Creating a Positive Environment for Physically Active Youth: Developing the Right Conditions for Better Health and Podium Success
Sport Matters Group – Ottawa, Ontario (October 18, 2016) – Close to 50 delegates from the sport, physical activity and recreation sector met with Members of Parliament, the Senate, Ministers and senior policy advisors today to raise awareness on key policy issues targeted by the sector.
“We want our elected and appointed officials to understand the necessity of placing an emphasis on values-based sport at all levels as well as the need to encourage active healthy lifestyles in updated or new facilities for all Canadians,” commented Bob Elliott, Senior Leader of Sport Matters Group (SMG), organizers of the event.
To help Canada create the winning conditions for better health and podium success the sector recommends that:
- The federal government continue to work with the provinces and territories and the sector to: establish that takes into account the work that has been done to develop Active Canada 20/20 and is aligned with the 2012 Canadian Sport Policy and the 2015 Framework for Recreation in Canada; support the implementation of the national physical activity framework with dedicated and significant targeted funding; and establish a mechanism for coordinated action to align work across federal departments as well as between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
“Physical activity is key to a healthier, more connected and more prosperous Canada. A stronger, more active Canada is possible with coordinated action across public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including clear targets and sufficient funding,” said Elio Antunes, President and CEO of ParticipACTION.
- That the federal government follow the recommendations of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association and the Canadian Recreational Facilities Council as follows and commit a total of $1.2 billion per annum for the next ten years representing 10% of the total $120 billion in government infrastructure spending over the next 10 years:
- To create a dedicated sport and recreation infrastructure ‘repair’ fund
- To create a dedicated sport and recreation infrastructure ‘new build’ fund
- To fund the creation of a national, comprehensive inventory of sport and recreation facilities in Canada
“If we hope to increase participation in sport, which is on the decline, it needs to start with facilities,” commented Cathy Jo Noble, Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association.
- The Government of Canada should continue to make a robust, sustainable, and predictable commitment to funding for both core and high performance sport systems in Canada and consider increasing funding by $16.72 million to help athletes, their coaches and training facilities be better funded in order to support better sport performances and results.As part of this request the need to increase support to team sports was also identified especially given the addition of Men’s baseball and Women’s softball to the program for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
“Increased physical activity in children along with improved and new facilities leads to a greater pool of athletes many of which will become National Team members and ultimately win more medals for Canada. Our athletes need our continued support if we expect them to perfrom at their best at the top competitions in the world.” commented Greg Mathieu, Co-Chair of the Summer Olympic Sport Caucus and CEO of Cycling Canada.
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The Sport Matters Group (SMG) is a voluntary group of leaders from the sport, physical activity and recreation sector who have come together to talk about the important contribution that ethical, values-based sport makes to society and to collaborate in advancing sport and public policy. The SMG community includes some 85 National, Provincial, and Multisport Organizations, as well as physical activity and recreation organizations. SMG is a place where leaders connect with one another, where we address cross-cutting issues together, and where we innovate in finding solutions to complex issues involving sport systems, governments and citizens.
For more information, please contact:
Bob Elliott, Senior Leader
Sport Matters Group
O (613) 521-9862 ext: 3201
C (613) 299-5542