Ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion in physical activity and sport is an active process that municipal recreation and parks professionals are discussing, acting upon, and revisiting often.

Societal systems in place must be dismantled that discriminate against individuals and groups as we seek to ensure equitable opportunities and health outcomes for everybody. Research demonstrates the racial disparities and supports the continuous work to be done to achieve this equity and inclusion.

Experiences of racism have negative impacts on the health outcomes of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) communities and newcomers to Canada, while racial discrimination can negatively impact employment opportunities, housing and education, which can lead to worse health outcomes.

In Canada, the prevalence of diabetes among Black adults is more than two times the rate among white adults. Many Indigenous peoples are living with more than one serious chronic illness. And, racial discrimination can lead to higher levels of depression among newcomers.

As part of BCRPA’s commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion in physical activity and sport in our province, we’re highlighting actionable resources available through the EverybodyMoves Resource Hub (the Hub).

The Hub is a project of the Physical Activity for Health Collaborative, of which BCRPA is a founding member. This Collaborative is comprised of leaders in physical activity from academia, recreation, sport, and health, who are committed to increasing physical activity for all British Columbians.

The Hub has resources specifically focused on BIPOC individuals and newcomers. Look through the resources below or check out the website for even more! If you see a resource missing, submit it here.

Aboriginal Cultural Relations Module
BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) offers this free course to recreation leaders on how to incorporate awareness and cultural respect into their programming to ensure Indigenous people experience a sport and recreation environment that is inclusive and safe. In order to take this course, sign up for a free account with BCRPA here.
Let’s Talk: Racism and Health Equity Racism is a root cause of health and social inequities experienced by Indigenous and Racialized People in Canada. This resource by the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health provides discussion questions for individual and organizational reflection and tips for anti-racist approaches and practices.
Equity and Inclusion Lens Snapshot: Racialized People This Snapshot created by the City for All Women Initiative was used to inform the work developed and implemented in their Equity and Inclusion Lens Handbook. This snapshot provides an overview of racialized peoples’ experiences, contributions to society, barriers and inequities, and goals for a racism-free community. It is one of 11 Diversity Snapshots.
FitNation Home Workout Series
The I·SPARC FitNation Home Workout Series consists of 8 home workouts designed for Indigenous participants of all ages and abilities. Throw on your workout gear, grab a water bottle, find a safe, open space, and follow along to our YouTube videos! Choose from chair workouts (great for elders!), introductory workouts for beginners or if you are ready for the challenge, intermediate and advanced workouts! Go at your own pace and do the best you can!

For organizations that are looking for ways to make physical activity more accessible and inclusive, the EverybodyMoves Resource Hub has a strong foundation of toolkits, reports, and guidelines focused on BIPOC and newcomers.

What can we all do?

• Ensuring Indigenous peoples, people who are racialized, and newcomers feel safe within the organization and are represented in communications materials through various forms of media (written, photography, video, audio);
• Creating and maintaining strong partnerships with organizations focused on BIPOC and newcomer equity;
• Training staff members in cultural awareness and sensitivity to the lived experiences of newcomers, Indigenous and racialized people;
• Increasing diversity of staff in leadership and decision-making roles so that they are representative of the diversity in the community.

Consider this Scenario:

Celeste Sánchez has been running the fitness programs at a local community centre for years but has difficulty attracting Indigenous youths to the classes. Her goal is to make the space as welcoming and inclusive as possible, but she notices that the Indigenous kids in her neighbourhood hardly enter the building, let alone the fitness classes. Celeste is ready to modify the space and classes to make it more welcoming but needs more information on how to best do this.

After attending BC Recreation and Parks Association’s Aboriginal Cultural Relations Module, Celeste re-examined her current fitness programs and approached the community centre’s director in hopes to initiate and maintain a solid relationship with the Indigenous community. Celeste wants to add programs specifically built for the Indigenous youths; she knows she needs their knowledge and expertise, and wants to provide long-lasting opportunities to work alongside them.

The EverybodyMoves Hub is a place for front-line staff, programmers, trainers, coaches, and organizational leaders to find practical, useful resources and examples on how to make physical activity more inclusive for more of the community. From facilities to program design to signage, marketing and policy development, the Hub will have a resource that covers it.

We can all take steps to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in physical activity spaces and in our everyday lives by listening, learning and acting.

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