What is G.Y.M.?

Growing Young Movers (G.Y.M.) Youth Development Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the social, emotional, and physical well-being of children and youth through a three pillar approach: Programming, Knowledge Mobilization, and Supports.  Underpinned throughout all three pillars is our commitment to research alongside youth, families, and communities. 

Who are we?

Dr. Sean Lessard is from Montreal Lake Cree Nation Treaty 6 territory.  He is an Associate Professor Indigenous Education & Teacher Education at the University of Alberta and co-founder of Growing Young Movers Youth Development.  He is an award winning speaker, writer, and researcher working closely with communities on a National level. Sean’s areas of interest include youth mentorship, leadership, high school completion, and transition to post-secondary/workforce strategies. He is the Pat Clifford Award Winner for Emerging Educational research as well as the 2015 Myer Horowtiz Outstanding Dissertation Award Winner.  Contact Sean


Brian Lewis is a doctoral candidate at the University of Regina and co-founder Growing Young Movers Youth Development.  He is the Program Director with G.Y.M., consultant, workshop facilitator, and resource developer in the area of physical education and physical literacy.  Currently, Brian sits on the board of directors for Physical and Health Education (PHE) Canada.  His interests revolve around the connections between the holistic well-being of youth and it’s impact on their physical literacy journey.  Brian’s doctoral research is a narrative inquiry into the experiences of urban Aboriginal youth within an after-school wellness program. Contact Brian


Dr. Lee Schaefer is an Assistant Professor at McGill University in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He is also the Chair of the Physical and Health Education Canada Research Council. His research is focused on teacher education, specifically, physical education teacher education, youth development through wellness and physical activity, the impact of the outdoors on youth physical activity levels and narrative inquiry. He has been recognized on a national and international level for both his research and his writing and has been invited to speak at local, national and international conferences. His passion for physical education, and providing youth purposeful, developmental, movement opportunities continues to drive his research, teaching and service commitments.  Contact Lee