Update Femke Hoekstra, McMaster University Hamilton
My name is Femke Hoekstra (1987), a PhD‐student at the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG). As a human movement scientist, I am particularly interested in physical activity behavior in people with disabilities and approaches to stimulate a physically active lifestyle in this population, which is also the focus of my PhD‐project. As part of my PhD project, I had the opportunity to visit the McMaster University in Hamilton (Ontario) to conduct a policy comparative study. In this project, I am comparing policies on physical activity in people with disabilities between Canada and The Netherlands. I am mainly focusing on national approaches (e.g. Canada and The Netherlands) to promote sports and physical activities among disabled population, both on elite and recreational level. Furthermore, I will describe the differences and similarities between both approaches.
In contrast to The Netherlands, the national government in Canada delegates a lot to the provincial governments. For example, provincial governments are responsible for the organization of health care, education and welfare, including the regulation on taxes. As a result, legislations, taxes, healthcare, including physical activity promotion, differ among provinces . For the comparative study which I am working on, we had to decide therefore to focus only on national approaches and exclude approaches on provincial levels. Otherwise, the study was getting too complex. A comparison on provincial/ local level might be something for a next project in near future!
So far, I learned already a lot about Canada! Not only about policy infrastructure and legislations, but also about more culture related aspects. Canadians are very friendly and take care to each other. Furthermore, it is very inspiring and interesting to conduct a study in an international collaboration! And therefore I would like to acknowledge the ACSN for providing me financial support for this project and give me the opportunity to have this great experience.