City is now in the healthier youth business - using $1.1 million of provincial money to get the under 12 set from behind screens

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

October 19, 2015


Denise Beard is pumped.

Beard with Cogeco mike

Denise Beard, Manager of xxx for the city heads up a provincially funded project to get the under 1q2 set outdoors running, jumping and playing every day.

She has her hands on a project that is going to keep her busy for the next three years and she believes the project is going to make a difference.

During a press briefing Beard told media that the city has been given a grant of $1.1 million to get the fat off the bodies of young people who spend more time in front of a screen of some sort rather than on their bikes.

There is an obesity problem in the city – and Beard who was a life guard when she was a teenager, wants to see younger people enjoying better health – and she thinks the program she is going to run for the next three years can go a long way to making that happen.

Beard tends to put everything she has into her projects – it’s just who she is.

So what is the program all about?

It is billed as a Community Challenge – an event that uses provincial money to drive a program that will result in younger people getting more exercise.

For reason’s it only understands the province decided to work with communities rather than schools or the medical community to get young people off the couch and away from the screens and exercise more.

The idea was first used in France where significant results were claimed to have taken place. The Ontario government chose Burlington as the only community in Halton to get funding. Hamilton and 45 other communities in the province were given funds.


Expect to see a lot of chalking going on at least until there is snow on the side walks of the city – all part of a healthier youth initiative.

Beard talked about “chalking” the community – getting young people to take to the streets and make their mark telling what they are doing to live healthier lifestyles.

The initiative came out of the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term care that will be putting forward a new theme every nine months.

In order to get the funding communities had to come up with an Action Plan; Burlington apparently had the best one – so we will now see the Mayor pumping and promoting healthy living.

The city wants to see the grade 5 level students Running, Jumping and Playing every day. Data will be collected with the focus on individual Body Mass Index (BMI) – some additional focusing will be done on students at the grade 8 level.

There are five neighbourhoods in the city that that are expected to get special attention. The program will collaborate with the YMCA, parent groups and schools taking a “street to street” and “parent to parent approach” to getting young people – mostly those under 12 out onto the streets and the playgrounds and getting more exercise.

Great initiative – that has to compete with computer games.

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1 comment to City is now in the healthier youth business – using $1.1 million of provincial money to get the under 12 set from behind screens

  • Steve

    Chalking? Sorta like compostable graffiti. Not sure this is good practice to promote. How many will graduate to paint?