED MORE
INTRAMURALS AND WE STARTED TO
INCREASE DOING OUTSIDE OF THAT,
SO WE JUST STARTED WITH
VOLLEYBALL AND WE'RE JUST
FINISHING CROSS-COUNTRY.

WITH OUR SECONDARY PROGRAMMING,
THAMES VALLEY AS WELL AS THE
LONDON DISTRICT CATHOLIC SCHOOL
BOARD, WE WERE THE FIRST TWO
SCHOOL BOARDS TO MANDATE A
DOUBLE VACCINATION POLICY IN THE
PROVINCE, SO WE WERE ABLE TO
MOVE FORWARD ON SEPTEMBER
SEVENTEENTH WITH A FULL COMPLEMENT
OF ALL OF OUR FALL SPORTS, AND THAT
INCLUDED GOLF, FIELD HOCKEY,
VOLLEYBALL, BASKETBALL, FOOTBALL,
AND CROSS-COUNTRY.

Text beneath Michelle reads, “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

She says, AGAIN, JUST TO REITERATE WHAT
GEORGE SAID. WHEN I SEE THE SMILES
AND I HEAR THE WHISTLES AND THE
SQUEAKING OF THE SHOES ON THE GYM
FLOOR, THERE REALLY IS NOTHING BETTER
THAN WATCHING THOSE KIDS ENGAGE
WITH THEIR PEERS AND THEIR COACHES.

Nam says, I REMEMBER THAT
SQUEAKING BECAUSE I USED TO PLAY
BASKETBALL. BUT, YOU KNOW, DEAN,
WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC.

PRINCIPALS ARE WORKING HARD TO
KEEP THEIR STAFF AND STUDENTS
SAFE. WHY SHOULD WE CARE IF KIDS
CAN PLAY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?

Text beneath Dean reads “Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

Dean says, MOVEMENT IS THE
FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN TO
INTERACT SOCIALLY, TO DEVELOP
PSYCHOLOGICALLY, AND TO DEVELOP
PHYSICALLY. AND SO SUPPRESSION
OF MOVEMENT IS SOMETHING WE WANT
TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS, AND INDEED IT'S
EVEN AGAINST THE CONVENTION OF THE
RIGHTS OF THE CHILD, WHICH WE'RE
SIGNATORIES TO IN CANADA, THAT
WE WANT TO DEVELOP THE WHOLE
PERSON, NOT JUST THE MIND, THE
MIND AND BODY ARE PART OF THAT.

SO HAVING AN APPROPRIATE
PHYSICAL EDUCATION SYSTEM,
HAVING AN APPROPRIATE RECESS
SYSTEM, HAVING AN APPROPRIATE
INTRAMURAL SPORTS AND PERFORMING
ARTS SYSTEM IS NOT A SECOND, IT
SHOULD NEVER BE SECOND TO LITERACY
AND NUMERACY, IT SHOULD BE ON EQUAL
FOOTING, WHICH I'M HEARING FROM BOTH
MICHELLE AND GEORGE.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE MOVEMENT
PART IS THAT THERE ARE MORE
MOVING PIECES, IF YOU LIKE, AND
THE PLANNING OF THAT IS MUCH
MORE DIFFICULT THAN IN-CLASS
SESSIONS AND THAT'S WHY YOU SEE
THIS BIG DIVERSITY ACROSS SCHOOL
BOARDS AND DIVISIONS, BETWEEN
THEIR IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES.

Nam says, YOU KNOW, JUST EVEN
THE WORD ITSELF, "EXTRACURRICULAR,"
IT KIND OF IMPLIES THAT THIS IS SOMETHING
EXTRA, MAYBE LIKE A DESSERT AT THE END
OF A MEAL. NOT NECESSARY. DO YOU THINK
THAT WE NEED TO RECONSIDER THAT?

Text beneath Dean reads “Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

Dean says, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.
IT IS VITAL THAT MOVEMENT IS NOT
PUT ON A SECOND STAGE SETTING.
IT MUST BE EQUAL FOOTING TO
NUMERACY AND LITERACY BECAUSE IF
YOU'RE NOT DEVELOPING THE
MOVEMENT CAPACITIES OF CHILDREN,
THEY WON'T ENGAGE IN
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, THEY
WON'T ENGAGE IN VOCATION OR
ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING.

