Recreation and Sport Services (RALS)
Available as a two-year program
Note: Upon successful program completion, students will receive the Recreation and Leisure Services diploma credential.
- Program Code
Two-year Ontario College Diploma
- Start Date
Find your career
This program prepares students for leadership positions in sports and recreation programs. Train to:
- Design recreational initiatives for community recreation centres, fitness clubs, seniors’ facilities, college and university athletic departments, community associations such as the YMCA, service clubs, corporate fitness programs, tourist resorts and cruise ships.
- Manage indoor and outdoor recreation, sports and fitness facilities or start your own business.
- Graduates obtain industry-recognized High 5 certification in leadership and coaching required to work with day camps and children’s programs.
Our grads get great jobs
- Assistant Program Coordinator, Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre
- Community Development Coordinator, Batawa Development Corporation
- Activity Director, The Carrington Retirement Residence
- Recreation Coordinator, Tyendinaga Township
- VP Business Operations, Canadian Ski Patrol
Is it for you?
Do you enjoy being active? Is your enthusiasm contagious? This is a great program for people who:
- Are outgoing and like working with the public
- Have energy to burn
- Possess keen observational skills
- Are good motivators
This hands-on program produces recreation and sport professionals with the skills and knowledge to help people of all ages and abilities combine wellness and physical activity in their daily lives:
- Engage in outdoor recreation activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, slacklining and skiing.
- Work directly with children and youth with a variety of exceptionalities and abilities within an adaptive recreation setting.
- Prepare for self-employment through an independent research project in the final semester. Design an original program or business that can be showcased to employers and investors upon graduation.
- Pursue opportunities to complete aquatic and outdoor recreation qualifications.
- Gain important public relations, marketing, financial, and research and proposal writing skills.
- Hear from industry professional guest speakers in recreation and outdoor education.
- Gain 320 hours of on-the-job experience in two field placements within a variety of settings: municipal health and wellness centres, military recreation, resort destinations, outdoor education centres, retirement and therapeutic recreation facilities, and international programs
Expand your opportunities with a dual diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion
- A common first-year curriculum allows a seamless transition into Fitness and Health Promotion, allowing students to complete a dual diploma in just one additional year.
- The unique focus on exercise sciences provides a strong foundation in anatomy, physiology, nutrition and injury management.
Outstanding faculty make the difference
- Learn with experienced and dedicated faculty who are committed to student success.
- The program coordinator has extensive experience working overseas in international children’s programming, connecting students with international placements and jobs.
- First Year - Semester One
- COMM1048 College Writing Skills
- This course focuses on writing and research skills required for successful completion of college-level studies. The course will promote development and improvement of research and writing skills that can be applied to students’ chosen programs of study.
- ANAT1000 Human Anatomy and Physiology
- This course provides an introduction to anatomical terminology and organization within the human body and its application to exercise. Emphasis will be given to the role of the musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, endocrine and nervous systems at rest and during movement.
- PSYC1013 Human Development & Sport
- The principles and determinants of development are discussed. Topics include the application of developmental theories related to physical, psychological, social, cognitive, moral and spiritual changes throughout the lifespan.
- FITN1008 Personal Health and Wellness
- Students engage in individual and group exercise activities in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. Emphasis is placed on personal development through all aspects of the wellness continuum. Students are introduced to lifestyle enhancement methods including aerobic conditioning, strength training, flexibility, stress management and nutrition.
- PROF1019 Succeeding in Fitness & Recreation
- This course will prepare students to successfully transition to a post-secondary learning environment and understand the demands and challenges of the Fitness and Health Promotion and Recreation and Sport Services programs. Topics include academic and study skills, time management, financial literacy and the importance of professional rapport and communication. Students explore exciting career opportunities and pathways within the industry and develop an effective portfolio, cover letter and résumé. Guest speakers and graduates of the program discuss industry expectations and important skills and competencies for a successful career.
