Remember playing until the streetlights came on? It's time to bring that back!

ParticipACTION celebrates summer solstice with the Longest Day of Play

TORONTO, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Today is the official start of summer, and ParticipACTION is using the longest day of the year to remind families of the importance of active play.  Active play has been on the decline for the past 50 years, with almost half (46 per cent) of Canadian children only getting three hours or less each week. As a response to this decline, ParticipACTION is calling all families to use the longest day of the year as the Longest Day of Play!

"Active play is a great way to increase physical activity levels," said Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipACTION, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada. "With only 5 per cent of children and youth meeting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, play is an easy, accessible and affordable solution to help children meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines."

Active play is not only enjoyable, but it also offers cognitive, emotional and social development benefits. It has been shown to improve and foster motor function, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, the ability to control emotions and social skills, such as taking turns and helping others.

"For the most part, children and youth are not using their free time for active play. In fact, 63 per cent of kids' time after school and on weekends is spent being sedentary, and only 38 per cent of parents say they often play active games with their children," continued Ms. Murumets. "The Longest Day of Play is the perfect opportunity to be a role model for your children by going outside to play with them. Take advantage of the extra daylight to go for a bike ride after dinner, play a game of kick-the can in the park, or explore your neighbourhood."

Visit the ParticipACTION website for ideas on how to participate in the Longest Day of Play and for family, community organization and school play ideas. ParticipACTION has also teamed up with Winners to bring you the Longest Day of Play Facebook Contest. By sharing your favourite way to play, you have a chance, every day from June 3 to June 20, to win a $50 Winners gift card. Then, on June 21st, a gift card will be given away every hour from 8am to 8pm. Go to ParticipACTION's Facebook Page to find out more!

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 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. For more information, visit


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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Kelsey Strickland
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
W: (416) 413-4788 M: (416) 526-5388

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