AND IF YOU TURN A CHILD'S BELIEF
OFF FROM THE VALUE OF MOVEMENT
BY ADULT IMPLEMENTATION, YOU'RE
BASICALLY HARMING THE CHILD,
WHICH WILL SHOW UP YEARS LATER
IN NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES, IN
DEPRESSION, ET CETERA.

SO THIS IS NOT A MINOR ISSUE.
IT IS A CRITICAL FACTOR IN THE
DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN.

Nam says, I WANTED TO JUST TOUCH
ON A WORD THAT YOU USED RIGHT
THERE, "HARMING."

I DON'T KNOW IF A LOT OF PEOPLE
ACTUALLY THOUGHT THAT THIS IS
HARMING CHILDREN. IN WHAT WAYS
IS IT HARMING CHILDREN?

Text beneath Dean reads “Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

Dean says, CHILDREN TELL US, MY
RESEARCH STUDIES THIS EXACTLY,
AND CHILDREN TELL US THAT MOVEMENT
IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN
THEIR LIFE RELATED IN SCHOOL, AT
HOME, AND WITH FRIENDS.

AND AS A RESULT OF THAT,
MOVEMENT BECOMES A VEHICLE OF
DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHILD, AND IF
YOU SUPPRESS MOVEMENT, YOU
DECREASE SELF-ESTEEM, YOU
DECREASE CONFIDENCE, YOU
DECREASE COMPETENCE, YOU
DECREASE ENJOYMENT.

AND THESE ARE CRITICAL FACTORS
IN BEING LIFE-LONG PHYSICALLY
ACTIVE PEOPLE.

Nam says, -- WHAT WAS HAPPENING
IN THEIR DISTRICT. YOU'RE IN MANITOBA.
HOW ARE EXTRACURRICULARS BEING
HANDLED THERE?

Text beneath Dean reads “Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

Dean says, WE'RE BASICALLY FULLY
OPERATIONAL AND IN OUR SYSTEM
HERE THERE'S OF COURSE
CONSTRAINTS TO SOME ACTIVITIES,

BUT WE HAD A FULL OUTDOOR-INDOOR
COMPLEMENT WHICH I'M SURE IS
HAPPENING IN SOME SCHOOLS IN
ONTARIO AS WELL, BUT MOST
PROGRAMS, BECAUSE WE HAVE STAFF
IN MANITOBA LIKE GEORGE, THOSE
PEOPLE CAN THEN DO THE HOMEWORK
TO DO THE NECESSARY THINKING ON
HOW TO HAVE ADEQUATE SAFETY FOR
THEIR CHILDREN, AND THAT THEN
PERMITS THE PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
TO OCCUR.

MOST PRINCIPALS, MAYBE
SUPERINTENDENTS, OFTEN CREATE A
NOTION OF SURPLUS SAFETY, WHICH
SURPLUS SAFETY IS A TERRIBLE
NOTION, AND AGAIN, I CAN SEE
GEORGE AND MICHELLE SHAKING
THEIR HEAD.

SURPLUS SAFETY HARMS CHILDREN
BECAUSE IT MAY STOP SOME
IMMEDIATE SMALL THINGS FROM
HAPPENING, BUT IT PREVENTS ALL
OF THE BENEFITS DOWNSTREAM.

SO ADEQUATE SAFETY IN THIS MIND
SET IS WHAT WE NEED, NOT SURPLUS
SAFETY. NOT SAFE AS POSSIBLE.
SAFE AS NECESSARY.

Nam says, GEORGE, I SAW YOU
NODDING YOUR HEAD THERE.

YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SOME
SCHOOLS -- I KNOW FROM MY KIDS'
SCHOOLS, THEY DON'T HAVE ANY
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES.

FIRST OF ALL, I WANTED TO KNOW
WHY YOU WERE NODDING AND, YOU
KNOW, WHY AREN'T THESE
ACTIVITIES NOT BEING PRIORITIZED
BY THE TDSB?

Text beneath George reads “George Kourtis. Toronto District School Board.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

George says, SURE. SO THE NODDING
WAS DUE TO FRUSTRATION, BUT IT'S
ALSO A CHALLENGE.

WE HAVE TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES
FOR OUR STUDENTS AND FOR
CHILDREN, AS DR. KRIELLAARS HAS
INDICATED, THE RESEARCH THERE,
IT GOES ON AND ON.

