POLICYMAKERS & CIVIC LEADERS

Why

• Government has an interest in reducing health care costs, much of which it picks up.
• The introduction of PL principles into the education, health, and physical fitness fields can be aided greatly by guidance and leadership from elected officials and governmental agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. They can help create systemic changes in the ecosystem of government and nongovernment infrastructure needed to deliver PL programs to the broadest set of constituents and consumers.

Ideas

• Assist in the development of tests that measure rates of PL among individuals and groups.
• Once measurements are solidified, track rates of PL in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and extend that analysis to include data on elementary-school students.
• Include PL best practices as a requirement in PEP Grants and other federal grants with physical activity components.[70]
• On the federal, state, and local levels, incentivize local PL community efforts that look to engage community sectors in a collaborative way.

Barriers/Competing Interests

Leadership

• Lack of a government sports commission or other body that has resources to implement change and that can coordinate efforts at the national level makes it more difficult to have the kind of collaboration necessary for widespread adoption.

LEADING THE WAY

In the publication Climbing Higher: The Welsh Assembly Government Strategy for Sport & Physical Activity, the government of Wales articulates the need to “ensure that, in the process of personal development, the acquisition of physical literacy is as important as the development of literacy and numeracy skills.”[71] To achieve this, the Physical Education School Sport initiative has implemented programs that prioritize the development of physical literacy. Additionally, the Sport Physical Activity Task Force has recently recommended that the Welsh government adopt a physical literacy framework for the country that would establish physical literacy as a priority of physical education courses in the schools. The recommendation suggests that physical literacy become the standard against which physical education courses are measured.[72]