Sun Life Financial and ParticipACTION inspiring Canadians to get active



    ParticipACTION Sun Life - Inspire the nation tour launches in Toronto

    TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - Canadians received a clear message today to "get
active" as the ParticipACTION Sun Life - Inspire the nation tour launched in
downtown Toronto. A crew of branded joggers ran through the city's downtown
core to energize Torontonians to get active and join the physical activity
movement. Donovan Bailey rallied bystanders to get moving by sharing his own
story about what physical activity and sport mean to him. The event kicks off
a nine-week, cross-country tour created by Sun Life Financial and
ParticipACTION to energize all Canadians to join the physical activity
movement.
    From June 26 to August 27, 2009, ParticipACTION Sun Life - Inspire the
nation will sweep through 31 communities across Canada, igniting opportunity
and passion for physical activity. At each tour stop, which will come alive
with thought-provoking and inspiring "get active" messages, Canadians will be
inspired to get active and invited to visit the "Inspiration Booth" to receive
a free pedometer, interact with tour staff and record a video about how
they've added more movement into their lives. ParticipACTION and Sun Life will
be working with partner organizations in every community of the tour to rally
local support and promote interest in the sport, recreation and physical
activity programs available in that region. In Toronto, Get Active Toronto
will help rally residents to move more.
    "Sun Life is committed to helping Canadians live healthier, longer, more
active lives," says Donald A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life
Financial. "We partnered with ParticipACTION to bring the message to Canadians
that small, simple changes can have an impact on health and wellness and to
inspire individuals, families and communities to get involved and make these
changes."
    "We want Canadians to join us in the movement to make physical activity a
part of who we are as a nation," says Kelly Murumets, President and CEO,
ParticipACTION. "We are facing an inactivity crisis in our country, and the
private, public and non-profit sectors must work together to effect change.
Sun Life is an enthusiastic and committed partner in our quest to motivate
people to get more active and encourage family, friends and colleagues to
follow their lead."
    One of the highlights of ParticipACTION Sun Life - Inspire the nation is
the Inspiration Booth, which is travelling 15,000 kms across Canada in a
purple and orange trailer. Simple and fun to use, the Inspiration Booth offers
Canadians the opportunity to record a video about how they have added more
movement into their lives. When the recording is complete, it will be e-mailed
as a ParticipACTION Sun Life commercial, which the user can forward to family,
friends and colleagues. These inspiring stories will also be uploaded to
ParticipACTION's online Wall of Inspiration to further motivate Canadians to
add more activity to their daily lives. Some of the stories could be selected
to be featured in nationally aired ParticipACTION television commercials in
the fall of 2009.
    The Wall of Inspiration was created for ParticipACTION's Get Inspired.
Get Moving public awareness campaign, which features real-life Canadians who
tell powerful, personal stories about how they've overcome barriers to achieve
a healthier, more active future for themselves and their families.
ParticipACTION Sun Life - Inspire the nation is an extension of this campaign.
    "We really believe that we can inspire the nation," says Murumets.
"Physical inactivity can lead to a host of chronic degenerative conditions and
premature death, but we can overcome this, if we start small and we start
now."
    "In hearing these stories from other Canadians, people may be surprised
to find out how easy it is to add more physical activity to their lives," says
Stewart. "They may be even more surprised to learn that physical activity
appears to reduce the risk of more than 25 chronic conditions, including
coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, breast cancer, colon cancer,
type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. As an insurance provider, we see the
day-to-day positive impact that health promotion and illness prevention can
have for individuals, families and companies."
    ParticipACTION Sun Life - Inspire the nation is sharing with Canadians
the following tips to get moving more:

    
    -   Driving? Consider walking or wheeling instead, or park your car a few
        blocks away and walk in

    -   Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator

    -   Join a local club or sports league - being part of organized events
        can provide great motivation

    -   Get active as a family - go for daily walks, a group bike ride or
        play a fun game of soccer
    

    For information about ParticipACTION Sun Life - Inspire the nation and
the tour dates, visit www.participACTION.com.

    About Sun Life Financial

    Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services
organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation
products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in
1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets
worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland,
Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of
March 31, 2009, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets
under management of CDN$375 billion.
    Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and
Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF.

    About ParticipACTION

    ParticipACTION is the national voice of physical activity and sport
participation in Canada. Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION was
re-launched in 2007 to help prevent the looming inactivity and obesity crisis
that faces Canada. As a national not-for-profit organization solely dedicated
to inspiring and supporting healthy and active living for Canadians, it works
with its partners, which include sport, physical activity, recreation
organizations, government and corporate sponsors, to inspire and support
Canadians to move more. ParticipACTION is generously supported by Sport Canada
and the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information, visit
www.participACTION.com.


    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    




For further information:

For further information: or to speak to a spokesperson, please contact:
Katherine Janson, ParticipACTION, (416) 913-1471, kjanson@participACTION.com;
Krista Wilson, Manager, Corporate Communications, Sun Life Financial Canada,
(519) 888-3900 x4896, Krista.Wilson@sunlife.com; Andrea Wooland, Hill &
Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4698, andrea.wooland@hillandknowlton.ca

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