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Sport for Life Society – VICTORIA, B.C. – PLAY Group Victoria was awarded a $25,000 Leadership Grant this month from RBC Learn to Play for work around physical literacy development in Greater Victoria. The RBC Learn to Play Project provides grants to local organizations and community groups that are building the physical literacy of Canada’s kids and youth.

RBC Royal Bank Branch Manager, Frank Low and his team presented members of PLAY Group Victoria with a cheque of $25,000 for physical literacy development in Victoria.

Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life. – International Physical Literacy Association

The PLAY (Physical Literacy and You) Group is led by professionals and volunteers from the health, recreation, sport and education sectors who want to brainstorm and collaborate on ways to support physical literacy in Greater Victoria. There is representation from Sport for Life, Island Health, PISE, University of Victoria, CRD, Panorama Recreation, Recreation Oak Bay, West Shore Parks & Recreation, Saanich Parks & Recreation, City of Victoria Recreation Services, Esquimalt Parks & Recreation, Burnside Gorge Community Association, YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria, Yates, Thorn & Associates Consulting Services, and the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council.

The aim of the PLAY Group is to provide an avenue for interested partners to work together to promote, implement and evaluate programs, services, amenities, policies, quality resources and promising practices that advance physical literacy in Greater Victoria by applying Sport for Life Values and Principles. The objectives of the PLAY Group are to create a physical literacy mentor network across sectors and enhance partner collaboration, as well as to increase the understanding of physical literacy enriched programming and the number of physical literacy enriched programs across the region.

There is a health crisis in Canada with over half of Canadian children and teens not being active enough for healthy growth and development (BC Medical Association). Furthermore, the 2013/14 Canadian Community Health Survey revealed that an estimated 51,192 children aged 12-17 in BC were classified

as overweight or obese according to their self-reported Body Mass Index (BMI). A fundamental reason for these statistics is the decrease in the amount of time children and youth participate in physical activity.

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Physical literacy enriched programs build confidence, competence and motivation in children and youth to be physically active which can lead to lifelong physical activity participation and good health.

“An international research study on fitness published last month in a leading journal of sports medicine placed Canadian children and youth smack in in the middle of 50 countries, faring far better than the US but not nearly as well most northern European countries. The authors, who are Canadian, stressed the importance of the roles of social inequity and the opportunity to maintain a fitness trajectory during this age group as critical in avoiding future poor health and chronic disease. So, from this doctor’s perspective, this grant is exactly the right prescription for health and well-being in our region.”

– Dr. Richard Stanwick, a Past President of the Canadian Paediatric Society and Island Health’s current Chief Medical Health Officer.

The PLAY Group is a constellation of the broader Children & Youth Health Network, which is a Collective Impact initiative in the capital region of British Columbia that aims to align to increase connectedness to improve the well-being of young people and its communities.

To join the PLAY Group Victoria, please contact:

Emily Rand, Manager of Special Projects, Sport for Life Society: emily@sportforlife.ca

About RBC Learn to Play The RBC Learn to Play Project provides grants to local organizations and community groups that are building the physical literacy of Canada’s kids and youth. RBC Learn to Play Project grants are funded by RBC and the Public Health Agency of Canada and delivered by ParticipACTION with support from Canadian Sport for Life. Learn more at www.RBC.com/learntoplay.

About Sport for Life Society

The Sport for Life Society is recognized as the global experts on the Canadian Sport for Life Movement, Long-Term Athlete Development, and physical literacy development. The purpose of the Canadian Sport for Life Movement is to improve the quality of sport and develop physical literacy. Sport for Life links sport, education, recreation, health and governments to align community, provincial, and national programming. Long-Term Athlete Development is a multistage training, competition and recovery framework guiding an individual’s pathway through sport and physical activity from infancy through all phases of adulthood. Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility to be active for life. Sport for Life, as a social enterprise using Long-Term Athlete Development and physical literacy, works to be a catalyst for positive change.

About PISE (Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence)

PISE is a recognized leader in community sport and active healthy living development through the delivery of high quality programs and education to the community based on the principles of Sport for Life, including an emphasis on Physical Literacy for Youth and Active for Life for all adults. PISE, in collaboration with its partners the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and Camosun College, serves the community, students, Canadian international high performance athletes and coaches from across the region, province and country within a state-of-the-art facility and throughout the CRD region.

About Island Health

Public Health plays a significant role in operationalizing Island Health’s Population Health and Wellness Strategy which focuses on upstream prevention, health promotion and population health. Public Health collaborates with community partners to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based health and wellness promotion initiatives with patients/clients, staff, and the broader population with the aim to reduce health inequalities across Vancouver Island.