Saskatchewan In Motion is reaching out to the community in an effort to hear residents’ opinions regarding physical activity.
The organization has launched a survey on the Estevan page of its website at www.saskatchewaninmotion.ca/estevan. The survey was launched on Nov. 21 and responses have been coming in steadily. Once they have enough responses to make a fair evaluation, In Motion will start to dive into the responses.
Julia Frigault, a community action specialist with In Motion, said they are looking for answers on opportunities available in Estevan, but they also want to know about strengths and barriers when it comes to physical activity, and what might prevent parents and kids from biking or walking to school or work.
“Pretty much anything you can think of regarding the topic of physical activity, we’re just trying to get that baseline understanding,” said Frigault.
Frigault hopes as many people as possible will fill out the survey so they can get a broad base of opinions, but an ideal number would be at least 100. It takes about five to 10 minutes to complete the document.
The survey is one means to receive feedback from the public. In Motion is also in the process of arranging one-on-one meetings and focus groups.
Frigault and Saskatchewan In Motion manager Marnie Forsberg spoke to Estevan city council on Monday night, held sessions with students at Westview School, Hillcrest School and Hillcrest Early Learning Centre on Tuesday and met with the Estevan Chamber of Commerce’s Coffee Talk on Wednesday. The meeting with the chamber was a chance to talk to business leaders about the role they play in bringing physical activity to Estevan.
The presentation to city council saw Frigault and Forsberg discuss Saskatchewan In Motion’s goal to see kids as active as possible.
“We can make sure that these kids are not only reaching those recommended levels of physical activity, but they are becoming those healthy and successful kids,” said Frigault.
While it might sound simple, the solution is complex.
Forsberg noted that In Motion is working in partnership with the University of Regina on a research project regarding the facilitators and barriers youths face when trying to be more active.
Described as a smart project, it will be integrated into a mobilization project which uses an app to track physical activity of youths in real time, collect the date, find out the barriers youths are facing to physical activity and increase that activity.
Frigault was particularly looking forward to meeting with school students.
“It will be an opportunity just to chat with a select number of kids to see how they feel about physical activity opportunities in their hometown and what are some of those strengths and what are some of those barriers.
“It’s always nice to have an opportunity to talk with the kids that we are talking about in regards to trying to increase physical activity opportunities for them.”
An action team has been created in Estevan as well that includes two people from the Estevan Public Library, which has been a strong supporter of In Motion, as well as representatives from sports and schools in the city.
A decision has not been made on bringing an In Motion chapter to the city.
“As we move forward with our process, we like to not only have an action team established, which we’ve kind of done already, but we do want to make sure we have municipal support,” said Frigault.
The website has information on what In Motion has been up to, what’s coming up next, and other information on being fit.
A deadline to complete the survey has not been set. Frigault said it will remain open for as long as possible, until In Motion hosts a Moving Together symposium in Estevan, which will be in the new year.
Information from the survey, the focus groups and the one-on-one sessions will be shared with the public.
“We all play a role in making sure that kids are having opportunities to be active, and we’re doing to the best we can to increase physical activity,” said Frigault. “We know it isn’t always possible, but by working together we hope that we can make progress in increasing those levels.”