B.C. children will have more opportunities to get active, thanks to a $250,000 government contribution to the YMCA’s Strong Kids campaign, Health Minister Terry Lake announced today.
“Our Healthy Families BC strategy recognizes that being physically active can help British Columbians lead long lives free from chronic disease,” said Lake. “It’s our responsibility to provide the supports and tools that will help ensure children get on the right path to healthy living. The programs at the YMCA are a great place to start.”
The Strong Kids annual fundraising campaign supports families who need financial assistance to participate in YMCA programs that help kids live their healthiest lives.
“I have seen first-hand the difference the YMCA programs make to the families in Kamloops and the Thompson Valley,” said MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson Todd Stone. “This funding will go a long way towards giving families throughout B.C. access to fun and healthy activities.”
B.C.’s YMCA and YMCA-YWCA associations serve over 187,000 people each year at their 200 locations throughout the province. Programs are available for all ages, and include activities such as swimming, team sports, martial arts, dance, youth fitness, and day and overnight camps. Government’s contribution of $250,000 will help over 1,900 B.C. children access the YMCA’s programs.
“Last year, our programs helped 6,300 local children grow stronger and be more confident by giving them the opportunities they need to reach their full potential,” said Colin Reid, CEO of YMCA-YWCA Kamloops. “With support from the Strong Kids campaign, we hope to increase the number of kids who can access our programs regardless of their ability to pay.”
“I am beyond appreciative of this membership funding provided for my child,” said Angela, whose son enjoys the programming at the Kamloops YMCA. “As a single parent this helps me out tremendously. Now I can have my son attend swimming lessons more than just once per year. My son now looks forward to swimming instead of refusing to go into the water as he was not comfortable or confident in the water prior to his time at the YMCA.”
In British Columbia, about 26% of children aged two to 17 years are classified as either overweight or obese. That’s why government is committed to supporting campaigns like YMCA’s Strong Kids, as well as programs to encourage children to live and eat healthily, including Shapedown BC, MEND and the School Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition program.
Find your local YMCA and learn about its programs at: www.ymca.ca/en/find-your-ymca.aspx
Visit Healthy Families BC at: www.healthfamiliesbc.ca
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)