What is physical literacy? Who can be physically literate? To be honest, when I try to picture what the stereotypical physically literate person would look like in my head, I picture someone in their 20s-30s, probably male, who is fairly muscular and is skilled in almost every sport they attempt. However, after viewing the class readings and discussions, I’ve tried to think critically about what different types of physically literate people might look like. For example, I would view an eighty-year old male who goes on very long walks everyday and likes to do exercises to keep his mental skills sharp to be quite physically literate even if he is not as physically strong as someone in their twenties.
Although I really appreciate the emphasis on mental and physical health mentioned by Whitehead (2010) and PHE Canada, I wonder if the definitions are a bit narrow or intimidating. For example, PHE Canada says a physically literate individual is one that moves with confidence or competence in a wide variety of areas (2010) but depending on how you define “competence”, there may be very few individuals that fit into this category. For older adults or children with special needs or physical disabilities, having competence in a “wide variety of areas” may be particularly challenging for them. I think we need to have a broader definition of physically literacy that places emphasis on an intrinsic love for physical activity and is more inclusive of people of different abilities and age groups.