Working across sectors to increase opportunities for children living with intellectual disabilities to participate in physical activity
The Government of Canada is committed to promoting healthy living and healthy weights, and preventing chronic disease for all Canadians.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has partnered with Special Olympics Canada, the Samuel Family Foundation and the RBC Foundation to increase opportunities for children living with intellectual disabilities to participate in physical activity.
With $468,416 in funding from the Government of Canada, as well as funding from the RBC Foundation and the Samuel Family Foundation, Special Olympics Canada is expanding their “Active Start” and “FUNdamentals” programs. These programs provide children with an intellectual disability the opportunity to improve physical, social and cognitive abilities, thereby establishing a foundation for being physically active and healthy. These skills provide support for everyday activities as well as a base for Special Olympics sports training and competition as athletes grow older.
Active Start (for children aged two to six)
This program provides early instruction in basic motor skills and gives the opportunity to experience ‘play,’ with the goal of improving physical, social and cognitive abilities. Active Start provides lessons for young athletes to learn about running, kicking, throwing, and jumping and builds on the experiences from the gym. Caregivers will be provided educational information and resources that allow them to offer similar opportunities in the home environment.
FUNdamentals (for children aged seven to 12)
This program focuses on developing basic sport skills while creating a level of enjoyment for physical activity in young athletes. The goal is to encourage young athletes to live a healthy active life through sport. FUNdamentals uses activity sessions that look at specific sport skills such as transportation skills, kicking, throwing and catching that can be transferred into a number of various sports and can be used in everyday tasks.
Government of Canada action on healthy living and physical activity
The Government of Canada is committed to working with the provinces and territories, and the not-for-profit and private sectors, to promote healthy living, reduce the risk of obesity and help young Canadians have the healthiest start in life. This ‘whole of society’ approach brings together partners from all sectors in order to create the necessary conditions that support young Canadians to lead a more active lifestyle.
The Government helps Canadians make healthier choices through various initiatives and actions, such as:
- The Multi-sectoral Partnership Approach to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease, which invests approximately $20M each year to address the risk factors that underlie chronic diseases and childhood obesity, in particular, physical inactivity. Federal investments are matched by others so that we reach more Canadians.
- The Play Exchange, a national competition in partnership with Canadian Tire, LIFT Philanthropy Partners and the CBC, to find new ideas for healthy, active lifestyles. The Play Exchange will provide up to $1M to implement the best idea for keeping Canadians healthy.
- The Government of Canada’s recent consultations with Canadians on ways to improve nutritional information on food labels.
- The children’s fitness tax credit, which helps more young Canadians get involved in sport and physical activity.
- Budget 2013 eliminated tariffs on sports and athletic equipment to make it easier for families to stay active.
- Since 2006, the Government has invested more than $200 million in obesity-related research.
- Tip sheets that support our physical activity guidelines and provide helpful information on how Canadians of all ages can incorporate regular physical activity into their lives.
- The Children’s Health and Safety Campaign, which includes a one-stop web site where parents can find easy-to-understand, expert information on topics that affect their family’s health and well-being.
- The Government of Canada’s Eat Well and Be Active Educational Toolkit, which supports health and education professionals in teaching children and adults about healthy lifestyle choices.
- Promoting healthy eating through Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide, which helps Canadians make healthy food choices, and Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide - First Nations, Inuit and Métis, which reflects the importance of traditional foods and store-bought foods.
- The Government of Canada’s funding to ParticipACTION to promote healthy lifestyles to Canadians through physical activity and sport, and to organizations such as Le Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie and Kidsport that provide children with their first experience in sport.
- The Government of Canada’s Nutrition Facts Education Campaign, which helps consumers understand and use the information on the Nutrition facts table, and in particular, the % Daily Value to make informed food choices.
- The Towards a Healthier Canada - 2013 Progress Report on Advancing the Federal / Provincial / Territorial Framework on Healthy Weights, which tells the ongoing story of the collective actions governments and other sectors are taking to advance Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights.