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Erin K. Sharpe, Scott Forrester and James Mandigo

Background:

This paper evaluates the impact of a large-scale, community agency-driven initiative to increase physical activity (PA) in after-school programs in Ontario. In 2008, the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club (BGC) introduced CATCH Kids Club (CKC) into 330 after-school program sites.

Methods:

This study assessed the impact of the intervention on the quality and quantity of PA using a pretest/posttest quasi-experimental research design with a comparison non-CKC group. Data were collected at baseline (September 2008) and postintervention (May/June 2009) using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT).

Results:

Nearly all sites, with the exception of the BGC baseline program (a sports program) achieved greater than 50% of time spent in MVPA. Significant differences were not found between levels of MVPA at CKC and comparison sites (59.3% vs. 64.2%), or at CKC sites at baseline versus postintervention (59.3% vs. 52.1%). BGC sites had significantly higher levels MVPA in CKC programs than in sports programs (70.8% vs. 35.2%). In postimplementation interviews, leaders reported general support but some mixed reactions related to how the program was received by participants.

Conclusions:

This paper offers support for PA programs that focus on inclusivity and enjoyment and emphasize the important role of staff competency.

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Jason Bocarro, Michael A. Kanters, Jonathan Casper and Scott Forrester

The purpose of this article is to examine the role of school-based extracurricular initiatives in facilitating immediate and long-term positive impact on physical activity, healthy behavior, and obesity in children. A critique of the role of various sports-related initiatives that have been developed to address the obesity epidemic currently facing children within the United States is provided, with a specific emphasis on intramural sports as a preferred mechanism to encourage long-term involvement in sport and physically active pursuits. The article presents support for the notion that a physical education curriculum that includes intramurals before, during, and after school can help children learn the skills to enjoy participation in a variety of sports designed to facilitate lifelong active living.