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November 26, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario – Public Health Agency of Canada
Today, on behalf of the Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary of Health and Member of Parliament for Mississauga – Brampton South, joined by Jane Broderick, Chief Brand and Communications Officer, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION, announced a partnership with RBC and ParticipACTION to help deliver the RBC Learn to Play Project, a national program aimed at improving physical literacy among Canada’s children and youth. RBC Olympians Jennifer Botterill and Patrick Chan were also on-hand to support the announcement.
The main goal of the RBC Learn to Play Project is to help organizations incorporate “physical literacy” skills, or basic movement training into their sport and recreation programs. The Project focuses on teaching kids the basics of being active while also supporting programs that give them the chance to put these skills into practice so they can feel confident and knowledgeable enough to participate in sport and to make physical activity a part of their daily lives. By improving physical literacy, children and youth are enhancing skills like agility, balance and coordination, learning and understanding the rules of various sports as well as the appropriate use of equipment and facilities so they can be active, while staying safe.
This three year partnership will help support Canadians in developing the skills necessary to lead healthier and more active lives.
- Only four percent of Canadian children are getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity.
- Children who are overweight or obese are at high risk for serious childhood diseases like pre-diabetes, asthma, joint problems, and liver disease. They have an 80 per cent chance of becoming obese adults, and may show heart disease as early as age 25.
- As outlined in the recent Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada is committed to working with the provinces and territories and with the private and not-for-profit sectors to encourage young Canadians to be more physically active.
- Approximately 180 community-based programs will be funded under this initiative this year alone.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing over $3 million over three years for this project.
- The direct and indirect economic costs of obesity are estimated at $7 billion in 2011, based on costs associated with 18 chronic diseases most consistently linked to obesity.
“Promoting physical literacy is an important aspect to helping children and youth adopt more active and healthier lifestyles. I’m confident that through our partnership with RBC and PartcipACTION, the RBC Learn to Play Project will empower children and youth across the country to build the skills and confidence they need to get up, play and be more active.”
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
“Being physically active is one of the most important things we can do to be happy and healthy in our lives. Through our partnership with RBC and ParticipACTION, we’re leveraging expertise and resources to make it easier and more exciting for young Canadians to be active.”
Parliamentary Secretary of Health and Member of Parliament for Mississauga – Brampton South
“Sport can transform lives and have a powerful, positive impact on our communities. Through our partnership with the Government of Canada and ParticipACTION, the RBC Learn to Play Project, will help children develop the confidence and skills they need to enable them to play and become happy, healthy and active for life.”
Chief Brand and Communications Officer, RBC
“With the generous support of the Government of Canada and RBC, the RBC Learn to Play Project will give kids across the country more exposure to quality sport and physical activity programming. Together, we are nurturing a whole generation of Canadians who see sport and physical activity as part of who they are.”
President and CEO, ParticipACTION
“Studies show the overwhelming benefits of physical activity and the positive effects it can have on overall well-being, and yet participation in sports among kids has been declining in recent years. Sport teaches so many things to kids – like teamwork, responsibility and perseverance. Not only that, sport can be so much fun and allow kids to just be kids, to play and be with their friends. As someone who is dedicated to sport, I’m honoured to work with RBC on the Learn to Play Project and am grateful to the Government of Canada and ParticipACTION for their commitment to Canadian kids.”
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Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada