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ACTIVE AT SCHOOL brings elite Canadian winter athletes to Iqaluit to inspire kids to get moving

Through ACTIVE AT SCHOOL, Canadian Tire Donates $100,000 to Nunavut To Encourage Continued Daily Physical Activity In Youth Across The Territory

IQALUIT, Aug. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - ACTIVE AT SCHOOL – a broad-based group led by Canadian Tire that includes influential organizations with an expertise in health and wellness, sport and recreation, industry and education – today gathered Canadian Olympic gold medalists Hayley Wickenheiser, Kaillie Humphries and Charles Hamelin, as well as Arctic Winter Games medalist Johnny Issaluk to inspire children in Iqaluit to be more physically active.

In an effort to encourage kids in Canada's north to participate in the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, ACTIVE AT SCHOOL also committed $100,000 to Nunavut to be delivered through the Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut (RPAN). The donation will assist with the purchase of sporting equipment and will boost training resources across the territory.

"Today we're showing our commitment to sport and are thrilled to provide $100,000 to communities across Nunavut to help youth in this territory stay active," said Michael Medline, President, Canadian Tire Corporation. "We believe every Canadian kid should play for at least an hour per day because of the tremendous physical benefits it provides and because it contributes to overall development."

Physical activity is so important for children. Not only does it increase overall health and well-being, it helps kids develop important social skills.

"We are thrilled to be working with ACTIVE AT SCHOOL to ensure every community across the territory has the tools and resources needed to get kids physically active and can't thank Canadian Tire enough for its significant donation," said Dawn Currie, Executive Director, Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut. "With the sporting equipment and training support provided, every child will have the opportunity to develop important physical and social skills that are so important to healthy childhood development."

Iqaluit hometown hero and accomplished competitor in Arctic sports, Johnny Issaluk, was also in attendance to speak about how youth in remote communities can stay active.

"It's important for kids in our community to learn about sports, physical activity and staying healthy," said Johnny Issaluk, accomplished competitor in Arctic sports and Arctic Winter Games medalist. "Thanks to organizations like Canadian Tire and ACTIVE AT SCHOOL, our kids will have both the tools and the motivation to stay physically active."

The need for today's youth to be more active is echoed by today's top amateur and professional athletes. Three of Canada's Olympic gold medalists were also in Iqaluit today to speak to local youth about the importance of physical activity and participate in fun sporting drills with them.

"Sport and physical activity has played an important role in my life for as long as I can remember," said Hayley Wickenheiser, four-time Olympic gold medalist in women's hockey. "As both an athlete and a mother, I know the benefits of quality physical activity go beyond helping build strong bodies, they help kids build strong minds as well."

"I can't imagine my life without sports and physical activities," said Kaillie Humphries, two-time Olympic gold medalist in bobsleigh. "From alpine skiing as a young girl to bobsleighing down the track in front of the whole world, participating in physical activities helped me build both my confidence and discipline."

"Since a very young age my parents have encouraged me to get active, try my best and follow my dreams," said Charles Hamelin, three-time Olympic gold medalist in speed skating. "I'm here today to pass on the encouragement I received and inspire youth in Iqaluit to get more active and take on new challenges."

ACTIVE AT SCHOOL is a broad-based group of more than 80 influential private, public and not-for-profit organizations committed to ensuring that one hour a day of quality physical activity and education is brought back to schools across Canada. With a goal of helping to reverse the trend of inactivity in Canadian kids and youth, ACTIVE AT SCHOOL is focused on using its varied voices to keep the issue top of mind with federal, provincial and municipal government as well as school boards across Canada.


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