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- First Year - Semester Two
- FITN1003 Exercise Physiology & Rehabilitative Anatomy
This course examines the body's response and adaptation to acute and chronic exercise participation. Students will relate bioenergetics and energy metabolism to different modes, types and intensities of exercise. The response of various organ systems to exercise will be discussed, as well as considerations for different environments and special populations. Students are also introduced to concepts of exercise prescription and how to train for various modes and intensities of activity.
Prerequisite: ANAT 1000
- MGMT1009 Human Resources & Customer Service
- Students will utilize personality inventories, journaling and role-playing assignments to develop an awareness of self and others with respect to socio-psychological and emotional parameters across the lifespan. This information combined with interpersonal skills, stress reduction, conflict resolution and basic problem solving will be applied to the delivery of quality customer service. This course will also discuss basic theoretical and practical knowledge essential to the organization and administration of various sport and recreation programs.
- MGMT1001 Introduction to Program Design
Students develop basic skills in all aspects of fitness and recreational program planning. This course will provide the foundation for program planning that is utilized throughout the program and the industry. Students develop a program plan that incorporates a needs assessment, program administration, marketing, budgeting, risk management and program evaluation.
Prerequisite: COMM 1048, PSYC 1013
- FITN1009 Sport & Recreation Programming
Students will be provided with the opportunity to experience a variety of fitness and recreation modalities including group exercise, outdoor programming and trending exercise modalities. Active participation in these activities will allow students to expand on their skills and explore potential career pathways.
Prerequisite: FITN 1008
- MGMT2001 Sport Psychology & Leadership
- Students will relate theories of group development, conflict resolution, leadership styles and communication to working in group situations. Students apply aspects of sport psychology and leadership training to team and group environments. This practical application allows the student to reflect on and analyze their own participation in the group experience and their own personal application of group dynamic concepts and skills.
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- Second Year - Semester Three
- MGMT2007 Emerging Trends in Sport
- Students analyze various economic, sociological, scientific and political factors, learning to identify both current and future opportunities and challenges in the fields of recreation and sport management, and fitness and health promotion.
- WKPL2015 Field Placement 1
- This course will consist of one four-week block placement in an agency of a discipline within the recreation/leisure services field.
- NUTR2001 Nutrition
This is an advanced course in evaluating the nutritional status of a healthy individual and identifying eating practices that may or may not promote health. Students learn to relate the biochemical and physiological processes of human nutrition, utilize nutritional assessment tools and identify differences in nutrition for health and disease.
Prerequisite: FITN 1003
- PGLE2004 Outdoor Recreation
- Course description not available
- PROF2029 Professional & Career Development
This course introduces students to the requirements and objectives of the field placement experience within the Recreation and Sport Services and Fitness and Health Promotion programs. Through in-class activities and independent study, students will explore a variety of different agencies, facilities and field placement possibilities. Students research further educational opportunities and the obtainment of relevant industry certifications.
Prerequisite: COMM 1048, PROF 1019
- WRIT2001 Research and Proposal Writing
This course is designed to train students to acquire new and/or enhance their existing skills which are necessary to effectively research, write and appropriately reference a clear, concise and comprehensive proposal for a new business program or special event.
Prerequisite: COMM 1048
- PHSI2001 Sport Injury Management
This course is designed to provide students with detailed understanding of injury assessment and management. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition of knowledge, both the theoretical and practical components required to competently assess and manage common injuries sustained while participating in recreational activities. The integrated knowledge and skills acquired from the course will be used as a basis for future, more advanced course work in the areas of lifestyle programming and adapted recreation programming.
Prerequisite: FITN 1003
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- Second Year - Semester Four
- RESE2002 Advanced Program Planning and Documentation
Students complete a comprehensive plan for an original and innovative special event or program utilizing all relevant course work and practical placement experience.
Prerequisite: WRIT 2001
- ENTR2002 Entrepreneurship & Marketing
This course introduces students to the many dimensions of starting different types of businesses. Students examine present and future opportunities to start a business in the sport, recreation, or health promotion field.
Prerequisite: MGMT 1001
- WKPL2016 Field Placement 2
- This course provides students the opportunity to apply acquired skills and knowledge during a four-week block placement at an organization within the recreation and leisure field.
