TORONTO, Feb. 2, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Cancer Society's Trottibus Walking School Bus has won the national grand prize in the Play Exchange, Canada's Active Living Challenge. The announcement was made this afternoon by Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose.
The online challenge, which promotes an active and healthy lifestyle, is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and supported by Canadian Tire, LIFT Philanthropy Partners and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
"More than 400 projects were submitted to the challenge. The Canadian Cancer Society is very proud to have been chosen as the grand prize winner of Play Exchange, which recognizes the Trottibus Walking School Bus's originality and potential. We thank Minister Rona Ambrose, the Canadian government and the Play Exchange's partners for this honour," says Suzanne Dubois, Executive Director of the Society's Quebec Division. "The prize money that comes with this recognition, which could be up to $1 million, will enable the Society to roll out the Trottibus Walking School Bus across Quebec over the next few years and also offer training and tools to other Canadian provinces to start their own Trottibus Walking School Bus."
Studies show that children are increasingly sedentary. This phenomenon results in serious problems, such as excess weight and obesity, as well as an increased risk of getting cancer later in life. The Society believes that Trottibus – which encourages the use of active transportation by giving children the opportunity to walk to school safely – is an excellent way to cultivate good habits right from childhood.
"The Society would like to thank all those who voted for Trottibus and who talked to their friends and family about this project. We would also like to say a big thank you to Chantal Petitclerc, 14-time Paralympic gold medalist and Trottibus ambassador for the Play Exchange," says Dubois. "The Society wants to stress the unwavering support it received from Trottibus partners (schools, parents, volunteers, municipalities and organizations). Without them, this recognition would not have been possible. Long live Trottibus!"
"The Play Exchange challenge has given the Society a chance to work with exceptional people and partners, all dedicated to making Canadians exercise more, spreading the word about Trottibus Walking School Bus all over Canada, and highlighting active transportation as a solution to make children and all Canadians healthier and more active," says Pamela Fralick, President and CEO, Canadian Cancer Society. "Thanks to the Play Exchange, the Society will be able to prevent more cancer, which is the leading cause of death in the country."
- Currently, 41 schools have children walking to school on board the Trottibus. Since the start of the project in 2010, 66 schools have implemented Trottibus; 2,924 children have participated in Trottibus and 25,286 children have been made aware of active transportation.
- Only 24% of Canadian children use active transportation to go to school.
- Nearly 1 in 3 young Canadians is overweight or obese.
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division
For further information: Christine Harminc, Manager, Communications, Canadian Cancer Society - National Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416 934-5340