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Table 2 Environmental Scan Survey support for different definitions of physical literacy. (From Patton and Yessis, 2015 with permission)

From: Canada’s Physical Literacy Consensus Statement: process and outcome

Definition Number (%) n = 64
Individuals who are physically literate move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person. Physically literate individuals consistently develop the motivation and ability to understand, communicate, apply, and analyze different forms of movement. They are able to demonstrate a variety of movements confidently, competently, creatively, and strategically across a wide range of health-related physical activities. These skills enable individuals to make healthy, active choices that are both beneficial to and respectful of their whole self, others, and their environment. 21 (32.8%)
Physical literacy is merely about developing the fundamental movement skills that all children need, such as running, hopping, throwing, catching and jumping. These movement skills in turn give kids the confidence to participate in different physical activities, sports, and games. Physical literacy is the mastering of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills that permit a child to read their environment and make appropriate decisions, allowing them to move confidently and with control in a wide range of physical activity situations. It supports long-term participation and performance to the best of one’s ability. 12 (18.8%)
Physical literacy is the foundation of characteristics, attributes, behaviours, skills, awareness, knowledge, and understanding related to healthy active living and the promotion of physical recreation opportunities and positive health choices. Physically literate children learn from experiences in multiple domains (e.g., sport, physical education, play), multiple contexts (e.g., land, water, air, ice) and from multiple sources (e.g., coach, teacher, parent, peers). 11 (17.2%)
Physical literacy is the mastering of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills that permit a child to read their environment and make appropriate decisions, allowing them to move confidently and with control in a wide range of physical activity situations. It supports long-term participation and performance to the best of one’s ability. Physical literacy is the cornerstone of both participation and excellence in physical activity and sport. Ideally, physical literacy is developed prior to the adolescent growth spurt. It has been adopted as the foundation of the Sport for Life concept in Canada. Children should learn fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills in each of the four basic environments: on the ground (as the basis for most games, sports, dance and physical activities); in the water (as the basis for all aquatic activities); on snow and ice (as the basis for all winter sliding activities); in the air – basis for gymnastics, diving and other aerial activities. 10 (15.6%)
Physical literacy can be described as the ability and motivation to capitalize on our movement potential to make a significant contribution to the quality of life. As humans we all exhibit this potential; however, its specific expression will be particular to the culture in which we live and the movement capacities with which we are endowed. An individual who is physically literate moves with poise, economy, and confidence in a wide variety of physically challenging situations. The individual is perceptive in ‘reading’ all aspects of the physical environment, anticipating movement needs or possibilities and responding appropriately to these, with intelligence and imagination. A physically literate individual has a well-established sense of self as embodied in the world. This, together with an articulate interaction with the environment, engenders positive self-esteem and self-confidence. Sensitivity to and awareness of our embodied capacities leads to fluent self-expression through non-verbal communication and to perceptive and empathetic interaction with others. In addition, the individual has the ability to identify and articulate the essential qualities that influence the effectiveness of his/her own movement performance, and has an understanding of the principles of embodied health, with respect to basic aspects such as exercise, sleep and nutrition. 7 (10.9%)
Other 3 (4.7%)