10 million dollars will help promote
greater physical activity for the health, well-being and fulfillment of
Canadian teenage girls!
MONTREAL, Nov. 23, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - A broad representation of Montreal personalities responded to the invitation of FitSpirit Foundation to attend the official launch of its first major fundraising campaign.
Several of them took the floor to reiterate their support and to stress the importance of joining forces to advance the organization's mission of leading more Canadian teenage girls to discover the pleasure and benefits of adopting a healthy and active lifestyle.
Among our speakers, we heard: Claudine Labelle, founder and president of FitSpirit, the co-chairs of the campaign, Geneviève Fortier of McKesson Canada and Diane Giard of National Bank of Canada, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, official spokesperson for FitSpirit, Isabelle Charest, annual patron of FitSpirit, and Sandy Vassiadis of Saputo, FitSpirit's leading partner.
"For 10 years, FitSpirit has been passionately engaged in inspiring and motivating thousands of Quebec and Ontario teenage girls every year to become physically active. Our mission is to offer them a different experience by allowing them to be active while having fun and to promote a positive self-image in the absence of competition. My wish for the next ten years is that people become more active and serve as role models for our wonderful feminine youth. We can then, together, reverse the sedentary statistics showing that girls are avoiding or giving up physical activity at a crucial time in their lives," says Claudine Labelle, founder and president of FitSpirit.
Physical activity at the heart of the development and fulfillment of Canadian teenage girls
The FitSpirit Foundation was created in 2007 by Claudine Labelle to help teenage girls discover the fun and benefits of physical activity.
FitSpirit is committed to developing partnerships with schools and communities to create a sustainable offering of physical activities for teenage girls. Its approach is based on a personalized and flexible service to support schools in encouraging their girls to be active through activities adapted to their concerns and realities. Through this human and personalized approach, FitSpirit educates tens of thousands of young Canadian girls annually about the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle and, in its own way, leaves a significant mark on their lives.
FitSpirit first supports schools and their staff in identifying barriers to the practice of physical activity by girls and in implementing activities tailored for them. FitSpirit also shares its knowledge and expertise in the practice of physical activity among teenage girls by providing training, tools and sharing opportunities for actors in the FitSpirit community. The organization ultimately offers a proven combination of school-specific activities and tools that implement the FitSpirit approach including:
- A motivational conference by an ambassador, trained and supported by FitSpirit, who comes to deliver an inspiring testimonial aimed at motivating girls;
- Various physical activity sessions supervised by FitSpirit ambassadors;
- A turnkey training program lasting 8 to 10 weeks;
- Diversified and adapted tools for teenage girls: virtual training platform, promotional posters, nutrition tips, video capsules, contests, etc.;
- A social media campaign to engage girls and motivate them throughout their journey leading to the FitSpirit Celebration;
- A FitSpirit Celebration that allows young girls to surpass themselves and continue their discovery of pleasurable physical activity.
This approach, built around fun, friendship and trying something new, is the secret of our success. Surrounded by school volunteers and FitSpirit ambassadors, participants have a rewarding experience in a relaxed atmosphere that's open to everyone. No competition, no pressure to perform: the only objective of FitSpirit is for girls to have fun together while trying new physical activities.
Statistics that speak for themselves
Several statistics concretely illustrate the importance to young Canadian girls of FitSpirit's initiatives and interventions over the last ten years.
Involvement and commitment
There are 435 FitSpirit representatives in schools and some 200 FitSpirit ambassadors, supported by hundreds of FitSpirit school and corporate volunteers.
FitSpirit initiatives have had real impacts in the lives of participants: 97% want to relive the experience; 90% increased their level of physical activity by at least one hour per week; 74% in Quebec and 81% in Ontario have increased their self-confidence; 70% have continued to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle; and 67% have supported and influenced their friends to persevere.
And some 250 secondary schools participated in FitSpirit's activities in 2016, mobilizing more than 15,000 young Canadian girls to get involved and be more active.
The campaign's goal is to enable FitSpirit to pursue its mission of spreading the word about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to thousands of teenage girls in Canada each year.
FitSpirit has set itself the ambitious goal of raising $10 million by 2021. Thanks to these amounts, the organization plans to act on three levels:
Development and technology support: Implementation of technological tools to support growth and support activities, ensure an optimal experience and reduce per capita operating costs;
Program and operations support: Creation of material to support existing and new projects in the promotion and deployment of the FitSpirit approach, and create new initiatives to improve the offering of activities;
Evaluation support: Support for an evaluation plan with world-renowned academic researchers to measure the impact of FitSpirit on girls (physical, psychological, etc.) and in their community.
Awards and recognition
Over the years, FitSpirit and its president, Claudine Labelle, have received several awards and honours that confirm the importance of continuing their initiatives: "Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada" by WXN in 2008 and 2010, YWCA of Toronto "Young Woman of Distinction 2010", "Telus Innovation Award 2010", "Woman of Distinction" (Sports and Wellness category) 2012 of the Montreal Women's Y Foundation, "Entrepreneur Of The YearTM 2013" by Ernst & Young of Quebec, "Personnalité La Presse 2015 - Social Entrepreneur", IOC "Trophy for Sport and Innovation 2015", "Young Socially Responsible Business Leader of Quebec 2016" at the Arista Awards Gala, "Medal of Meritorious Service 2016" of the Governor General of Canada and CAMH's "Champions of Mental Health 2017".
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