Physical activity and the impacts of built environment on the use of neighboring sports equipment by elementary and high schools: The case of the “Blue, White, Move” [Bleu, Blanc, Bouge] skating rink in Montreal-North
<bold>Background: </bold>Evaluate how neighboring sports equipment is used by elementary and high schools to reinforce physical activity among youth. Analyze the impacts of built environments on the forms of use of this type of equipment and attempt to distinguish the positive and negative effects of its installation.
<bold>Material/Methods: </bold>22 semi-led interviews were undertaken among elementary and high school participants and managers of the skating rink. 33 phases of observation were made with the SOPLAY grid. Data from the interviews was analyzed with Atlas software in order to categorize the information. The information from the observations was processed with SPSS software in order to calculate certain levels of frequency.
<bold>Results: </bold>The frequent use of the rink by the schools leads us to believe that there really was an appropriation of the sports equipment. Nevertheless, this appropriation is incomplete, mainly because of a lack of information, of accessibility, and of animation. Concurrently, the size of the group, the types of offered activities, and the number of accompanying adults per student highly influenced the level of student participation and physical activity.
<bold>Conclusions: </bold>The skating rink’s appeal should be reinforced through a closer collaboration between the acting managers of the rink and of the schools. Concurrently, in order for the schools to truly consider the skating rink as an educational sports facility, various human and logistics supports coupled to targeted communication and animation strategies should be implemented.
Département d’études en loisir, culture et tourisme, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, 3351, boul. Des Forges, C.P. 500, Pavillon Ringuet (local 4030), Trois-Rivières, (Québec), G9A 5H7, Phone: 819-376-5011 poste 3286; Fax. 819-376-5158
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.