Sport is defined as "a regulated form of physical activity organized as a contest between two or more participants for the purpose of determining the winner by fair and ethical means" (Sport Canada). Governments have been involved in sport since the early part of the twentieth century because they recognize sport as a powerful means of enhancing society's health and well-being. (Canadian Sport Policy 2012).

The sport system in Canada is made up of a number of organizations that provide sport programming and services at the national, provincial/territorial and municipal level. These groups serve either individual sports (single sport organizations), or cater to numerous sports sharing common needs (multisport service organization). Basketball Alberta would be an example of the former, while the Sport Medicine Council of Alberta or Alberta Schools Athletic Association are examples of the latter. These organizations receive financial support from governments, according to the scope of their programs and services. For example, a local amateur swim club may be funded by the municipality and participant fees, whereas the organization responsible for the provincial swim team competing at the Canada Games would be eligible to receive provincial government funding.

Last reviewed/revised: March 9, 2015

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