Canadians recognize the value of sport, but participation levels remain low

Sports Day in Canada provides Canadians with an opportunity to move more through sport

VANCOUVER, Sept. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - While almost all Canadians (96 per cent) believe that sport benefits their communities, only about 4 in 10 (37 per cent) say they participate in sport once a week or more, according to a recent survey commissioned by ParticipACTION.  Sports Day in Canada, celebrating its third anniversary on September 29, 2012, and expanding its reach in British Columbia this year through a first-ever provincial partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Health, provides the perfect opportunity for Canadians to get active and participate in sport.

"Sports Day in Canada aims to inspire Canadians of all ages to participate in sport, promote active, healthy living, and demonstrate how sport can be accessible for all," says Kelly Murumets, President and CEO, ParticipACTION. "We know that sport can transform lives and have an influential, positive impact on communities, and we encourage all Canadians to embrace the power of sport and celebrate with us."

Among the many benefits that sport can offer, the survey found that almost three quarters of Canadians (71 per cent) believe it can put children and youth on a positive course.  More than six in 10 Canadians (63 per cent) believe that sport can stem the tide of childhood obesity, and almost half (47 per cent) say that sport can reduce health care costs. Of the reasons Canadians would consider participating in sport, meeting new people ranked highest (35 per cent) in B.C., with "friendly" British Columbians more likely than other Canadians (21 per cent) to participate in sport to meet people.

"Sports Day in Canada is an excellent way to showcase the many benefits of sport to Canadians," says Karri Dawson, Director of Operations, True Sport. "To unleash the positive power of sport, we need to ensure a good sport experience; one that is fun, fair, inclusive and promotes personal excellence."

Sports Day in Canada strives to embrace the positive sport experience. In the week leading up to and including September 29, over a thousand local organizations, communities and schools across the country will host sporting events and activities, open houses and competitions that showcase sport at all levels. Over 200 events are registered in B.C. and over 65 B.C. organizations will offer the chance to experience a new sport this week through province-wide B.C. Try-it Days, supported jointly by Sports Day in Canada and B.C. Healthy Families.

National Jersey Day, on Friday, September 28, provides another opportunity for Canadians to show their love for sport by wearing a jersey, team or club uniform to school, work or play.

"We share the belief that sport builds communities and inspires Canadians," says Chris Irwin, Executive Producer of Sports Programming, CBC Sports.  "We are proud to be working with True Sport and ParticipACTION again this year to bring Sports Day events and stories to a national audience."

CBC Sports will celebrate this day of sport, and the week leading up to it, by profiling inspirational tales of Canadians and communities. Watch live as they showcase high-profile athletes, community-wide events, organizations, teams and clubs from cities and towns across the nation, including events in Victoria, Vancouver and Kamloops.

"The Government of Canada proudly supports the power of sport and the spirit of Sports Day in Canada," says the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "I applaud ParticipACTION, CBC Sports, Radio-Canada, and True Sport for bringing this exciting initiative to Canadians and for encouraging Canadians to take part in sport and lead active, healthy lives."

"I encourage all British Columbians to celebrate Sports Day in Canada and get physically active through sport," says Minister of Finance Michael de Jong.  "Whether you are a beginner or an elite competitor, the lessons learned through sport help us build stronger, healthier communities across the province."

Get involved!

  • Visit www.cbcsports.ca/sportsday to watch Sports Day stories and videos or to search for events in your area. Be on the lookout for elite athletes, politicians, Paralympians and Olympians who will make special appearances at some Sports Day in Canada events across the country.
  • Wear a jersey, team or club uniform to work, school or play on Friday, September 28 to celebrate national Jersey Day and show your love of sport. B.C. aims to top Canada with the highest proportion of its citizens wearing their team colours.

Watch it live!

Sports Day in Canada will be marked by a compelling broadcast event airing on CBC Sports on September 29. The broadcast will profile many standout community events that embody the Sports Day experience, unified by national anchor, Scott Russell.

About Sports Day in Canada

Sports Day in Canada, on Saturday, September 29, 2012, is a national celebration of sport, from grassroots to high-performance levels, in communities across Canada. Sports Day in Canada caps off a week of more than a thousand local events and activities, such as community-wide festivals, try-it days, open houses, games, competitions, meet-and-greets, tournaments, fun runs, spectator events and pep rallies, and includes a special television broadcast on CBC Sports. Sports Day in Canada is presented by CBC Sports, ParticipACTION and True Sport, working with national sporting organizations and their networks of coaches, athletes and enthusiasts across the country. Sports Day in Canada is generously supported by Sport Canada, Subway Restaurant, New Balance Canada and B.C.'s Ministry of Health. For more information about Sports Day in Canada, please visit: www.cbcsports.ca/sportsday

About the survey

From September 6-7, 2012 an online survey was conducted among 1,003 randomly selected Canadian adults on the Angus Reid Forum. The margin of error is =/- 3.09%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to age, gender, region and education (and language in Quebec).

SOURCE: ParticipACTION

For further information:

For a list of other events taking place across the country, please visit www.cbcsports.ca/sportsday. For more information on Sports Day in Canada or to speak to a spokesperson, please contact:

Axelle D'Anglemont
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Phone: 604-692-4230
Email: Axelle.DAnglemont@hkstrategies.ca


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