BUT WE HAVE TO DO THAT IN A SAFE
AND CARING MANNER. AND I BELIEVE
WE HAVE DONE. AND WE HAVE GIVEN
OPPORTUNITIES. WHAT WE NEED TO
ALSO FOCUS ON IS LETTING PARENTS
AND GUARDIANS, LETTING ADMINISTRATORS,
LETTING SENIOR STAFF KNOW THAT, HEY, WE
HAVE ABIDED BY THE MINISTRY OF
HEALTH, WE HAVE ABIDED BY TORONTO
PUBLIC HEALTH, WE HAVE ABIDED BY THE
SPORTING ORGANIZATIONS.

HERE'S HOW WE'RE MOVING FORWARD.
AND HOW WE'RE MOVING FORWARD
ISN'T NECESSARILY HOW IT WAS.
THERE ARE SOME GREAT TAKE-AWAYS
THAT WE CAN TAKE FROM THE PAST
NINETEEN MONTHS, AND WE'VE LEARNED
FROM THAT.

BUT WE'VE GOT TO LET PARENTS AND
GUARDIANS KNOW THAT IN ORDER FOR
THEIR CHILDREN TO REACH THEIR
ACADEMIC POTENTIAL, THEY NEED TO
BE ACTIVE.

Text beneath George reads “George Kourtis. Toronto District School Board.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

He says, EVERY PARENT WANTS THEIR CHILD
TO BE SAFE, TO BE HEALTHY.

BUT IN ORDER TO DO SO, THEY NEED
TO HAVE THAT PHYSICAL LITERACY.
THEY NEED TO HAVE THAT PHYSICAL –
THOSE PHYSICAL OPPORTUNITIES TO BE
ACTIVE BOTH DURING THE DAY AT SCHOOL
AND AFTERWARDS.

Nam says, YOU USED THE WORD
"FRUSTRATION," BECAUSE WHEN THE
SCHOOL YEAR STARTED, THE
PROVINCE SAID THAT
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES COULD
RETURN, BUT THEN TORONTO PUBLIC
HEALTH SAID: NOT SO FAST.

AND THEN AROUND I THINK
SEPTEMBER TWENTIETH, THEY
SAID THAT IT WAS FINE.

IS THAT THE FRUSTRATION THAT
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?

Text beneath George reads “George Kourtis. Toronto District School Board.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

George says, ABSOLUTELY.
AND THEN THIS FRUSTRATION STEMS
FROM THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
WILL PUT OUT QUITE A BIT OF
INFORMATION BUT WILL SAY, WELL,
YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO -- FINAL
DECISIONS RESIDE WITH YOUR LOCAL
PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES.

AND WORKING WITH OUR LOCAL
PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES, LIKE
TPH, INCREDIBLE STAFF.

BUT WE ALSO HAVE SIX HUNDRED
SCHOOLS. AND TO IMPLEMENT THINGS,
WE CAN'T HAVE DECISIONS MADE THE
DAY BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS.

WE CAN'T HAVE DECISIONS MADE ON
SEPTEMBER TWENTIETH AND EXPECT
A TURN-AROUND OF SEPTEMBER
TWENTY-FIRST. SO BEING ALIGNED HAS
BEEN ONE OF THE DIFFICULTIES.

HAVING SCHOOLS LIKE THE
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS IN THE CITY
OF TORONTO WHO DO NOT HAVE TO
ABIDE BY THE LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH
AND HAVE TO ABIDE BY THE
PROVINCIAL, THEN IT HAS
PARENTS/GUARDIANS SAYING, "HOW
COME THIS IS ALLOWED TO OFFER
THINGS BUT THE TORONTO DISTRICT
SCHOOL BOARD IS NOT?"

AND EXPLAINING THAT TO THE
PARENTS AND GUARDIANS OF OUR
TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND
STUDENTS IS A LITTLE BIT OF A
TOUGH TASK.

Nam says, WOULD YOU SAY THEN
THAT TORONTO PUBLIC HEALTH HAS
SURPLUS SAFETY?

Text beneath George reads “George Kourtis. Toronto District School Board.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

George says, I THINK THEY ARE THE
SPECIALISTS IN THEIR FIELD.
WE'RE THE SPECIALISTS IN EDUCATION.
AND I THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE
FURTHER DISCUSSIONS TOGETHER.

