Implementing physical activity programs in communities for children with neuro-disabilities


  • Lise Olsen
  • Lois McNary
    Special Olympics BC
  • Tara Nault
    Indigenous Sport Physicial Activity and Recreation Council
  • Jean-Paul Collet
  • Stephanie Glegg
    BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute /¬†BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children /¬†UBC
  • Mojgan Gitimoghaddam
  • William McKellin
Executive sponsor:

  • Matt Herman
    BC Ministry of Health
  • Anne Fuller
    Ministry of Children and Family Development

Few physical recreation programs exist for children with neurodevelopmental challenges, particularly in rural settings and in Indigenous communities.

This project’s goal is to study the implementation of a new physical activity coaching approach (NPAC) for children with neurodevelopmental challenges and their families.

Key components of the approach include personalized child-centred coaching; home-based activity components (using an app); an online networking site for parents and coaches; and social activities for parents. This approach has previously been tested with families in urban settings. The aim is to assess how it can be implemented for those living in rural and Indigenous communities in BC.

The project objectives will be to assess different ways to implement NPAC in diverse communities and to develop a model that outlines the key steps and strategies that can be used with other Indigenous and rural communities. The team will use an Indigenous-inclusive approach and a framework for developing and sharing knowledge that includes community members through all stages of the process. Over the course of three years, the team expects to implement and evaluate the NPAC in a total of 16 sites in close collaboration with their provincial and community-level project stakeholders and partners.

The team seeks to:

They anticipate the project will contribute to more inclusive and equitable participation in physical recreation for rural and Indigenous families in BC and contribute to their improved health and well-being.