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In the small town in southwestern Ontario, funding from the CPRA Youth Employment Experience program enabled the town of Igersoll to hire Kennedy Finch as a Physical Literacy Inclusion Coordinator.

Kennedy’s role as a Physical Literacy Inclusion Coordinator is a mix of promoting and facilitating engagement in physical/fitness literacy in the community, while also handling administrative responsibilities. Kennedy describes physical literacy as “someone who’s integrated being physically active into their daily lifestyle.”

Ingersoll, ON

Kennedy’s work focuses on communications and promotion. “What I do to promote physical fitness and literacy is I make social media posts and other physical literacy-related bulletin boards and promotional media,” says Kennedy. “I also help facilitate programs in the community.”

Sporting in summer day camps

The role of a Physical Literacy Inclusion Coordinator also involves working directly with the residents of the community.  “One of the first things I did when I started working here was I helped plan a bike rodeo. It was inclusive for people of all abilities levels, who were at least two years old,” says Kennedy.  “To make cycling more accessible, we also did a bike giveaway that day. We also made sure that helmets and bikes were fitted properly for safety, and we had bike decorating and other fun activities to encourage physical activity on bikes.” The bikes provided for the rodeo were donated by community members through the Safe Cycling Committee.

“I’ve learned a lot, and gained skills in social media design and programs such as Canva,” says Kennedy. “I’ve also had the opportunity to take Brave Education inclusive training, and been trained to use new software. I’ve learned about how municipalities work and I’ve experienced work under different management styles.”

A goal for Kennedy in this job was to develop a sense of self-confidence and interpersonal skills through meaningful hands-on opportunities. This is something that she feels like she gained noting “I’ve worked a lot on my communication skills in particular. I’ve learned how to make connections with community members and patrons at programs like shuffleboard and softball at day camp. I’ve also developed positive relationships with co-workers and I’ve had to communicate a lot, work together and make sure that everything runs smoothly which is great and will help me in the future because communication is a soft skill. I’ve worked on my communication both by talking to people and by written skills, emails, bulletin boards, and that sort of thing.”

Aligned with the key element of the CPRA Youth Employment Experience program, Kennedy was able to gain real-world experience from this opportunity. “This was my first time working in the parks and recreation sector” Kennedy says. “Prior to that, I worked more like manual jobs, camp counselor jobs, and that sort of thing. So I’ve got a lot more real-world experience from working more directly with people and with community members compared to working for a business which is very different. I’ve learned that it’s important to communicate well and to be flexible. Also the importance of working with a team.”

Sporting in summer day camps