Nam says, MICHELLE, I SAW YOU
NODDING AS WELL?

Text beneath Michelle reads “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

Michelle says, YEAH. I ECHO BOTH.
AND I THINK ANOTHER PART OF THE
PUZZLE THAT SOMETIMES GETS
MISSED IS THAT WE HAVE UNIONS AS
WELL. SO YOU HAVE UNIONS, TEACHERS'
UNIONS, THAT COME INTO PLAY.
SO WE'VE GOT BOARDS OF
EDUCATION, WE'VE GOT THE
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, WE'VE GOT
OUR PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS, AND
THEN WE HAVE OUR UNIONS.

AND AT TIMES, AND STILL
HAPPENING, THOSE FOUR PEOPLE ARE
NOT SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER.

SO THIS LEADS TO, WHERE GEORGE
AND I SIT, WE ARE THE
COMMUNICATORS TO OUR
COMMUNITIES, TO OUR ATHLETIC
DIRECTORS, TO OUR COACHES.

Text beneath Michelle reads “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

She says, AND SO WE ARE TAKING ALL OF
THIS INFORMATION IN, ENSURING THAT
WE HAVE SAFE ENVIRONMENTS FOR NOT
ONLY OUR STUDENTS BUT OUR COACHES
AND OUR OFFICIALS AS WELL.

SO WE ARE TRYING TO MITIGATE ALL
OF THOSE RISKS WHILE TAKING INTO
ACCOUNT ALL OF THE DIFFERENT
PEOPLE THAT COME TO THE TABLE
THAT DON'T SEEM TO BE TALKING TO
ONE ANOTHER AND AREN'T ALIGNED
WITH ONE ANOTHER.

SO I FELT LIKE IT HAS BEEN A
BALANCING ACT FROM THE
BEGINNING, AND I'M VERY, VERY
THANKFUL FOR THE OTHER ONTARIO
ATHLETIC COORDINATORS THAT WE
ARE ON, YOU KNOW, A GROUP
TOGETHER WHERE WE ARE TRYING TO
NAVIGATE AND STAY AHEAD OF THE
CURVE TO BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE
THE MOST ACCURATE INFORMATION
THAT WE HAVE AT THIS TIME.

Nam says, YOU MENTIONED BEFORE
THAT IN ORDER FOR KIDS TO
PARTICIPATE IN THESE ACTIVITIES,
BOTH KIDS AND THE COACHES HAVE
TO BE DOUBLE VAXED.

WAS THERE ANY PUSHBACK TO THAT?

Text beneath Michelle reads “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

Michelle says, YEAH, WE DID EXPERIENCE
A LITTLE BIT OF PUSHBACK IN
REGARDS TO THE AMOUNT OF TIME
THAT WE GAVE STUDENT ATHLETES TO
BE ABLE TO GET THEIR DOUBLE
VACCINATION. WE DID GIVE THEM
A PERIOD OF TIME TO BE ABLE TO
AT LEAST HAVE THAT FIRST DOSE
WITH A DOUBLE RAPID ANTIGEN
TEST PRODUCED BIWEEKLY AND
THEN THEY WERE TO HAVE THE
SECOND DOSE BY NOVEMBER FIRST.

ONCE WE IMPLEMENTED THAT AND
AMENDED THAT, THERE SEEMED TO
BE -- THERE WAS BREATHING.
BUT AGAIN I WANT TO COME BACK TO
THE FACT THAT EVERYBODY REALLY
AT THIS POINT IN TIME WAS TRYING
THEIR BEST TO CREATE SPORTING
OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS,
COACHES, AND OFFICIALS THAT WERE
SAFE, AND SO WHEN WE MADE THAT
AMENDMENT, THERE WAS DEFINITELY
A BREATH THERE.

Nam says, GEORGE, DO YOU THINK
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT THE TDSB
SHOULD IMPLEMENT FOR STUDENTS
AND COACHES TO BE DOUBLE VAXED?

Text beneath George reads “George Kourtis. Toronto District School Board.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Where Are the Sports and Clubs?”

George says, THE DISCUSSION IS
CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE AND
IT STARTED AT THE BEGINNING
OF SEPTEMBER. COACHES WERE
SURVEYED. TEACHER COACHES
WANT IT IN PLACE.

