FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Healthy and Inclusive Communities has formed a three-year partnership with Participaction, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada, aimed at promoting the need for daily physical activity.

Healthy and Inclusive Communities Minister Dorothy Shephard made the announcement today at Garden Creek Elementary School in Fredericton.

"As we work towards our vision for a healthier province, it is essential for us to make strategic partnerships based on mutual interests and joint-action planning," said Shephard. "We have an opportunity to provide leadership in the area of sport participation and physical activity, and I feel confident that this partnership is a positive step towards making that happen."

The department's Wellness Strategy actively promotes healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco cessation and mental fitness and resilience, while the Sport Plan for New Brunswick encourages the development of sport and recreation. The partnership is intended to create even more awareness of how important daily physical activity and sport is for all New Brunswickers.

Participaction recently launched a new social change marketing campaign called Bring Back Play, which encourages parents to make sure their children are getting the required 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The campaign highlights how physical activity takes many forms and encourages parents to have their children enjoy many types of unstructured play time to keep them active. Thanks to the new partnership, the campaign is co-branded with the provincial government.

"The provincial government and Participaction share a common priority to encourage and facilitate a healthy lifestyle driven by physical activity," said Participaction president and chief executive officer Kelly Murumets. "Together, we can bring back play and give kids the unstructured active time that used to be part of every childhood. Let's offer them options besides computers and TV, and work with our neighbours to address safety concerns, so that our kids have the chance to run around freely, let loose and direct their own activities. The children of New Brunswick will be happier, healthier and stronger for it!"

The partnership will use existing channels and stakeholders to expand the message about the value of physical activity. The initial year of the campaign will focus on encouraging physical activity in school-aged children. Over the next two years, the partnership will address other strategic priorities.

“The health and wellness of children affects their learning,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Jody Carr. “Education and collaboration among families, communities, schools, districts, governments, and organizations such as Participaction will help our children become more active and develop a lifelong love for healthy living.”

LINKS:

●    Join the Wellness Movement
●    Participaction  
●    Bring Back Play