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girl catching a ball

CPAC has a busy summer

WATERLOO, Ont. (September 11, 2018) – Laurier’s Sun Life Financial Centre for Physically Active Communities (CPAC) had a busy July that included running two community camps,  providing a physical activity component to Laurier’s Beckett School Artshine and Music Explorers Camps and sponsoring ten local students to attend the Laurier Golden Hawk Multi-Sport Camp.

CPAC’s Sports Galore camp invited 80 Kitchener-Waterloo students aged 8-11 from both the Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board and Big Brothers and Sisters to participate in one of two weekly camps hosted at MacGregor Public School. Participants were identified as high need in terms of financial and cultural opportunities.  Camp leaders were enthusiastic Laurier Kinesiology students who integrated fundamental movement and sports skills through games and experimentation. The goal of the camp was to promote the importance of physical activity and give campers the competence and confidence to be active for life. Participation in the camp was free due to generous sponsorship from Sun Life Financial as well as PepsiCo. Canada Foundation.  A highlight of the camp was that a scooter that was given to two most valuable camp participants who had been identified previously as particularly high need financially. All camp participants left the camp with sport balls in order to promote continued physical activity at home.

“This was the first year CPAC has hosted camps and I am beyond thrilled with how well our summer programming went. It was awesome to be able to see students from different schools, backgrounds, and cultures bond through participation in sport. In addition to our own camps, I am happy we were able to collaborate with other institutions at Laurier as well. Each program fit our mandate to promote physical activity and break down the barriers some families face in accessing recreational programming,” said Nicole Vandermade, Program Coordinator of CPAC.

Students in CPAC’s Sports Galore camp and the Golden Hawk camp were chosen by their teacher or principal based on family need, aptitude/interest in physical activity, or lack of access to recreational programming. Only nine per cent of Canadian children are completing the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines with a recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to high-intensity physical activity daily. Unfortunately, this number decreases even more for children with financial, cultural, transportation or additional resource barriers. CPAC strives to support members of the youth community who may not be fairly serviced with access to recreational space/programming.

CPAC was able to provide recreational programming to over 100 local elementary school students during the summer and programs are expected to grow in future years. “After the success of our programming this summer, I expect CPAC to be running at least 4 weeks of camp next year,” said Laurier professor, Kim Dawson, Director of CPAC Community Outreach. “After speaking with parents at pick-up and drop-off it is evident there is a strong need in the community for free or low cost programming that promotes physical activity and we are committed to providing access to these types of programs to as many local youth as possible.”

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