WE JUST ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
ALL THE EQUITY ISSUES THAT GO
ALONG WITH PUTTING A POLICY LIKE
THIS IN PLACE TO ENSURE THAT
WE'RE PROVIDING ALL OF OUR
STUDENTS WITH OPPORTUNITIES.

AND IT MAY LOOK DIFFERENT FOR
STUDENTS, DIFFERENT IN SCHOOLS,
BUT IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE ARE
DEFINITELY PURSUING AND
SOMETHING THAT WE'RE TRYING TO
MAKE BOTH PARENTS/GUARDIANS,
STUDENTS, AND TEACHERS FEEL AS
COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE WHILE
PROVIDING THESE -- COMFORTABLE
AND SAFE WHILE PROVIDING
THESE OPPORTUNITIES.

Nam says, DEAN, YOU KNOW, YOU
CAN SEE THAT ALL THE ADULTS IN
THE ROOM ARE TRYING TO DO WHAT'S
BEST FOR EVERYBODY AND FOR KIDS.

YOU KNOW, YOU'VE STUDIED THIS.
BUT HOW HAVE KIDS' ACTIVITY LEVELS
BEEN AFFECTED BY THIS PANDEMIC?

Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba. “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Plummeting Activity Levels.”

Dean says, WE'VE MEASURED THAT
AND WHAT WE SEE IN GENERAL HAS
BEEN A SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT REDUCTION
IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OVERALL IN
THE EARLY STAGES OF THE PANDEMIC.

Nam asks, DOES THAT SCARE YOU?

Text beneath Dean reads, “Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Plummeting Activity Levels.”

Dean says, OH, VERY SCARY BECAUSE NOT
ONLY WAS THERE A REDUCTION IN
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, WHICH IS ALL
THE WELL-DEMONSTRATED BENEFITS
DOWNSTREAM, WE NOTICED THAT THE
PARENTS ALSO NOTICED IN THEIR
CHILDREN A DECREASE IN PHYSICAL
LITERACY, WHICH IS THE
COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE TO
MOVE IN ALL ENVIRONMENTS, WHICH
IS ESSENTIAL AS A CANADIAN TO HAVE.

AND FINALLY WE MEASURED IN
CHILDREN THAT THEIR BELIEFS IN
THE VALUE OF MOVEMENT ERODED IN
SCHOOL, AT HOME, AND WITH FRIENDS.

THAT WASN'T DUE TO WHAT THEY
WERE TRYING TO DO; THAT WAS DUE
TO US AS ADULTS IMPLYING THIS
MOVEMENT SUPPRESSION, WHICH
SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED
BECAUSE THERE ARE WAYS, INTELLIGENT
WAYS, TO GO AROUND THIS AND PROVIDE
THESE OPPORTUNITIES.

ONCE AGAIN, MOVEMENT SHOULD
NEVER BE SECOND TO ANY
ACADEMIC -- IT IS AN ACADEMIC
ISSUE IN AND OF ITSELF.

Nam says, YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN
FIGHTING WITH MY KIDS TO GET OFF
THE TABLETS AND THEY'LL COUNTER,
"WHEN YOU WANTED ME TO BE IN
ONLINE SCHOOL, YOU WERE OKAY FOR
ME TO BE ON THE TABLET, BUT NOW
YOU DON'T WANT ME TO," BECAUSE
I'M TRYING TO GET THEM OUTSIDE.
AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE
PANDEMIC, I THINK EVERYBODY WAS
JUST TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE
WORLD TURNING UPSIDE DOWN.

DO YOU THINK, THOUGH, WE MIGHT
HAVE BEEN SHORT-SIGHTED IN THE
SENSE THAT WHAT WE DID IN THE
SHORT TERM IS GOING TO BE FELT
IN THE LONG TERM AND IN WHAT WAYS?

Text beneath Dean reads, “Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Plummeting Activity Levels.”

Dean says, YEAH, I THINK GEORGE HAD
IT RIGHT, AND MICHELLE STATED, WE
NEED A GROUP OF PEOPLE AROUND
THE TABLE THAT DOESN'T JUST
INVOLVE EDUCATION BUT INVOLVES
HEALTH AND MANY OTHER SECTORS,
AND THAT JUST DIDN'T HAPPEN
BECAUSE WE WERE THINKING ABOUT
THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, NOT THE
HEALTH SYSTEM.

