Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
Housing curling and tennis facilities, a licensed, catered lounge area with capacity for 600, a gym and room for a new fitness facility, the Saville Centre has already proven itself. A major curling bonspiel opened the centre January 2, 2004, featuring some of the strongest curling teams in the province and drawing huge crowds. The Saville Sports Centre is located on the University's South Campus and is a 175,000 square-foot facility.
When the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation was formed as the Faculty of Physical Education in 1964, it was the first of its kind in the Commonwealth. Courses in Physical Education had been taught through the Faculty of Education since 1945. Today, the link with the Faculty of Education continues: two of the Faculty’s undergraduate programs lead to a BEd in elementary and secondary education combined with a degree in Physical Education. The first Bachelor of Education degree in Physical Education was offered in 1948.
By 1954, the School of Physical Education was formed, with the first degree's granted in 1964, the same year that the School was renamed the Faculty of Physical Education. In 1976, the name was changed to the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation to reflect the additional interests of the Faculty.
With society's growing increasingly aware of the health benefits of fitness, the Faculty plays a key role in reaching out to the community with its leadership initiatives in teaching and researching physical education, recreation, kinesiology, and sport sciences.
The Faculty's reputation for having a fine athletics program is well-known throughout Canada and the world. Most undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty are from Alberta, but there are numerous exchange opportunities for students to study at other universities and for students from other universities to study at the University of Alberta, enriching students’ appreciation for their discipline. The Faculty's values include collegiality, diversity, critical thinking, equity and respect, ethical behaviour, participative governance, and contribution to community.1
Translating these values into dynamic activities in areas such as sports tourism, fitness, arts and culture, heritage, and even history (e.g., the history of mountaineering) is what makes the Faculty a high-calibre one. Degrees with a focus on Arts or Science can be achieved, or they may be combined as a Masters of Business Administration. Because quality of life is, in part, measured by what we do in our leisure time, the Faculty’s emphasis on studying and informing leisure activities can lead students to careers in leisure facilities management, recreation or sport organization, sporting event planning, and sports equipment manufacturing. Leisure-based tourism is another focus of study. In terms of sports performance, the Faculty explores assessing fitness levels across all ages, from children to seniors, and addresses occupational therapy, ergonomics, and health-related work.
The faculty offers five undergraduate degree programs: BSc in Kinesiology; Bachelor of Physical Education (BPE); BA in Recreation, Sport and Tourism; and a five-year combined BPE – Bachelor of Education degree (Elementary) and BPE – Bachelor of Education degree (Secondary). Graduate programs are an MA or MSc in Physical Education, a combined MA or MSc with an MBA in Sport and Leisure Management, and PhD in Physical Education.
The undergraduate programs incorporate a practicum experience called Play Around the World through which students travel to work for a time developing recreation programs in underprivileged communities in Thailand.
The Bachelor of Physical Education emphasizes courses in active living, health, and well-being; activity and nutrition; adapted physical activity; coaching studies; cultural and managerial studies of sport and leisure; physical activity and sport performance; and individual study in a particular area, such as dance.
The BA in Recreation, Sport and Tourism involves recreation courses focusing on the management of leisure facilities and the coordination of and consultation on leisure activities. The sports context of the degree focuses on management of sports organizations and event and equipment manufacturing. The tourism component addresses the global industry, which packages travel with adventure and fitness.
The BSc in Kinesiology program offers courses that study human movement, evaluating physical activity with an emphasis on biology, physiology, and motor control.
The BPE – Bachelor of Education degree (Elementary) and BPE – Bachelor of Education degree (Secondary) degree programs are five-year programs. The first three years are in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation and include courework in anatomy, biomechanics, and the various sport disciplines, as well as courses in ethics. The last two years are in the Faculty of Education. Graduates from these combined programs graduate with two degrees.
Research areas of interest to faculty and graduate students range from adapted physical movement to sports psychology. Through the Coordinating Council of Health Sciences, the Faculty is associated with other health science faculties at the University and collaborates on joint ventures like the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, the Centre for Neuroscience, and the Centre for Gerontology.
Other centres and institutes include the Alberta Centre for Active Living, Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic, Steadward Centre for Personal and Physical Achievements, and Sport Performance Unit.
Outreach activities for students, staff, and the community are offered through the Campus Recreation and Interuniversity athletics programs. Over 500 programs are offered through Campus Recreation for instructional, intramural and club purposes. These programs target campus fitness and lifestyle, non-credit courses, sports clubs, spring and summer activities, special events, and, of course, men’s, women’s, and co-ed intramurals.
Men compete in basketball, cross-country, football, ice hockey, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field (indoor), volleyball, and wrestling. Women compete in basketball, cross-country, field hockey, ice hockey, rugby, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field (indoor), volleyball, and wrestling.2
A member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the University of Alberta is home to the Pandas and the Golden Bears which compete in nineteen sports through the Canada West Universities Athletic Association.
The main sports facility at the main campus is the Van Vliet Physical Education and Recreation Centre, made up of the Campus Fitness and Lifestyle Centre, Clare Drake Arena, dance studio, indoor climbing wall, two indoor swimming pools, 200-metre indoor track, gymnasium, racquetball and squash courts, Universiade Pavilion, and Varsity Field. The south campus is home to the Foote Field, which boasts two fields (one natural and one artificial turf), a running track, and the Saville Sports Centre, which holds eight indoor tennis courts, ten sheets of international standard curling ice, and a gymnasium.
|Deans of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation|
|1990–1991||E. Jane Watkinson (Acting)|
|1981–1990||Robert Gerald Glassford|
|1976–1981||Herbert John McLachlin|
|1975-1976||Herbert John McLachlin (Acting)|
|1964–1975||Maurice Lewis Van Vliet|
- 1. University of Alberta. "Section 150: The Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation." 2006-2007 Calendar. http://www.registrar.ualberta.ca/calendar/Undergrad/Physical-Education-and-Recreation/Faculty/150.html (accessed December 2006).
- 2. Ibid.