The importance of getting kids active has been drilled into us since the days of those “ParticipACTION” ads back in the 1970s.
But the message hasn’t really been heeded—and it remains especially relevant today with too many youngsters now engrossed in “screen time” instead of play. In fact, it’s reported that less than 10 percent of kids in Canada currently meet the guidelines for physical activity.
Against that backdrop, kudos to the organizers of “Play Zone 2016”—a collaborative effort aimed at showcasing the wide range of sports and clubs available to local youths. Held last Wednesday evening at the Fort High gym, it attracted almost two dozen clubs and groups while another 10 expressed interest in attending but ultimately were unable to do so.
The inaugural event gave kids a chance to try out the various sports on hand, with their parents able to gather information on the programs. It also was a real eye-opener in terms of the tremendous number of clubs out there for youth to get involved with—and not just sports-oriented ones.
In a nutshell, our community offers plenty of opportunities for kids regardless of what their particular interest may be. And with programs like “KidSport” and “JumpStart” (through Canadian Tire), funding is available to help cover the costs so no child need be turned away for financial reasons.
“Play Zone” was a great idea that hopefully will result in more kids joining local clubs that then carries over into adulthood. And equally important, ensures active kids today enjoy healthy years to come.