WE, IN EDUCATION, ARE THE HEALTH
SYSTEM. WE PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITIES
FOR MOVEMENT FOR CHILDREN, AND
THAT'S NOT PART OF THE HEALTH
CARE SYSTEM, WHICH IS WHAT THE
MOTIVATION WAS BEHIND COVID.
INTO THE FUTURE, WE NEED TO
REALIZE WE NEED STRONG
INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE THAT ALLOWS
US TO PLAN APPROPRIATELY FOR
THESE CIRCUMSTANCES AND SO
THAT'S A LESSON THAT NEEDS TO BE
LEARNT INTO THE FUTURE.

I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED
WORLDWIDE IN THE FACT THAT WE
WILL -- WE WILL ALLOW OUR
CHILDREN TO DIE SLOWLY AS
OPPOSED TO HAVE SOME SMALL
NEGATIVE EFFECT BEING SQUASHED
WITH SURPLUS SAFETY.

SO I'M VERY, VERY BIG PROPONENT
THAT WE NEED TO VALUE MOVEMENT
IN ALL ITS COMPONENTS IN SCHOOLS,
EQUAL TO EVERYTHING ELSE.

AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE THAT
VALUATION, IT'S NOT JUST DO
SPORTS, GET BETTER GRADES.

IF YOU HAVE A YOUNG TEENAGER IN
THE LAST NINETEEN MONTHS WHO WAS
PHYSICALLY ACTIVE AND THEN ALL
OF A SUDDEN BECOMES NON-PHYSICALLY
ACTIVE, THEIR FUTURE MAY BE LIFE-LONG
INTERRUPTED BECAUSE THEY'RE OUT.

AND THAT GROUP OF KIDS THAT ARE
OUT PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND
PHYSICALLY ARE VERY DIFFERENT TO
BRING BACK INTO THE GAME --

Nam says, SOMETHING THAT YOU
JUST SAID -- I'M SORRY TO STEP
ON YOUR -- SOMETHING THAT YOU
JUST SAID KIND OF TOOK MY BREATH
AWAY, WHEN YOU SAID THAT WE'RE
ALLOWING OUR KIDS TO DIE SLOWLY.

Text beneath Dean reads, “Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Plummeting Activity Levels.”

Dan says, YEAH. I MEAN, THIS IS ALWAYS
AN ISSUE. WORLDWIDE, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
HAS BEEN DIMINISHING FOR FIFTY YEARS
AND WE'VE HAD NOW ANOTHER LARGE
KICK IN THE TEETH RELATING TO A
DROP IN THAT AS WELL.

YOU HAVE TO BALANCE THE RISKS IN
THE SHORT TERM AND THE LONG TERM.
NOT HAVING A CHILD HARMED
IMMINENTLY MUST BE BALANCED
AGAINST NOT MOVING AND THEN
HURTING THAT CHILD SEVERELY IN
THE MEDIUM AND LONG TERMS.

WE DON'T LIKE SEEING ANYBODY
HARMED IN THE IMMEDIATE THINGS.
AND COVID HAS SHOWN US THAT WE
REACT POWERFULLY IF THINGS ARE
PROMISING AND PRESSING.

BUT IF YOU HAVE AN INSIDIOUS
SITUATION LIKE THIS THAT SLOWLY
ERODES HEALTH AND THEN RESULTS
IN SERIOUS LONG-TERM NEGATIVE
OUTCOMES, PEOPLE DON'T REACT
QUICKLY, AND WE SHOULD BE
REACTING AS FAST AS WE DID FOR
COVID DEATHS.

Nam says, MICHELLE?

Text beneath Michelle reads, “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Plummeting Activity Levels.”

Michelle says, YEAH.
I FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY AND,
AGAIN, AS HE IS SPEAKING, I'VE
GOT A LOT OF THOUGHTS AND SOME
OF THOSE THOUGHTS COME BACK TO,
YOU KNOW, OUR STUDENTS THAT ARE
IN UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS, AND
AS WELL AS NEWCOMERS TO OUR
COUNTRY.

AND THE THIRD THING THAT I THINK
ABOUT IS WOMEN AND YOUNG GIRLS.
AND I WANTED TO ASK DAVE, WHAT
WERE THE NUMBERS?

