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Conference taking place in Charlottetown later this month on physical literacy

Sport P.E.I. is hosting a Physical Literacy Summit on Sept. 29 and 30.
Sport P.E.I. is hosting a Physical Literacy Summit on Sept. 29 and 30.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Dean Kriellaars wants to help get people moving. 

The exercise physiologist is coming to Charlottetown later this month for Prince Edward Island’s first Physical Literacy Summit. He hopes to inspire, educate and motivate the conference attendees, who can spread the word in their own day-to-day lives and help people become healthier and more productive.

Physical literacy is not a new term, he said, but it is seeing a re-vitalization during the past decade with society being so inactive.

“Physical literacy is both the confidence and competence to move,” he said.

“It’s like literacy, we all believe reading and writing is critical and essential for all people in society,” he added. “Every person in society should be equipped with literacy, numeracy and physical literacy and then I can imagine a place where a lot of these diseases that we see start to actual recede.”

Kriellaars, an associate professor at the University of Manitoba, said society doesn’t value movement like it use to.

He cited the creation of the motor vehicle and the computer era as two innovations that led to people becoming inactive.

“Even though they were really good things for society, they created an evil of sedentary behaviour,” he said.

While it is important to help people develop movement skills, he said, giving them the confidence to use them properly is just as important.

“What we found in our studies is that the more you give people skills and therefore they get confident, the more likely they are to participate,” he said.

“It won’t just be knowledge because everybody knows to eat well and exercise regularly, but nobody does it,” Kriellaars added. “It truly is a change in the way we think about valuing movement in our society and that’s a slow process.”

But he has watched the growth with people concerned with the issue in the past decade. He attended his first physical literacy conference in 2008 and now goes to about 50 annually.

The first international conference occurred in 2010 with 65 people from two countries and a handful of researchers while the third international conference occurred during the Easter weekend in Toronto with 58 researchers.

Need to know

Physical Literacy Summit

What – A weekend of presentations on the importance across various sectors to implement, train and evaluate physical literacy. It is hosted by Sport P.E.I.

When – Sept. 29-30.

Where – Rodd Charlottetown.

Cost – Early bird pricing of $100 ends today. After Sept. 1, the price is $125. Space is limited, and registration is required. To register, visit or

Keynote speakers – Dean Kriellaars, an exercise physiologist at the University of Manitoba; and Reed Maltbie, the chief content officer and lead presenter for Changing the Game project.

Sport P.E.I.’s goal – To attract teachers, parents, coaches, volunteers, early childhood educators and students to the concept of physical literacy and inform them why it is important on a cross sectoral basis.

Online resource –

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