Going into this 2015 Active Outdoor Play Funding Opportunity, it was impossible to anticipate the volume of interest it would elicit. But the incredible media uptake and public reaction to the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play and the 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth was a clear sign of Canadians’ growing interest in risky play in the outdoors.
UK thought leader on childhood, Tim Gill, recently proposed, in a thought provoking blog, that a play renaissance is taking place in North America. While inquiry and play-based learning are already spreading across the education system in Canada, we hope Tim’s right – that we are at a tipping point for healthy childhoods that include unstructured and self-directed play and the opportunity to explore risk.
So the Foundation’s focus and timing for this funding opportunity seemed right. But still, would we get a strong or lukewarm response to the call for letters of intent? After all, the promotion period was only 4 weeks long. Well, the deadline has closed and the tally is in… 263 letters of intent were received by the deadline for consideration! We really want to thank our many partners and stakeholders who helped get the word out to promote the announcement across Canada.
But I can’t natter on – our LOI review committee is busy reading and digesting all the great ideas. So stay tuned for more updates. Applicants will be notified of our deliberations in early August!