Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Funding Amateur Sports: An Investigation
Brainstorm with students as many Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they can name and record these names on the board or chart paper under the heading "Amateur." Brainstorm as many professional athletes as they can (for example, NHL, NBA, and MLB players) and record these names under the heading "Professional."
Discuss the idea of some athletes being paid to compete while others are not. Ask: What challenges do unpaid amateur athletes face? Should amateur athletes be given money to train and compete? If yes, where should this money come from? Should Canada, as a country, invest in the careers of these athletes? Why or why not?
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Funding of Amateur Sports on the CBC Digital Archives website. Divide the class into five groups and assign clips as follows:
- Group 1 clip: the clip "Canada 'may behind most countries'"
- Group 2 clip: "How do Canadian athletes stack up?"
- Group 3 clips: ""Canadian athletes get organized," "The buck stops here," and "The law of the draw"
- Group 4 clips: "Olympic dreams are slowly turning into a nightmare," "Brad McQuaig's cheque's in the mail" and "Long jumper Brian Thomas jumps over a car to raise money"
- Group 5 clips: "The Sports Summit reports on the state of amateur athletics," "Amateur coaches caught in the crossfire" and "A new era of funding programs for Canadian amateur athletes"
Have each group review its clip(s) including the Did You Know? sections. Groups will use the download sheet Funding of Amateur Sports: An Investigation to note important points and record any questions or issues they would like to explore further.
Revisit and Reflect
Have each group present their important points to the class. Ask: What facts or events surprised you the most about amateur sports in Canada? How do you feel about the way Canada funds its amateur athletes?
Students can investigate any of the questions or issues remaining on their download sheet and present the information to the class.