Running Free: Documentary Première and Panel

UBC Dialogues - Running Free: Documentary Premiere and Panel. Presented by Scotiabank

For generations, there was an expectation that children would spend their free time playing outdoors, developing friendships, and exploring their neighbourhoods without direct parental supervision. However, in recent decades we have seen a dramatic decline in the independent mobility of children. A worrying consequence of this shift is that Canadian society is now facing a physical inactivity crisis among children and youth. What is driving these changes and how can we reverse this trend?

Join us for the première screening of Running Free: Children’s Independent Mobility, produced by Professor Guy Faulkner of UBC’s School of Kinesiology. Told through the eyes of three families, this 26-minute documentary explores the concept of children’s independent mobility, the benefits for children’s mental health, and challenges viewers to consider solutions to this issue. Following the screening there will be a panel discussion about the film’s themes and a reception where you can continue the conversation with fellow UBC alumni and friends.


Guy Faulkner – Professor, School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia; Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Public Health Agency of Canada Chair (CIHR-PHAC) in Applied Public Health


Shiral Tobin – Director of Journalism and Programming, CBC British Columbia


Adrian Crook – Senior Digital Strategist and Civic Advocate; Founder,

Mariana Brussoni, MA’96, PhD’00 – Developmental Psychologist; Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

Negin Riazi – Doctoral Candidate, School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia

Robyn Pitman – Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of British Columbia; Registered Clinical Counsellor and Registered Marriage and Family Therapist

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
6:30-8:30 pm

Program at 6:30 pm. Reception to follow.

Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
6163 University Blvd.
Vancouver, BC – map

Cost: $10 per person. Complimentary admission for current UBC students.

Register Online

Questions? Please contact Tristy Chau at or 604-827-5831.

Speaker Biographies

Guy Faulkner

Guy FaulknerDr Guy Faulkner is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia and also a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Public Health Agency of Canada (CIHR-PHAC) Chair in Applied Public Health. His research focuses on two inter-related themes: the development and evaluation of physical activity interventions; and physical activity and mental health.

Shiral Tobin

Shiral TobinShiral Tobin is the Director of Journalism and Programming for CBC British Columbia, which means she oversees current affairs programming on all platforms in BC.  This includes five CBC stations in the province, which all have number one morning radio shows. She’s produced BC’s top rated programs in private and public radio over the past 22 years. The CBC British Columbia team has produced 5 local CBC original content podcasts, including  Fault Lines, 2050: Degrees of Change,  SOLD!; Sanctioned: the arrest of a telecom giant and Killers: J-pod on the brink.

Adrian Crook

Adrian CrookAdrian Crook is a senior digital strategist and civic advocate. He’s the founder of, an online blog where he shares his experience as a single parent raising 5 children in a downtown condo. After teaching his kids to independently ride transit to school, his children were ordered by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development to stop riding the city bus by themselves, in a case that sparked a nationwide debate on the expectations around parental supervision.

Mariana Brussoni, MA’96, PhD’00

Mariana BrussoniDr Mariana Brussoni is a developmental psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. She is an investigator with the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the British Columbia Injury Research & Prevention Unit. Mariana investigates child injury prevention and children’s risky play, focusing on parent and caregiver perceptions of risk, and design of outdoor play-friendly environments.

Negin Riazi

Negin RiaziNegin Riazi is a doctoral candidate in the School of Kinesiology at The University of British Columbia. Her research on children’s physical activity has two main foci: children’s independent mobility and evaluating population-level physical activity initiatives and policy-level interventions.

Robyn Pitman

Robyn PitmanDr Robyn Pitman is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia as well as a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Registered Marriage and Family Therapist. Robyn’s research interests include exploring the process of friendship dissolution, the importance of bidirectional relationships between parents and children, as well as clinical applications of bidirectional models between therapists and their clients.

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