June 11, 2007


Seniors playground
The Globe and Mail (Sat 19 May 2007, Byline: Naomi Buck) reports that Germany is the fastest aging country in Europe. By 2050 one third of the population will be over 60. A new experiment in recreation opportunities is being tried in Berlin's Preussen Park where an outdoor fitness park is being called the country's first Playground for Seniors. Officially it is restricted to those 16 and over. It includes oscillating leg trainers, flexibility machines and a back massage pole that looks like a cat-scratching post do offer gentle opportunities to improve strength and balance and stimulate circulation.


Interventions to promote walking: systematic review.
Ogilvie, D.; Foster, C. E.; Rothnie, H.; Cavill, N.; Hamilton, V.; Fitzsimons, C. F., and Mutrie, N. BMJ. 2007 May 31.
Objective: To assess the effects of interventions to promote walking in individuals and populations.
Design: Systematic review.
Data Sources: Published and unpublished reports in any language identified by searching 25 electronic databases, by searching websites, reference lists, and existing systematic reviews, and by contacting experts. Review methods Systematic search for and appraisal of controlled before and after studies of the effects of any type of intervention on how much people walk, the distribution of effects on walking between social groups, and any associated effects on overall physical activity, fitness, risk factors for disease, health, and wellbeing.
Results: We included 19 randomised controlled trials and 29 non-randomised controlled studies. Interventions tailored to people's needs, targeted at the most sedentary or at those most motivated to change, and delivered either at the level of the individual (brief advice, supported use of pedometers, telecommunications) or household (individualised marketing) or through groups, can encourage people to walk more, although the sustainability, generalisability, and clinical benefits of many of these approaches are uncertain. Evidence for the effectiveness of interventions applied to workplaces, schools, communities, or areas typically depends on isolated studies or subgroup analysis.
Conclusions: The most successful interventions could increase walking among targeted participants by up to 30-60 minutes a week on average, at least in the short term. From a perspective of improving population health, much of the research currently provides evidence of efficacy rather than effectiveness. Nevertheless, interventions to promote walking could contribute substantially towards increasing the activity levels of the most sedentary.

Active cities: An opportunity for leadership by the big city mayors caucus
This brief makes the case that an integrated and strategic approach to civic policy making on sport, recreation, physical activity, and active transportation is the response that is required to the current obesity crisis in Canada. City-based, pan-Canadian leadership is necessary to redress the active city infrastructure deficit and imbalance, and to meet the youth crisis point head-on with tangible solutions

Activity adaptations
This is a handout from the presentation entitled "Discover, Participate, Include - Everyone!". The handout suggests keeping activity modifications to a minimum. The less change in an activity, the more the participant feels like they are like all the other participants and a part of the group. Keep in mind, the participant's physical ability rather than disability and don't be afraid to experiment with new ideas. Also covered are activity adaptations in time, in equipment, in area, in number of participants, in programming, in instructions and finally, for arts and crafts. From the 2007 PRO WinterActive Educational Forum and Trade Show.

Building media buzz
This presentation from the 2007 PRO WinterActive Educational Forum and Trade Show, will highlight the hot, new trends in media relations, including Internet Media Rooms, Media Previews, Story Ideas, and Media Toolkits. It will review the do’s and don’ts of working with print and broadcast media, in order to create a positive buzz and build long-term relationships with your key media.

Marketing and promotions for special events
This practical, information-packed session provides you with the tools you need to successfully market special events of all sizes and types. Develop dynamic brochures, postcards, flyers, and posters for your next event. Learn how to increase attendance, attract sponsors and volunteers, generate funds, and raise awareness of your organization. Find out how to generate media interest, coverage and sponsorship for your special events. This presentation is from the 2007 Parks and Recreation Ontario Educational Forum and Trade Show.

Recreation as an economic development tool

Recreation, in and of itself, can be a revenue generator. It can also be an area of cost reduction for other departments, such as social services, or a future investment area for agencies, such as police enforcement or health. How we position recreation to be supported by allied decision-makers and funders of services relates to strategically tying our goals with theirs, and in using language that speaks to their desired outcomes. In this session, real-life examples will be used to show how viewing recreation as an economic development tool helped garner support which created a greater investment in parks and recreation programs.

Serving hard-to-reach youth
A thoughtful programmer looks at even the most well-attended activity and asks ‘who’s not here that should/could be?’ Often times it’s the child or youth who can’t afford the program who doesn’t attend. Since we know many of the barriers that low-income clients and members face, this session will provide examples of programs that break down these barriers. Learn how each step in program planning, development, marketing and implementation can use a ‘low income awareness approach’ to effectively engage this hard to reach group.

Sports and fitness participation report – 2007
Provides overall participation figures for 114 sports in nine different categories (aerobic activities, conditioning activities, strength activities, individual sports, racquet sports, team sports, outdoor sports, snow sports, and water sports.)

Using the benefits of recreation to create effective community programs
Many people are familiar with the Benefits of Recreation, the catalogue developed by the Parks and Recreation Federation of Ontario (predecessor of PRO), which received international acclaim as one of the first forays into identifying the ‘hard’ benefits of this ‘soft’ service. Today’s challenge is being able to use the Benefits to drive program development in a way that makes economic and strategic sense. This session will introduce you to concepts that will help you deal with the hard decisions of what programs and services to provide - which ones to keep and which ones to lose - within a meaningful framework designed to meet both the benefits of recreation and departmental objectives.

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