Canada Games Teaching Spotlight: Dawn Zinga’s Children and Youth in Sports Contexts

NOTE: This is the second in a series of question and answer stories featuring faculty members who are integrating the 2021 Canada Games into the courses they teach at Brock University or the research they’re leading. For more information on Brock’s academic activities around the Games, visit brocku.ca/canada-games

Professor of Child and Youth Studies Dawn Zinga

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the face of athletics and recreation for 2020, but that doesn’t mean Brock University students can’t continue to learn about issues related to child athletes and athletics.

Child and Youth Studies Professor Dawn Zinga teaches CHYS 2V91, Children and Youth in Sports Contexts, an online course paired with an experiential learning component.

It typically involves students logging 25 hours working or volunteering in a sports context.

Given the new online-only focus for Brock’s 2020 Spring/Summer Term, CHYS 2V91 will be designed to use online observational video for the 25-hour requirement. This Spring CHYS 2V91 offering is an exciting interactive course exploring multiple contexts related to children and youth engagement in sports.

 

What is your Canada Games-related course title, code and description?

CHYS 2V91: Children and Youth in Sports Contexts. Theoretical and applied issues in sports relating to child athletes. Topics may include definition of sports, training contexts, accessibility and accommodations, gender, long-term outcomes, field work relationships, ethical issues, and issues in training development, application, and evaluation.”

 

Describe how you’ve integrated Canada Games-related material into your course?

“There is a specific module within the course on Canada Games and competition. For the most part, the content of the course focuses on children and youth within sport contexts which itself broadly relates to Canada Games.

Additionally, the 2021 Spring/Summer offering of CHYS 2V91 will coincide with the Canada Games and during that year students enrolled in it will be encouraged to be engaged in the Games as volunteers.”

Why do you think Canada Games presents such a good opportunity for students at Brock?

“Canada Games offers both an in-depth and broad-based learning opportunity for students that crosses disciplines and sectors to offer rich experiences. Opportunities situated within events such as the Canada Games provide unique learning experiences that both draw upon student experiences and knowledge gained within their university education and offer opportunities to apply and expand those opportunities exponentially.”

 

Do you have any suggestions for ways your colleagues can use the Canada Games to enhance teaching and learning opportunities in their courses?

“The Games offer great opportunities to enhance teaching and learning through a range of applications. It can be the inclusion of Games-related content or more practical applications from the logistics of hosting the Games to all of the various aspects involved in athletes competing.

Inclusion within courses can also involve the development of athletes and the trajectories that they follow to reach the Games, mentorship, coaching, and all the other complexities surrounding the Games.”

 

Once the Games are finished, how do you plan to continue using this new idea in your course.

“Once the Games have finished, the course will continue to be offered and will draw upon children and youth engagement in other sports contexts such as summer camps, sports camps, dance studios and athletic training centres.”

 

Students interested in CHYS 2V91: Children and Youth in Sports Contexts should register in the course. Registration questions or concerns can be directed to Carol Penner at cpenner@brocku.ca General questions about the course can be directed to Dawn Zinga at dzinga@brocku.ca


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