Canadian Sport For Life (CS4L)
OFSAA is committed to Canadian Sport for Life (visit website) and its principles. CS4L enables athletes to experience training and competition programs that consider their biological and training ages, and prepare them for a life in sport.
The Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Sport have identified CS4L as the framework for sport development in Canada.
What is CS4L
Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) is a movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada. It represents a paradigm shift in the way Canadians lead and deliver sport and physical activity. The federal and provincial governments have identified CS4L as the framework for sport development and OFSAA supports the overriding principles of this movement.
Education plays an important role in the CS4L movement. The elementary system is the ideal place for children to develop physical literacy and fundamental movement skills. Participation in sport at the secondary school level allows students the opportunity to play more than one sport in different playing seasons. This contributes to their overall athletic ability and fitness level, and may ultimately lead to lifelong participation in sport.
In support of CS4L principles, OFSAA believes in balance in students’ lives. As such we are concerned about athletes over-competing, which can lead to injuries, burnout, and may conflict with educational priorities. A recommended number of competitions has been developed by OFSAA for each sport to assist schools and coaches in determining the appropriate amount of competition for their students.
High school is an important time for teenagers to keep fit and explore opportunities in a broad range of sports and physical activities. This is important for a variety of reasons:
- Regular physical activity may lead to improved academic performance.
- Regular physical activity is essential to maintain healthy weight, regular sleep, and overall physical development (muscular and cardiovascular).
- Regular activity and healthy lifestyle habits will contribute to positive overall physical, emotional and psychological development.
- High school may provide the only opportunity for some students to participate in structured sport and physical activity programs.
- Combined with the growth of video games and other “screen time” sedentary pursuits, the need for physical activity programs becomes even more acute.
- High school programs can help students to identify one or two favourite sports and encourage them to take up a lifelong pursuit.
Long term athlete development (LTAD) is a key feature of CS4L. LTAD is a seven-stage training, competition and recovery pathway guiding an individual’s experience in sport and physical activity from infancy through all phases of adulthood. Athletes progress through these stages during different ages and development periods of their lives, from Active Start at the very young ages, through to Active for Life. Our hope is that participants in high school sports will enter the Active for Life stage after their school years where they will continue to play sports and remain physically active. Through the club system, some may go onto the Train to Win Stage where they will compete at the highest levels including international competitions.
Ultimately, OFSAA strives to educate students through school sport, and we embrace any components of CS4L that help us achieve this goal.
Visit the www.CanadianSportForLife.ca to learn more about this movement in Canada.