The L.E.A.F. Initiative is a Commonwell program to support capacity, resiliency and growth in the communities we call home.

Build Back Better with Kingston Gets Active

28 Division Street KingstonK7L 3N6

Target Completion Date: April 1, 2023

What is this project about?

The overall goal of this proposed project is to help build community capacity and leadership to make physical activity opportunities more accessible and equitable for Kingston community members. We will accomplish this through training/opportunities and increased engagement with current businesses and organizations. The project will be facilitated by Kingston Gets Active (KGA), a collaborative not-for-profit partnership that includes representatives, organizations, and institutions from various sectors including health, education, research, recreation, social, and municipal sectors. Together we advocate, network and share information and resources to promote an active and healthy Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) community. Three main activities are proposed: (1) Kingston Gets Active Ambassador Training, (2) Kingston Gets Active Ambassador Club and (3) Kingston Gets Active Month.

Kingston Gets Active Ambassador Training
A main component of KGA’s advocacy work is conducted by KGA ambassadors. In the past, KGA has trained 10-25 community (adult) volunteers per year on topics such as physical activity guidelines, physical literacy, barriers and facilitators of physical activity, resources/opportunities in Kingston, communicating with the public about physical activity etc. We propose to train 20 ambassadors per year in the next two years (i.e. 30 volunteers in 1.5 years – the duration of the funding). Once trained, ambassadors will engage in community outreach such as sharing resources, supporting local events, and leading fit breaks/presentations at the request of community groups, businesses and organizations. The structure is a 6-hour training session (2 afternoons/evenings x 3 hours each). We have a qualified, experienced trainer* who will host this training three times within the funding period (January 2022, September 2022 & January 2023). The ambassadors will be given a Take-Home Tool Kit to assist with outreach. Additionally, each ambassador is given a T-shirt and toque to wear at events, depending on the season. The training dates match the start of term for post secondary students who typically constitute a large majority of our ambassador-trainees (most are in the second year of a four year degree, and can be counted on to be active KGA Ambassadors for at least a 2-year term). Pre and post evaluations will be completed to assess trainee change in knowledge, skills and confidence of content.

Kingston Gets Active Ambassador Club
The Kingston Gets Active Ambassador Club is focused on supporting the KGA Coordinator by further developing the engagement and knowledge of the trained KGA ambassadors. Individuals who feel a sense of belonging, are valued, continuously engaged, and have the opportunity to develop new skills tend to remain committed to their volunteer work. At least four continuing education events will be offered per year (e.g. webinars, lunch and learn; organizing a guest speaker). Topics for continued learning may include: gender equity, accessibility for persons with lived experience of disability, trends in physical activity etc. Additionally, to ensure the ambassadors’ continued engagement and sense of belonging, four social events throughout the year will be organized for KGA ambassadors to attend (e.g. bowling, ultimate frisbee with outdoor picnic, pizza and trivia night etc.).

Kingston Gets Active Month
KGA Month is an annual initiative which offers 30 days of free in-person and virtual physical activity programming via local sport and recreation organizations providing free try-it opportunities to local community members. The inspiration underlying this initiative is the desire to offer a variety of no-cost physical activity opportunities taking into consideration that many families/individuals have limited resources to spend on recreation. A calendar of events will be created for advertising and promotion of all the available times, dates and activities. An evaluation will be created for participating organizations and participants to gather feedback on the experience and organization of this initiative. KGA Month will be offered twice within the funding period (March 2022 & March 2023). Previously, KGA Month ran from 2014-2020, before being put on hold due to the pandemic; but with extra funding and support we will be able to revive this initiative at a time when it is greatly needed.

* The trainer has over a decade of experience in facilitating workshops focused on physical activity, physical literacy and related topics. She holds a Bachelor of Physical Education, a Bachelor of Education, a Masters of Arts and is currently working to complete her PhD in health promotion. She previously worked in the field of community recreation for many years and also supports the development of resources, participates in advisory boards and content review for both local and national organizations.