Active Stoughton for Life

One of the main goals of the Stoughton Parks and Recreation Department is to create healthy lifestyles.  A proven way to create healthy lifestyles is through physical activity and sport.  Active Stoughton for Life (AS4L) is a movement to improve physical activity and sport in Stoughton.  AS4L uses a scientific model called the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Model as its framework. 

LTAD was created by sports scientist Dr. Istvan Balyi.  LTAD is a seven-stage training, competition, and recovery pathway guiding an individual’s experience in recreation and sport from infancy through adulthood.   LTAD does away with early specialization until age 12 and eases into more competitiveness as they mature and children get older.  Using LTAD will make physical activity and sports more enjoyable for the children, and assist them in becoming better athletes.  This will also foster in children the continued desire to participate in sports that will lead to active and healthy lifestyles for the duration of their lives.

LTAD is used by hundreds of national sport federations, and is currently being introduced in America through national sport associations such as USA Hockey.  The American model is no longer used around the world as the best way to develop athletes and create physically active populations.

Physical Literacy

What is physical literacy? 

Physical literacy is a science based strategy to get people active for life.  Being physically literate is the gateway to active participation.  Physical literacy is defined as:

Physical literacy is the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life. 

Ability refers to competency in basic movement skills and overall fitness that allows individuals to engage in a variety of games and activities. This outcome is achieved through a mix of informal play and intentional teaching of movement skills, among them running, balancing, gliding, hopping, skipping, jumping, dodging, falling, swimming, kicking, throwing, and a wide range of skill that require hand-eye coordination.

Confidence is knowing that you have the ability to play sports or enjoy other physical activities. It is the result of programs and venues that inclusive of people with differing abilities, and the support and encouragement from parents, guardians, coaches, administrators, teammates, and peers through the developmental process.

Desire is the intrinsic enthusiasm for physical activity, whether in organized or unstructured formats, in traditional or alternative sport. This result is achieved through early positive experiences.

Why is being physically literate important?

Physical literacy is crucial to the acquisition, by every child, youth, and adult of essential life skills which is an indispensable means for active participation in the societies and economies of the twenty first century. For the first time in many generations it is expected that children will live shorter lives than their parents.  Being physical literate isn't just about sports; it's about moving competently whether that is throwing a ball or using a screwdriver.  Children are born to move.  The benefits of living an active lifestyle are: 

  • Better brain
  • Better muscle
  • Better bone
  • Better heart
  • Better body
  • Better social skills
  • Low burden on health care and society