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My name is Jared Kope and I was part of a team of two leaders who

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My name is Jared Kope and I was part of a team of two leaders who spent five
weeks in Fort Providence over the summer with the Play Around the World (PAW)
Canada North Pilot Project. The purpose of the trip was to advise on the feasibility of
University of Alberta students facilitating play programming in Fort Providence in
the future. The hamlet of Fort Providence is mainly a Dene population of 760, and is
located three hours southwest of Yellowknife on the beautiful Mackenzie River; it is
central to most communities that are accessible by land, however, this can still mean
500km between communities.
My play leadership partner, Beth Hudson, and I worked together with the
PAW Director and Advisory committee to focus on three main goals for our time
spent in the community: (1) understanding the current opportunities for play,
recreation and sport, (2) provide an agreed upon level of play programming for
children and youth of all abilities and, (3) build relationships with those involved in
children and youth recreation in the community. This three-pronged approach was
used to better understand how a partnership with the hamlet, the government of
Northwest Territories, and PAW may be beneficial for all.
How often did the children and youth engage in sport and play
programming? Were there more opportunities for different ages? Who ran the
programs? And how did the children and youth feel about the current
opportunities? With these questions in mind, Beth and I ran various programs for all
ages to try and get a better understanding of what might work in the future. Along
with several of our own initiatives, we also collaborated with the recreation
department in the community to deliver programming and events. Activities
included, playground games, active games in the gym, various sport nights in the
gym (e.g., badminton, floor hockey, volleyball, basketball), and also larger trips to
other communities to use their recreation resources, such as the beach, the
swimming pool, and playgrounds. We facilitated a community wide Canada Day
celebration, working with our partners, to enjoy an intergenerational family
oriented play day. We also took 16 youth to the Mackenzie Youth Summer Games in
Fort Liard that consisted of traditional games, sports, swimming, geocaching, and
more – the trip was a huge success.
In regards to building relationships with the individuals who are involved in
recreation programming, we worked extensively with the intern recreation
coordinator and had the support of the hamlet senior administration officer, school
principal, and the Regional Sport & Recreation Coordinator, Municipal and
Community Affairs. Through numerous meetings with the aforementioned we
gained insight into how PAW could be an asset to the community, but also provide
an amazing opportunity for University of Alberta students. Everyone involved in this
Pilot Project expressed excitement about the future possibilities.
Overall, the PAW North Pilot Project was a huge success; I am looking
forward to what is to come with this valuable partnership.
Jared Kope
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