- PHSI2002 Inclusive Programming
This course prepares students to provide inclusive fitness and recreation activities to individuals with a variety of physical, social or cognitive exceptionalities. Emphasis is placed on the design and implementation of safe and inclusive programming, allowing for maximum participation and engagement.
Prerequisite: PHSI 2001 or FITN 1003
- PGLE2005 Outdoor & Adventure Programming
Prerequisite: PGLE 2004
- MGMT2005 Sport & Event Management
Students apply the process of program planning to a special and/or sporting event. They create, plan, implement and evaluate programs and activities that respond to identified needs and interests, and maximize the delivery of personal, social, economic and environmental benefits.
Prerequisite: MGMT 1001
- MGMT2004 Sports Administration
This course examines best practices relating to the management of programs, facilities and human resources specific to the field of fitness and health promotion and recreation and sport services. Leadership and management challenges, sound decision-making skills, discussions about risk management, budgeting and relevant government legislation will be discussed.
Prerequisite: MGMT 1009
*Courses subject to change.
- Expand your qualifications: A common first-year curriculum allows a seamless transition into Fitness and Health Promotion. Graduates have the opportunity to complete a dual diploma in just one additional year.
- Following the completion of a bridge semester, Recreation and Sport Services graduates can complete an Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant diploma in one additional year (two semesters).
- Earn a double diploma in another College program in as little as one year.
- Specialize with a post-graduate certificate in Sports and Entertainment Sales and Marketing or Public Relations.
Turn your diploma into a degree
Many universities across Canada and abroad will provide credit recognition for your diploma studies at Loyalist. The following is a list of agreements that are currently in place. There are many more options, and new agreements are added annually. Contact your university of choice to make individual arrangements.
- Algoma University — B.A.; B.B.A.; B.Sc.; Bach. Computer Science
- Athabasca University – Bach. Professional Arts in Human Services; B.Sc. Human Science
- Brock University – Bach. Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Davenport University – B.A. Sport Management
- Lakehead University — various*
- Laurentian University — various*
- Nipissing University — various*
- Seneca College – Bach.Therapeutic Recreation; Bach. Interdisciplinary Studies
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology — B.A. Adult Education and Digital Technology
- University of Waterloo — B.A. (General or Honours) Recreation and Leisure Studies; B.A. (Honours) Recreation and Sport Business or Therapeutic Recreation or Tourism and Parks Management
- Wilfrid Laurier University — various*
- York University — various*
*Various potential degree pathways. Please confirm details with the receiving institution.
How much will it cost?
Approximate costs (2018 – 19)
- Domestic Tuition/Ancillary Fees: $4,322.54 (two semesters)
- Additional Program Costs: Year one: $579; Year two: $466
- Additional fees may be charged for supply kits, overnight field trips and uniforms.
- Additional costs, such as travel and parking, may be incurred during placements.
Bursaries and financial assistance
Loyalist has a number of scholarships, bursaries and academic awards available to students. Our Financial Aid Office can help you explore your options, or assist you with a student loan.
Required academic preparation
- OSSD/OSSGD or equivalent with courses at the general, advanced, (C), (U) or (M) level, AND
- Grade 12 English (C) level or equivalent
- Standard First Aid and Level “C” CPR with AED certification (adult, child and infant).
- Immunization record and/or personal health history
- The program includes a physical fitness component. Prospective students with special needs, limitations or health-related issued that may affect their field placement or potential employment opportunities are encouraged to discuss their career goals with the program coordinator as part of the application process.
Recommended academic preparation
- Sciences and mathematics.
- Applicants with a baccalaureate degree focusing on exercise sciences may be eligible for direct entry into year two.
Prior learning assessment and recognition
Applicants with work experiences or other types of non-credentialed learning may be eligible for credits at Loyalist. Graded credits (as opposed to exemptions) are granted. Click here for more information about our assessment and credit challenge process.
Click here for information about how to apply, international student fees and more.
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