Sports and physical activity can be a great way to engage newcomers in a community if a program is a place where people feel safe, can make friends, and have fun.
Prior to the pandemic, which placed restrictions on group sports, the Immigrant Welcome Centre offered its International Co-Ed Soccer program in Campbell River as a way to help newcomers meet and settle in their new hometown. Organized sport can be a great way to make social connections!
The Canadian non-profit ParticipACTION released an insightful podcast at the end of May on how organizations can better engage newcomers in physical activity. Check out this discussion between Kabir Hosein with Sport for Life and Nancy Clement with the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada. They talk about barriers that still need to be addressed and advice for the future so that all Canadians can receive the physical and mental health benefits of participating in organized physical activity programming.
As B.C. reopens and team sports and indoor fitness activities return, consider how the sports organizations you are involved with can strive to be more welcoming to newcomers. Additional resources can be found at Sport for Life, such as its Sport for Life for All Newcomers to Canada guide.