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Partners & Stakeholders

Recreation and Sport Delivery System Partners and Stakeholders


Ensuring and providing opportunities for recreational and sport activity lies with many partners: governments, schools and universities, not-for-profit organizations, the private sector and individuals themselves. These groups have interests in, and responsibility for, program delivery within the system. While the delivery system is a complex network of these partners, each has an important role to play. A synopsis of the roles major partners play within the system is included in Appendix 2 of this document.


Organizations and policy fields with a stake in wellbeing are also stakeholders in the recreation and sport delivery system. Those who want to use the system to achieve other goals, but who are not caretakers of the system can be seen as system stakeholders. These domains utilize the recreation and sport delivery system for various purposes; and include health promotion, crime prevention, social inclusion, transportation and private enterprise.

For further information on evidence based research recognizing the many benefits of recreation and sport, check out The National Benefits Hub website:

This Framework for Relationship-Building combines the idea that wellbeing has many forms with the recognition that the recreation and sport delivery system is a remarkably flexible and powerful tool for advancing wellbeing of all sorts.

Stakeholders in wellbeing should be seeking to establish closer working relationships with their counterparts in the recreation and sport delivery system who can help them leverage it. In line with the Framework for Recreation in Canada, such relationships are pathways to wellbeing.

To begin acting on the Framework’s message, stakeholders (including government departments) must develop a Recreation and Sport Lens, which will become a permanent part of their toolkit for promoting their respective goals. Such a lens will help guide their efforts to develop their individual pathways to wellbeing. It might include some principles, key questions and examples that would help managers recognize how the recreation and sport delivery system could be used creatively to enhance their plans. It would also contain a list of some likely organizations with whom the stakeholder could begin building relationships.

The Framework for

Relationship Building

~New Brunswick's Wellness Strategy 2014–2021

" New Brunswick’s Wellness Strategy can be a catalyst for further dialogue and action as we work to achieve enhanced quality of life for all."

The Goal of the Framework

The goal of the Framework is relationship-building, especially through partnerships, but because every pathway to wellbeing is different, it is not possible to create a permanent assignment of roles. These will differ from case to case.

The following is a list of key tasks that will need to be performed to develop these pathways and that must be discussed and decided on in the early stages of a relationship. Who will perform which tasks is left open:

Policy: Policy will be needed to guide the development and use of the recreation and sport delivery system.

Ambassadorship and Awareness-Raising: Advocates are needed to send messages on recreation and sport’s behalf to stakeholders and the community at large, including:


  • Educating the public on the meaning of wellbeing;

  • Ways to promote overall health through the recreation and sport delivery system (i.e. healthy eating, safety);

  • Opportunities for developing pathways and the benefits they can bring;

  • The need to build a stronger political voice for recreation and sport.


Research: This will be needed in a wide range of areas, from work on physical literacy to the development of reliable metrics for evaluation.

Multi-Sector Leadership: A more strategic and intentional approach to the kind of pathways proposed here will require high-level, sector-wide leadership. This, in turn, likely requires a multi-sector leadership body of some sort.


Ensuring the Skills to Deliver the Programs: Organizations across private and public sectors rely heavily on the recreation and sport delivery system for qualified leaders, coaches, officials, instructors, life-guards, ski patrols, and so on. The recreation and sport delivery system certify and train individuals who are then used in other areas for a wide variety of purposes. This leadership development needs to be supported equitably.


Access to Infrastructure: Each community needs a system of asset-based, community mapping to identify infrastructure that is available for recreational and sport use and supportive of pathways to wellbeing.


Resourcing: Resources must be provided to ensure quality programming.


Marketing: Recreation and sport needs to be framed or marketed differently to provide a more global sense of what this system can achieve and how it can be used to promote wellbeing and quality of life.

While this policy framework focuses on the public recreation and sport delivery system the private sector cannot be overlooked. The private sector employs recreation and sport specialists and provides numerous opportunities for recreation and sport. Increasingly, innovative public–private partnerships have been shown to support renewal efforts, product and service innovation, cooperative access to facilities, and sponsorship.

  • Not-For-Profit Organizations

  • Municipalities

  • First Nations

  • Regional Service Commissions

  • Provincial Government

  • Federal Government

  • Educational Institutions and Educators

While partners have a level of autonomy to make decisions and to act upon them, the mutually interdependent nature of the system requires a clear understanding of the various roles each perform in order to reduce duplication and to make better use of public resources.

Role of System Partners

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