On Thursday, June 7 we are proud to be hosting the Halton Sport Leadership graduation ceremony for the class of 2018.
This is Oakville’s fourth group of graduates, but the first for both Burlington and Milton. Three participating schools from Oakville, two from Milton and four from Burlington identified students to participate in this alternative learning experience. These students often have barriers, such as financial strain, family concerns or academic struggles, that don’t allow them to participate in traditional sports teams or extracurriculars. Participants are equipped with certifications in how to work with children, sport-specific leadership and job readiness.
While “sport” is in the name itself, Halton Sport Leadership is so much more than a program designed to teach youth about sports. It’s skill development. It’s employability. It’s self-confidence.
Jerod Hannah, Coordinator of Youth Engagement at the YMCA of Oakville, says “The best part of the program is the relationships they build with their Community Mentors and with each other. It’s so rewarding to see them all become friends.”
The Halton Sport Leadership program is a collaborative asset-based leadership development initiative for youth that was inspired by the success of the Toronto Sport Leadership Program launched in 2005. The need to replicate the program in Halton region was realized and spearheaded by the Halton Poverty Roundtable, who were concerned about youth unemployment rates in Halton region. A steering committee was formed and the program was officially piloted in Oakville in 2014.
The program is collaborative in nature and involves a number of partners. The curriculum & program framework was developed by the YMCA of Oakville & the Town of Oakville, and the pilot project was realized because of an individual donor of the Oakville YMCA.
Halton Sport Leadership is delivered in partnership with: City of Burlington, HCDSB, HDSB, HPRT, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton, Town of Oakville, YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford, YMCA of Oakville
Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, including aerobic and muscle strengthening activities. At YMCA Healthy Kids Day, discover new activities and a community for healthy families where everyone belongs.
Here are some tips to ensure your family is active and engaged in a fun, healthy lifestyle:
Take Your Kids with You
Rather than heading out on a walk or jog solo, invite your kids to hop on their bicycles, skateboards and scooters and head out with you. You will come back energized and connected knowing you’ve set a great example and spent quality time together. Everyone wins!
Free is Good!
Many communities have free or low-cost youth activities or programs at facilities such as pools, playgrounds, parks, sporting fields, community centres and (of course) the YMCA! Ask your child’s teacher, contact your local municipality, search online, in your local paper, or contact your local YMCA, rec centre or library for upcoming events.
Think Outside the Box
Who says hockey can only be played in the winter? A frisbee or hula-hoop can be enjoyed any time of year. Take a look at what equipment you already have on hand and encourage your kids to use them in new ways or at times they wouldn’t normally think of. They’ll be excited by the novelty of the idea and the fun-factor will keep them active and inspired.
Go Fly a Kite!
Pick up a kite or make your own and take your kids to a local park or playground for hours of family fun. Check out this link to help you make your own kite!
Invite Friends Along
Playing alone becomes a barrier for some children to engaging in physical activity. Invite some neighborhood buddies over and see how fast they come up with active things to do.
Take a Hike
Kids love to explore and a hike is a perfect way to do it. The summer is the best time to get outdoors to your local conservation areas, trails and parks! Have you taken your kids to all of the parks your city has to offer? Together you can examine trees, cool plants and various animal tracks. Hiking is simple, free, and develops physical literacy.
Leave the Car at Home
Depending on the distance and safety factor, consider letting your children walk to school, the library, their friend’s house, or any other place you would normally drive them to. If you are shopping, park a little farther and have fun by counting the steps to your destination. Some kids may be inspired by tracking their steps with a pedometer. Pedometers are relatively inexpensive and many libraries have them available on loan, all you have to do is ask!
Be Active Inside!
For those extra hot or rainy summer days, plan for indoor activities such as bowling, laser tag, or indoor rock climbing. Try activities together like yoga or relay races (just search YouTube for some inspiration)! Make chores fun and do them together. Plan rewards for helping out and you’ll keep your kids busy and away from screens for most of the day.
Compiled and developed by Lindsay McDermott, YMCA of Western Ontario
According to the newest data from Statistics Canada, fewer than 20% of Canadian children and youth are still not meeting recommended targets for physical activity. Two studies released last fall reveal kids are also spending too much time in front of digital screens and not getting enough sleep.
Results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey from Statistics Canada, also published in 2017, show that parents’ activity levels directly impact physical activity levels in our kids. The 2016 YMCA Healthy Kids Report had similar findings, with 85% of Canadian parents agreeing they are an important influence and only a few identifying themselves as ‘excellent’ healthy role models.
Leading a healthy lifestyle that includes meeting recommended physical activity is challenging, and often, seems impossible. Work, errands, activities, homework and more fill our schedules, leaving us with too much to do in a short amount of time.
But, it’s easier than you think.
Join us for YMCA Healthy Kids Day on Sunday, June 3 and discover tons of tools and resources to help you create a healthier lifestyle. This free community event will show you and your family how simple daily actions can make a huge impact.
Visit YMCA Healthy Kids Day for a complete schedule of events and drop by the Y on June 3 from 11:00-3:00!