Item: Snowsmart: communicating snow risk management to canada's youth
Title: Snowsmart: communicating snow risk management to canada's youth
Proceedings: 2002 International Snow Science Workshop, Penticton, British Columbia
Authors: Sandra Mills, SMARTRISK, Toronto, Ontario, Gordon Ritchie & Peter Spear, Canadian Ski Patrol System, Calgary, Alberta, Clair Israelson, Canadian Avalanche Association, Revelstoke, British Columbia, Per Nilsen & Michel Villeneuve Parks Canada, Hull, Q
Abstract: Youth are frequent participants in the winter sports of skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. They often lack experience and take more risks, resulting in injuries and even death. The purpose of SNOWSMART is to develop culturally relevant messages for Canadian youth to increase their knowledge and awareness of risk associated with winter sports. Assisting youth to make positive, smart choices and changing behaviors, will help to reduce the number of winter sports related search-and-rescue responses, injuries and deaths in Canada Data was collected through surveys, one-on-one interviews and focus groups with Canadian youth aged 12 - 18. Youths' existing attitudes towards risk associated with the three sports were identified. Participants in each sport have distinctly different attitudes, risk perception and behaviours. Threat of injury is not a big deterrent for youth. Many believe injuries are cool and lead to progress in the sport. Participants suggested school-based learning from experienced role models in their sport and from people who survived traumatic injuries as an ideal way to reach their population. Teacher-delivered lesson plans were designed for Grade 7 and 10 physical education and science curricula. A video, public service announcements and facilitation tips/strategies outlining how to deliver SNOWSMART are included. Students' posttests indicate a heightened awareness of smart risk taking and avoidance of injury. This is the first comprehensive winter sports risk management/awareness program combining a school-based approach with a marketing campaign. SNOWSMART will assist motivated youth to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent personal injury and loss of life while participating in winter sports.
Keywords: education, risk behaviour, social marketing, and avalanche
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