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Thursday, June 18 • 5:15pm - 7:45pm
Sport For Resilience: Fostering Rural Youth Resilience Through Participation In Non-Therapy Equine-Based Activity

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Abstract #324
Sport for Resilience: Fostering Rural Youth Resilience Through Participation in Non-Therapy Equine-Based Activity 
Presenter: Heather Sansom Co - Presenters: Harry Cummings, Leah Levac
Rural communities in Canada are changing. These changes include widening socioeconomic gaps amongst community members, and degraded infrastructure. Normative adversity associated with youth transition to adulthood is magnified in rural areas, where community-level changes are creating ecological conditions that can adversely affect youth. This leads to need for youth programming that is pro-actively inclusive of resilience needs. Sport-for-development (S4D) explores sport as a vehicle for combining physical and psycho-social development. Studies often show benefits akin to resilience factors. Yet, there are gaps in the research, which creates challenges for efforts to embed resilience goals in community recreation programs. There are very few S4D studies focused specifically on developing resilience amongst rural youth , and virtually no research that considers how program elements contribute to youth resilience. Equine-based therapy programs show resilience-related outcomes for youth, but non-therapy equine-assisted programs have not been studied extensively through a resilience lens, or as a community S4D option.This poster will spark conversation by: a) showing connections between rural needs, equine activity, S4D, and resilience; b) describing the methods and hypotheses of a current research project exploring how youth experience protective factors for resilience through participation in non-therapy equine-assisted programs.

avatar for Heather Sansom

Heather Sansom

PhD Student, University of Guelph
Heather Sansom is a PhD student in Rural Studies at the University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Her doctoral work focuses on the intersections between rural wellbeing issues and rural recreation, sport-for-development, animal/nature based experiential learning, and resilience. She will be collecting data on the lived experience of protective factors for resilience among youth participants in positive youth... Read More →


Harry Cummings

Harry Cummings, Phd., Professor, University of Guelph and Director Harry Cummings and Associates. Harry has taught evaluation at the University of Guelph for 35 years. He is author of the CES short course on program logic models. He has practised international development and evaluation since 1982 and recently has done evaluation work for UNICEF Indonesia, World Vision Sierra Leone and the Canadian Red Cross. He is a frequent presenter at both... Read More →

Leah Levac

Assistant Professor at University of Guelph | Leah Levac is an Assistant Professor in Community Engaged Scholarship in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph. She has experience leading community-university research collaborations, professional background in nature-based out

Thursday June 18, 2015 5:15pm - 7:45pm
King's Gym Gymnasium, King's College

Attendees (4)