Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada
Sports and Recreation
Like virtually everywhere in the world, people in Canada and PEI like to engage in physical activities and enjoy sports, both as participants and as spectators or fans.
At 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada played against the United States team in the men's hockey finals. Millions of Canadians followed the suspenseful match glued to their television sets. Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal, securing the gold medal for Canadians -- he is now a national hero.
The most popular sport in Canada is hockey by far, but baseball, football and basketball are enjoyed by many as well. Soccer is just making its way to becoming more popular, but not nearly as much as it is in Europe, Africa or South America, for instance. In fact, newcomers coming to PEI have greatly contributed to soccer popularity on the Island over the past decade.
Curling is another popular sport in Canada, more than in any other country. In curling players slide stones across a sheet of ice into a target area. It is believed that the sport was invented in medieval Scotland, and made popular by Scottish immigrants in Canada in modern times. Since 1998 curling is a Winter Olympic sport.
Children and Youth Sports in PEI
Many Island children become involved in sports at a very young age through school and other programs. Many compete against opponents of their age group in leagues and tournaments, in teams and individually. Virtually every educational institution has official sports teams.
The Immigrant Student Services (ISS) program at the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada helps children and youth participate in physical activities by accessing funding from sports organizations. The funds are used to purchase equipment and facilitate transportation to training sessions, games and tournaments. This way newcomer children are able to participate in physical activities and sports programs regardless to their families' financial means. [See Related Resources]
Furthermore, the PEI ANC Community Outreach Team often organizes sporting events in collaboration with educational institutions, sports facilities and other organizations. The events engage newcomer families in sports activities both actively and as spectators.
Adults and Family Recreation
There are many ways adults and families can engage in sports and recreation on the Island - you can join a gym, a sports or recreational club, or simply get together with a group of friends for a game of soccer or bowling, for example. In spring, summer and fall, hiking or biking is a great way to stay fit and healthy and enjoy the outdoors. In winter there are places to skate, ski or toboggan, and many facilities where sports can be played indoors.
Cities and towns publish recreation guides and distribute them to residents. In those guides you can find detailed information on recreational activities for the upcoming season.
A lot of recreational activities can be done for free or at a low cost. Sometimes recreational or sports programs will have special prices or subsidies for individuals or families with low incomes.
To find recreation activities in your community:
- look for notices in your local newspaper and bulletin boards
- check at your local community centre
- contact the parks and recreation department of your town or city
- visit the provincial or national parks websites
- look in the Yellow Pages under 'Recreation Centres'
- contact Sport PEI for a list of sport organizations, activities, or clubs