Providing Access To Sports And Recreation For Everyone

    McGuinty Government Helping Over One Million Ontarians Get Active

    TORONTO, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - Sport clinics for youth, personal fitness
programs for cancer survivors, and after-school recreation programs for
disadvantaged youth are among the provincially-funded programs that are
helping Ontarians get active.
    Since 2004, over one million Ontarians have overcome barriers to sport
and physical activity with the assistance of the province's Communities in
Action Fund (CIAF).

    Past projects have included:

    -   Leadership training for urban Aboriginal street youth
    -   Competition opportunities for physically challenged children and
        their families
    -   Previously unavailable sport clinics in isolated, low-income
    -   Programs which introduce older adults to activities such as hip-hop
        or salsa dancing
    -   A pilot fitness program for low-income, stay-at-home mothers.

    Applications for this year's CIAF program are now open and local or
provincial not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to apply. This year,
the McGunity government is again providing $7.5 million for projects that will
help remove barriers to physical activity, said Minister of Health Promotion
Margarett Best.
    "Our government is providing access to sport and recreation for
everyone," said Best. "By supporting the work of community-based and
provincial organizations, we are providing opportunities for all Ontarians to
get active."
    The deadline for applications for 2008/09 funding is March 20, 2008. More
information is available at
    "Programs like the Communities in Action Fund are helping to build an
Ontario that is healthier because of exercise," said Paul Ritvo, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York
University. "The funding we received through CIAF helped us deliver a program
that focuses on newly immigrated, low income families with low exercise
levels. I can personally attest to how important CIAF programs are in helping
to promote physical activity at the community level."
    The Communities in Action Fund is part of the government's ACTIVE2010
Strategy and Ontario's Action Plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living.
    "The Communities in Action Fund is working throughout Ontario to get
people moving," said Best. "We appreciate the work of all of our community
partners who are striving to improve the health of Ontarians and we encourage
eligible organizations to apply for CIAF funding."
    The Communities in Action Fund is one of several initiatives implemented
by the McGuinty government to provide ways for Ontarians to become healthier.

    Other initiatives include:

    -   The Community Use of Schools program which enables community groups
        to access schools after hours for affordable sport and recreation
    -   Creating a healthier school environment for Ontario students by
        banning the use of trans-fat in school cafeterias and establishing
        healthy nutrition standards
    -   Creating Ontario's Healthy Eating, Active Living Action Plan to
        improve the health of all Ontarians and
    -   Removing the retail sales tax on bicycle helmets, related safety
        equipment and bicycles under $1000 to encourage more Ontarians to

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Rick Byun, Minister's Office, (416) 326-8497;
Julie Rosenberg, Communications Branch, (416) 326-4833

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