Not long ago, I was standing talking to some parents outside my tennis club, when a woman recognized me from my work at ParticipACTION. “You’re the perfect person to ask what physical literacy means,” she said.
She’s not the only one mystified by the term, despite it being widely used within the sport and physical activity sectors for several years.
Happily, physical literacy is really quite a simple concept: it’s about developing the necessary movement skills in children that in turn give them the confidence to participate in active play, games and sports. I’m talking about skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching.
If you’re a parent today, the odds are high that you acquired these fundamental movement skills largely through active outdoor play as a child. Playing at the park, throwing and catching with a friend, active games such as tag and hopscotch… this was how many of us developed the skills and confidence required to play baseball, join the school track team, play tennis, and participate in the activities many of us still enjoy today. Sadly though, so many of today’s children are considered inactive and simply aren’t becoming physically literate.