YOU SAID SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT.
DO YOU HAVE A BREAKDOWN OF THOSE
NUMBERS WITH GIRLS TO BOYS? I WOULD
BE INTERESTED TO KNOW THAT.

Nam says, WE'LL DO THAT
AFTERWARDS BUT I'M GLAD YOU
BROUGHT UP --

Michelle says, OH, SHOOT!

Nam says, BUT I'M GLAD YOU
BROUGHT UP GIRLS BECAUSE I DID
WANT TO SHIFT GEARS A LITTLE BIT
BECAUSE LATER ON IN THE PROGRAM,
I'M GOING TO BE SPEAKING TO
PERRY KING TO TALK ABOUT HIS
BOOK ABOUT RECREATIONAL SPORTS,
AND IN IT HE TALKS ABOUT A STUDY
THAT SHOWS THAT ONE IN THREE
GIRLS DROP OUT OF SPORTS DURING
ADOLESCENCE, WHILE ONE IN TEN
BOYS DROP OUT DURING THAT TIME.
AND MICHELLE, YOU KNOW, THESE
ARE PRE-PANDEMIC NUMBERS.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HAPPENS, MICHELLE?

Text beneath Michelle reads, “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Plummeting Activity Levels.”

Michelle says, WELL, THERE ARE MANY
BARRIERS TO YOUNG GIRLS IN SPORT,
AND THE BIGGEST AND THE FIRST ONE
IS -- AND I BELIEVE THIS HAS TO DO
WITH THE LACK OF ROLE MODELS AND
FEMALE ROLE MODELS THAT THEY
HAVE THAT ARE LEADERS AND
COACHES AND VOLUNTEERS IN SPORT,
AND SO WHEN THEY DON'T SEE
THEMSELVES, THERE ARE MORE MALE
COACHES AND MORE MALE LEADERS ON
THE COACHING SIDE.

SO IT'S DIFFICULT TO GET
INVOLVED IN SOMETHING WHEN YOU
DON'T SEE YOURSELF.

Text beneath Michelle reads, “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Plummeting Activity Levels.”

She says, I WILL ADD AN ADDITIONAL
LAYER TO THAT TO SAY THAT THERE
ARE NOT VERY MANY FEMALE LEADERS
IN SPORT OF A DIVERSE NATURE.

SO THAT MAKES AN ADDITIONAL
LAYER OR ADDITIONAL BARRIER TO
GIRLS WANTING TO GET INVOLVED
IN SPORT.

THE SECOND BIG BARRIER THAT I
SEE IS TIME IN THAT A LOT OF
GIRLS, AS THEY ARE GROWING UP,
THEY ARE TAUGHT FROM A VERY
YOUNG AGE, WHETHER OR NOT IN
THE HOME -- AND THIS IS STILL
HAPPENING, WHETHER IN THE HOME
OR IN THE CLASSROOM, THAT
EDUCATION IS PARAMOUNT.

YOU MUST DO THESE THINGS IN
ORDER TO BE ABLE TO GO TO
COLLEGE, IN ORDER TO GET A GOOD
JOB, SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE A FAMILY.

AND SO TO PLAY SPORT OR BE
ACTIVE REALLY, REALLY CUTS INTO
THAT TIME.

Text beneath Michelle reads, “Michelle Lange. Thames Valley Regional Athletics.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Plummeting Activity Levels.”

She says, SO THEY'RE UNABLE TO BE
ABLE TO GET INVOLVED INTO ACTIVE
PARTICIPATION, WHETHER THAT BE
IN A HOUSE LEAGUE LEVEL, WHETHER
THAT IS A HIGHER COMPETITIVE
LEVEL BECAUSE THERE IS NOT AS
MUCH EMPHASIS PLACED ON THAT
AND THERE IS PRESSURE THERE.

AND THEN THE LAST THING IS THAT
THERE ARE JUST LESS OPPORTUNITIES
FOR GIRLS IN SPORT ACROSS OUR COUNTRY,
AND YOU TAKE THOSE THREE BARRIERS,
THOSE WOULD BE IN MY OPINION THE
TOP THREE BARRIERS OF WHY WE SEE
LESS GIRLS INVOLVED AND YOUNG
WOMEN INVOLVED IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.

Nam says, YOU KNOW, WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT -- WE HAVE ABOUT TWO MINUTES
LEFT, AND WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT
THE LOWER ACTIVITY LEVELS DURING
THIS PANDEMIC.

