Holland Bloorview - Igniting Fitness PossibilitiesSaturday, January 23, 2016
As a proponent for physical activity among youth, I feel it is important to engage children in as many fitness opportunities as possible. In doing so, we can help foster a love of physical activity, encourage healthy habits, develop sport-based skills and instil a sense of confidence among children. At the school where I work, our students participate in daily physical activity and physical education classes. They enjoy cooperative games during recess and take part in various sports teams and intramural games thanks to dedicated staff and volunteers. Many students also belong to additional sports teams or are physically active outside of school hours. But for those who aren't as active or have disabilities that may limit their options for extra-curricular activity, what can they do? Fortunately, for those in the Greater Toronto Area, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital offers a first-of-its kind program designed to mobilize kids with and without disabilities to engage together in physical activity - a program called Igniting Fitness Possibilities.
Igniting Fitness Possibilities at Holland Bloorview
As Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital, Holland Bloorview has been providing treatment, research and education services in the area of kids disability. Now, with their new Igniting Fitness Possibilities program, they are taking their services one step further by helping to develop sports skills and foster a passion for physical activity through non-competitive teamwork-based games that are grounded in reaching a session-specific "group goal". Each session is supported by knowledgeable instructors and made possible thanks to community partners, as well as the generous contributions of the National Bank.
In December 2014, the National Bank demonstrated their commitment to support communities across Canada by pledging $100,000 over five years that will help bring IFP to more communities in the GTA. Along with their involvement with IFP, National Bank is involved with another youth–oriented initiative called One for Youth, which encourages non-profit organizations and schools across Canada to submit projects that help to develop the wellbeing of young adults.
What People are Saying About the Program
Participants (grades 6-8):
You weren’t judged for anything you did. Like if you were really bad at something you could still play. At school if you are really bad at something you’re like oh my god I can’t play it, but here you were the same as everyone else. I liked it when we could make our own games in the program and I like the obstacle courses and the fitness games at the beginning.
I learned that fitness isn’t bad at all. Before I started I always hated fitness and doing boring old things like jumping jacks and push- ups, but I guess when [my coach] talked about things it kind of cleared things up and made fitness more fun.
I felt like I wasn’t moving enough before the program. I just sat on my bed and played with my phone. It helped knowing that I could be somewhere, being active, and adapt things the way I need them.
A few times he was in a horrible mood [before IFP] and was very withdrawn. He was just very stressed about things due at school and when we got here it was a complete 180. He came running in and was diving through hula hoops, and I was like ‘this is my kid who was upset in the car?’ And he created that game, and that he presented it; he’s a different kid… he feels the confidence here. I definitely think it helped him to see the options out there; that you can do it and be creative with it.
To learn more about the Igniting Fitness Possibilities program, visit hollandbloorview.ca.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.