Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Youth who facing obstacles to positive development including racism and poverty are at a higher risk of poor health, limited success at school and work, and lower quality of life as adults. These negative emotional and physical consequences of barriers to positive development faced during youth may be counteracted by programs that promote physical activity, social development, and healthy behavior. Sport for Development programs are one possible opportunity for youth facing barriers to engage in activities that foster their positive development, which may improve their socioeconomic status, quality of life and long-term health. This study aims to measure the impact of an urban Sport for Development facility on positive youth development in youth facing barriers.
Who can participate?
Participants aged 6-29 recruited from programs at an urban Sport for Development facility
What does the study involve?
Participants will take part in a variety of Sport for Development programs that use sport as a tool for teaching life skills. Participants will be divided into 3 age groups. Aspects of positive youth development will be evaluated using surveys and pedometers when youth first enter the program and after 6 months, 1-year, and 2-years. Focus groups will also be used to learn about youth’s experiences and the impact of the facility and programs in their lives.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Some questions asked in the surveys or focus groups may cause distress – for example, youth may be asked questions about their mood and self-esteem. Benefits for participants include learning useful and interesting information about themselves and helping MLSE LaunchPad improve its programs to better help youth be successful and reach their goals.
Where is the study run from?
MLSE LaunchPad, Canada
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
March 2017 to March 2020
Who is funding the study?
Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
Who is the main contact?
Marika Warner, Director of Research and Evaluation at MLSE LaunchPad
Ms Marika Warner
259 Jarvis St.
MLSE LaunchPad Evaluation 2017-2020
Participation in MLSE LaunchPad programming and wrap around services will result in increased physical literacy, physical activity, and rates of continued participation in sport activity for youth aged 6-12; increased positive health behaviours, life skills, academic outcomes, and continued participation in sport activity for youth aged 12-18; and increased rates of placement in employment/apprenticeship, personal income, and participation in sport activity for youth aged 19-29
Approved 09/12/2016, Community Research Ethics Office (Centre for Community Based Research
190 Westmount Road North, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G5, Canada; email@example.com;
+1-888-411-2736), ref: Project #68
Single-arm non-randomized within-subject quasi-experimental design
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Non randomised study
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet
Positive Youth Development and Sport for Development approach to reduce risk of adverse health outcomes, lower educational and occupational attainment, and decreased overall quality of life as adults
Participants aged 6-29 years old will take part in up to 2-years of self-selected participation in programming at MLSE LaunchPad, a Sport for Development facility in downtown Toronto, ON, Canada.
The intervention involves programs and wrap-around services developed by an in-house team of sport programmers, several of which have been developed collaboratively with community partner organizations with similar target demographics and intended PYD impacts. Each program falls under one of the following program pillars: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Ready for School, or Ready for Work.
Programs include a mix of sport plus and plus sport programs. Depending on the program and age group, activities include on-court physical activities, sports, games of low organization, sport activities designed to build sport-specific skills in tandem with a relevant life-skill and/or academic concept, gameplay, fundamental movement skills development activities, activities to teach sport-specific game knowledge, kitchen activities, nutritional education, group mentoring, talking circles, professional and personal development workshops, technical employment training, soft skills training, mock interviews and job search training. Services include nutrition supports (snack and meal programs), drop-in and registered mental health counselling, and academic support such as a homework club with adult tutors. Program and services are led by paid staff including Coaches and Youth Mentors, all with nationally-recognized credentials. Services and programs are delivered in person
Primary outcome measure
1. For youth ages 6-12:
1.1. Increased physical literacy (PLAYSelf Scale)
1.2. Increased physical activity (1 week pedometer)
1.3. Increased rates of participation in sport and physical activity (self report of regular sport/physical activity participation)
2. For youth ages 13-18:
2.1. Increased life skills (Child & Youth Resilience Measure, Critical Thinking in Everyday Life Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Motivation and Self-Regulation Subscale from the School Attitudes Assessment Survey, Social Competence Teen Scale, Grit Scale, Social Competence Scale for Teenagers)
2.2. Increased academic performance (self-reported school attendance, report card, self-report of highest grade/level completed), increased health behaviour (Healthy Behaviour Questionnaire, 1-week pedometer)
2.3. Increased or continued sport and physical activity participation (self-report)
For youth ages 19-29: increased employment/apprenticeship/training placements (self-report), increased personal income (self-report) and increased rate of participation in sport or physical activity (self-report)
All outcomes are also assessed through scheduled qualitative data collection.
Secondary outcome measures
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Age 6-29 years
2. Registered member of MLSE LaunchPad
3. Attending programming at MLSE LaunchPad
4. Ability to speak, understand and read English
5. Physically able to participate in programming with or without the use of assistive devices
6. Recruited within 8 weeks of commencing program participation
Target number of participants
Total final enrolment
Participant exclusion criteria
Does not meet inclusion criteria
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
259 Jarvis St.
Government of Ontario
Gouvernement de l’Ontario
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
The publication and dissemination plan includes several stakeholders and corresponding methods of communication. Results and insights generated will be communicated to MLSE LaunchPad and MLSE Foundation staff and Boards of Directors and community partner organizations through a series of presentations. Study results will also be shared with MLSE employees and MLSE LaunchPad members and families through infographics and an animated video. The general public will be engaged through a media campaign. Technical reports will be submitted to the funder. Presentations will be made at several youth and sport sector conferences including the Beyond Sport, Sport Canada, Sport For Life and Children’s Mental Health Ontario conferences. Finally, manuscripts will be submitted both to lay/industry publications such as the Sport and Development website and to an academic journal, with the target journal to be determined.
IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Marika Warner firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of data: De-identified participant data including demographic data (date of birth, gender, race, annual household income), participation data (program registration and attendance) and outcome data (baseline, 6 month, 1 year and 2 year follow up assessment data which is unique for each age group but may include pedometer data, responses to self-report surveys assessing life skills, self-report of health behaviours including physical activity level, and self-report of school and job attainment including GPA and employment status)
Availability: June 30 2020-June 30 2027
Criteria for sharing: Data may be shared in future with academic research partners. Requesting parties will submit an inquiry by email to MLSE LaunchPad’s Research and Evaluation team. Assessment of requests for data access will be completed by the staff team in consultation with Board of Directors and Research Advisory Committee. Criteria to be considered include planned usage, mission/mandate of the requesting party, ability of requesting organization to safeguard and steward the data appropriately, terms of the data sharing agreement, and existing partnership with the requesting party.
Informed consent was obtained from all participants aged 13 and up and parent/guardian of all participants aged 12 and under, informed assent was obtained from all participants aged 12 and under in accordance with the study’s ethics approval
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Available on request
Basic results (scientific)