I WANTED TO GET AN IDEA FROM ALL
OF YOU ON, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE
SHOULD DO ABOUT IT MOVING FORWARD.

GEORGE, I'LL START WITH YOU.

Text beneath George reads “George Kourtis. Toronto District School Board.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Looking to the Future.”

George says, SURE. AND I'LL BUILD OFF
DR. KRIELLAARS' STATEMENT THAT
THESE ARE ALARMING LEVELS.
IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION CLASS,
THE FEEDBACK THAT I'M RECEIVING
IS, KIDS AREN'T EVEN LASTING
THE WARMUP.

AND WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
SECONDARY SCHOOLS GOING FROM
SEVENTY-FIVE MINUTE PERIODS TO
TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

SO HOW ARE WE RESHAPING WHAT
DOES PHYSICAL LITERACY LOOK LIKE
AND HEALTH AND PHYSICAL
EDUCATION, STARTING OFF ONCE WE
GET STUDENTS IN KINDERGARTEN.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
WHAT ARE WE TEACHING?

I KNOW DR. KRIELLAARS CAN SPEAK
BETTER TO THIS, WHAT IS THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL
ACTIVITY AND PHYSICAL LITERACY?
WHO IS TEACHING THE PHYSICAL
LITERACY? DO WE HAVE TRAINED
PERSONNEL WHO ARE TEACHING YOUNG
STUDENTS AT THE AGE OF FOUR WHAT IS
A LUNGE, WHAT A SQUAT, WHAT A PUSH,
WHAT A PULL IS, IN ORDER FOR THEM TO
BE SUCCESSFUL, TO BE CONFIDENT, TO
GET ON THE CLIMBERS WHEN THEY'RE
OUTSIDE IN RECESS, TO BE ABLE
THEN TO PLAY AT THE LEVEL THAT
THEY WANT TO PLAY, TO FEEL LIKE
THEY'RE PART OF A TEAM, TO FEEL
LIKE, HEY, THIS IS FUN?

NO ONE ENJOYS IT IF THEY'RE
UNSUCCESSFUL. SO HOW DO WE
MAKE KIDS MORE SUCCESSFUL?

AND THAT'S REFRAMING WHAT WE
USED TO DO IN ROLLING OUT A BALL
OR LETTING KIDS PLAY, TO PUTTING
OUR EFFORTS INTO MAKING THEM
MORE SUCCESSFUL IN THEIR MOVEMENTS.

Nam says, DEAN, YOU'VE GOT
FORTY-FIVE SECONDS.

Text beneath Dean reads, “Dean Kriellaars. University of Manitoba.” “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Looking to the Future.”

Dean says, OH, NO. QUICKLY.

OVERALL, EVERY, CHILD WHETHER
THEY'RE MALE OR FEMALE SEX
ASSIGNED AT BIRTH, WILL NEED THE
DEVELOPMENT OF PHYSICAL
LITERACY, WHICH IS THE COMPETENCE,
CONFIDENCE, MOTIVATION TO CONTINUE
TO PARTICIPATE. IT'S BROKEN BECAUSE
OF COVID BUT IT'S BEEN BREAKING FOR
A LONG TIME BECAUSE OF THE DEVALUATION
OF MOVEMENT IN CULTURE.

WE NEED ALL SECTORS TO GET
TOGETHER TO CREATE PHYSICAL
LITERACY ENRICHED COMMUNITIES
WHERE WE CAN ACTUALLY WORK
INTERSECTORALLY TO PROVIDE THESE
POSITIVE MOVEMENT EXPERIENCES
FOR ALL CHILDREN.

WITHOUT THOSE, YOU DON'T HAVE A
WHOLE PERSON BEING DEVELOPED, PERIOD.

Text beneath Dean, Michelle and George reads, “a. Are Extracurriculars Really Back? Produced by: Meredith Martin. @MeredithMartin”

Nam says, WOW, WHAT A WAY TO END
THIS CONVERSATION.

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU.
YOU'VE GIVEN US SO MUCH TO THINK
ABOUT. WE REALLY DO APPRECIATE
YOUR INSIGHTS TONIGHT.

THANK YOU.

Dean says, MY PLEASURE.

Michelle and George say, THANK YOU.


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