Dean Kriellaars

Dean Kriellaars


Dr Dean Kriellaars is an expert in

  • Physical Literacy
  • Durability
  • Performing Arts

Dr. Dean Kriellaars is a neuroscientist and one of the founding fathers and world renowned experts in physical literacy, committed to the development and application of research into motor skill development, gender bias, risky play and resilience.

MovementWise Films

Dr. Dean Kriellaars will be appearing in our next film ‘Looking after your SELF’ that reveals the true value of sport, and play.

Key Quotes

Physical literacy, in a nutshell, is really developing as many movement competencies as you can in as many different contexts as you can.  At the same time as you’re developing those movement competencies, you develop confidence and you develop motivation and enjoyment to continue that cycle.’

‘Physical Activity is an outcome not a solution’.  

‘If you correctly develop movement competencies, the person should realize, 100% in a quality experience, that successful movements come from failure.  That means that failure is part of success, not the opposite of success.’

‘Inclusion is a critical term in the concept of physical literacy.  Physical literacy demands that all people are included in a journey that is life long and in many different contexts, which means that whether you have a physical disability or you have had a psychological impact in your life, we need to make sure that we create a level of challenge that is suitable to every level of ability.’

‘When you have a challenge suitable to you, this means that you’ll continue to participate because you’re enjoying improving yourself’.

Close up and Personal

Tania Cotton met with Dr. Dean Kriellaars in Chamonix, France, to talk about how we can all become more ‘durable’ –  physically robust, mentally resilient and resistant to injury and disease. Watch Dr. Dean Kriellaars full interview here (or select a topic to view below).

Download the Audio Podcast (mp3)

Q: What is Physical Literacy? (11’13’’)

Q: What are the benefits for boys and girls in learning how to move and play games together? (4’54’’)

Q: How important is the context in which we learn to move? (2’54’’)

Q: When learning how to move, how important is failure in our journey towards success? (1’29’’)

Q: What does it mean to be ‘inclusive’ in giving people the opportunity to move well? (1’53’’)

Q: Is being exposed to risk valuable in developing physical robustness and mental resilience? (8’57’’)

Q: Can the pressure to be perfect be a barrier to learning how to move well? (1’45’’)

Q: Is creativity an important part of taking ownership and responsibility for our movement skill in different contexts? (2’02’’)

Q: Is ‘modern living’ causing us to become less’ durable’? (2’50’’)

Q: How can we optimise training to minimise injury? (1’25’’)

Q:  What keeps people active and participating in sport? (3’10’’)

Q:  Do ‘The Olympics’ inspire active participation in sport? (1’50’’)

Q: What is play and how important is it to our physical, mental and emotional development? (1’41’’)

Q: Does being exposed to a broad range of ‘movement experiences’ help us become more ‘durable’? (1’52’’)

Q: Can we learn to move better and become more  ‘durable’ at any age? (1’20’’)

Q: What is the value of physical activity and physical literacy in the context of obesity? (1’23’’)


A prolific researcher:

  • His Human Performance Laboratory supports numerous students and staff in undertaking research on physical literacy.
  • He also undertakes research in performance enhancement and injury prevention in the high performance circus setting at the National Circus School and Cirque du Soleil.
  • He has been awarded national and international awards for scientific research and innovation.
  • He is the designer of the PLAY tools for physical literacy assessment, and
  • He is an original contributor to the Passport for Life tool for PHE Canada.

A committed community leader:

  • He is faculty member of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy at the University Manitoba in Canada and a scientist of the Children’s Health Research Institute.
  • He has been awarded Presidential Outreach awards for meritorious community work and the Campbell Award for longstanding community service.
  • He is the named co-chair of the Premiers Council on Health Living for the province of Manitoba and was awarded the Healthy Living Award for his outstanding activities in building community wellness in the province of Manitoba.

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