New Physical Activity Strategy Means Healthier Ontarians
ACTIVE2010 Creates More Fitness Opportunities, Helps Get Ontarians Moving
TORONTO -- ACTIVE2010, a comprehensive new strategy to get more Ontarians physically active, will contribute to a better quality of life for Ontarians by helping them become more active and participate in sports, said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"We marked our first year in office by releasing a progress report on our plan for Ontario -- one that is all about strengthening our province's greatest competitive advantage: our people," said Premier McGuinty. "It's a plan to strengthen their education and skills, improve people's health and ensure our prosperity. ACTIVE2010 supports all of these priorities."
The government is investing $5 million a year in ACTIVE2010, to improve awareness of the benefits of physical activity and motivate people to get active. This will boost our total funding to the sport and recreation sector to more than $20 million annually. It includes a campaign directed at 10- to 14-year-olds to promote a lifetime of fitness and one at 45- to 65-year-olds to encourage the benefits of exercise.
The program will also help remove barriers that prevent people from participating in sport and recreation programs -- particularly low-income children, older adults and people with a disability.
As part of the program, a Communities In Action Fund will provide increased support for physical activity projects and local sports programs. Premier McGuinty, joined by Tourism and Recreation Minister Jim Bradley, today awarded the first grant -- $125,000 to Variety Village to provide adapted physical education classes to 600 students with disabilities from schools around the Greater Toronto Area.
"Currently, less than half of Ontarians are physically active on a regular basis," said Minister Bradley. "We want to remove the barriers to participation and encourage people to get more active and healthy."
Physical inactivity costs Ontario's health care system about $1.8 billion every year. Studies show 56 per cent of children over age 12 are not getting the health benefits associated with an active lifestyle. Many stop participating in sports when they enter their teens. Similarly, approximately 60 per cent of older adults are inactive.
"I know for a lot of us, it's hard to find the time and the energy to be physically active every day, but I encourage Ontarians to get moving and get fit," said Premier McGuinty. "By working together, and playing together, we can ensure healthier, more active lifestyles and a quality of life that is second to none."