More than $2.5 million to support physical activity programs for kids and youth across Canada

TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2016 /CNW/ - RBC, ParticipACTION and the Public Health Agency of Canada announced the 2016 RBC Learn to Play Project grants today, with more than $2.5 million going to 212 community-based organizations across Canada. These grants will help support kid and youth sport and recreation programs for the upcoming year.

Since 2013, the RBC Learn to Play Project has taught children how to jump, throw, run, swim, skate and more. Mastering these fundamental movement skills – skills that are required to get physically active – has helped Canadian kids feel confident about taking part in a variety of physical activities and sports. And parents agree:

"My son's brightest moment was when he became the water polo champion at summer camp. Turns out the skills he acquired from participating in the RBC Learn to Play Project really paid off. Thank you!"

"I had a negative idea about my young daughter taking part in physical exercise previous to my experience with the RBC Learn to Play Project. But my daughter received huge benefit from it and now she is more attentive at school, engaged in her homework and is generally more cheerful. I am grateful towards the program."

In the first year of the RBC Learn to Play Project, community sport organizations and initiatives delivered almost 9,000 programming hours, allowing more than 61,000 children to participate in 186 funded programs. Almost all of the grantees (91 per cent) reported increased collaboration between organizations and sectors to implement physical activity and sport programs.

"Through this partnership and granting program, we've seen that kids have increased confidence and are motivated to be involved in physical activity and sport in general," said Valerie Chort, vice president of Corporate Citizenship, RBC. "We are encouraged with the positive impact the Project has had on kids' lives to date, and are excited to award these grants to engage more kids to get active."

The RBC Learn to Play Project has generated hundreds of success stories from across the country, like Para New Brunswick, who received $15,000 to develop a system that engages youth with physical disabilities. An estimated 5,836 kids participated in more than 250 hours of programming as a result of this program and three new partnerships with schools were reported.

"By providing organizations with the funding and resources to teach kids basic skills, we've been able to empower them to feel confident and competent to move their bodies, engage in sport and and create lifelong relationships with physical activity," said Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION.

"Physical activity is an important building block for children and youth. When children are physically active and get the sleep they need to learn and grow, they have more energy, and are more alert and productive in the classroom, said the Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada's Minister of Health. "The Government of Canada is proud to be a partner in helping kids be active in their communities."

For a full list of the 2016 RBC Learn to Play Project grant recipients click here.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 36 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $121 million to causes around the world.

About ParticipACTION
ParticipACTION is a national non-profit organization that helps Canadians sit less and move more. Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION works with its partners, which include sport, physical activity, recreation organizations, government and corporate sponsors, to make physical activity a vital part of everyday life. ParticipACTION is generously supported by the Government of Canada. For more information, please visit www.participACTION.com.

SOURCE ParticipACTION

For further information: Katherine Janson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, ParticipACTION, 416-913-1471 kjanson@participACTION.com; Jackie Braden, RBC Communications, 416-974-6286, jackie.braden@rbc.com


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