Survey findings point to a fairly high rate of usage of the Canadian Sport Centres (CSCs). Seven in ten athletes (71 per cent) indicated that they have used CSC services. CSC Pacific and CSC Calgary are used most often, according to 32 per cent and 28 per cent of athletes, respectively. One in four has used Centre National Multisport Montreal (CNMM)(24 per cent) and one in five has accessed CSC Ontario (22 per cent). Less frequently used are CSC Atlantic (5 per cent), CSC Manitoba (5 per cent), and CSC Saskatchewan (3 per cent).
Usage rates are significantly higher among winter athletes (79 per cent) compared to 68 per cent among summer athletes, and participants in individual sports (76 per cent) versus 63 per cent for team sport competitors. Usage also appears to increase with card type. Fully 85 per cent of SR2 card holders and 79 per cent of SR1 card holders use the services of a CSC; this figure drops steadily to 61 per cent of athletes in possession of a D card as CSCs generally provide fewer services to D carded athletes. As expected, the Calgary CSC has the highest concentration of winter athlete users.
5.3Reason(s) for Non-Usage of CSC Services
Those 224 athletes who have not used CSC services cited a general lack of awareness and geographical locations as their primary reasons for not accessing these facilities. Indeed, the plurality of these respondents (42 per cent) claimed that they were simply not aware of the types of services available through the CSCs. One in three (32 per cent) athletes said that the facilities were too far away and a further one in six (18 per cent) identified comparable services that were more conveniently located. A small number of athletes did not realise they were eligible for these services (6 per cent), had difficulty accessing these services (5 per cent), had no need for these services (3 per cent), or said the services simply did not meet their needs (2 per cent).
Participants in individual sports were the most likely to identify geographical restrictions as their reason for not accessing CSC services, 40 per cent, compared to 23 per cent among team sports competitors. Geographical location was also an issue more often raised by SR carded athletes (49 per cent), as well as among older athletes (47 per cent among 25-29 year olds; 57 per cent among those 30 and over).
5.4Individuals Providing Advice
on Service(s) to Access
In terms of individuals who typically provide them with advice (multiple responses accepted), four in ten athletes (42 per cent) listed a national coach. An additional one in four athletes (27 per cent) said it was a personal coach. One in five said a CSC service manager (21 per cent) gives them advice and one in six makes their own decisions without external input (17 per cent). One in ten relies on CSC Sport Science Manager/Advisor (11 per cent), NSO’s High Performance Director (10 per cent), or NSO’s Athlete Service Managers (7 per cent). Other less often relied upon sources include other athletes’ trainers or coaches, trusted peers, physiotherapists, and provincial sport bodies.
As seen in previous sections, summer athletes and participants in individual sports are relatively more likely to follow the guidance of a personal coach. One in three athletes named a personal coach as a source of advice (32 per cent among individual sports participants and 30 per cent of summer athletes), compared to 17 per cent among team sports competitors and 20 per cent among winter athletes.
5.5Accessibility of Services
Required from CSC
Athletes who have used CSC services are largely satisfied with their accessibility. Of the athletes who have used CSC services in the past, seven in ten said that they were able to access all of the sport science and sport medicine services needed over the last twelve months. Nonetheless, just over one in five athletes (22 per cent) indicated some difficulty in accessing at least some of the services.
Athletes engaged in individual sports were more apt to say that they did not access the services, according to one in four, compared to just 14 per cent among team sport athletes. Summer athletes also reported less accessing of services (24 per cent, compared to 16 per cent among winter athletes). No group stood out in terms of card level although C1 card athletes were most apt to say that they were able to access CSC services. It is the older athletes, however, who were most likely to report that they did not access CSC services (27 to 30 per cent of those over 25 years of age). Only speed skaters are considerably more likely than average to say that they use services of CSC’s (90 per cent), which is not surprising given that a significant number are located and train in Calgary where services tend to be delivered on-site.
5.6Additional Services of Interest
The relatively small number of athletes reporting a lack of access to services (n=158) were asked to suggest potential sport science and sport medicine services that they would like to receive. While eight in ten of these athletes (83 per cent) offered suggestions, there is little agreement in terms of an optimal course of action. The most common suggestion is to improve access to physiotherapy, massages, and recovery, though this idea was raised by only one in four respondents (27 per cent). One in five respondents pointed to improved access to services, support, and information more generally (19 per cent) or improved training and physical testing (17 per cent). One in ten suggested greater access to specific specialists (11 per cent), improved quality of medical attention (11 per cent), or nutritional counselling (8 per cent). A small number of these respondents also said sport psychology (7 per cent) and alternative medicine (3 per cent) would be welcome additions. In terms of other services, most talk about access to any services or improved access to services that they have limited access to currently, including those in smaller communities. Lists of facilities in an area and lists of services and conditions provided by the CSC were also suggested.