The City of Markham is one of a select number of communities across the province awarded the Ontario Sport and Recreation Community Fund and RBC Learn to Play grants to get active, help reduce childhood obesity and help our youth lead healthier lifestyles. This funding will help the City enhance existing sport and recreation programs, develop new ones and promote the development of Physical Literacy through the Markham in Motion program.

Physical Literacy comes from developing a wide range of fundamental movement skills such as hopping, skipping, throwing, catching and jumping. Developing these skills at a young age helps children gain confidence and motivates them to lead healthier active lives as they grow up. Learning Fundamental Movement Skills early is important – these skills do not develop without instruction and practice. Early exposure is essential to every child’s physical, mental, and emotional development. These basic movement skills will provide a foundation for children to learn how to play and be active for life.

 

The timing of this funding is ideal. The 2016 Participation Report shows that only 9 per cent of Canadian kids aged 5 to 17 get the 60 minutes of heart-pumping activity they need each day. There is a clear need for more physical literacy.

“Physically literate children are happier, healthier, more confident, and they do better in school,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “I’m very proud of our leadership with the Markham in Motion program and its goal to provide children with the Fundamental Movement Skills required to lead a healthier lifestyle.”

Photo: Joia Greco challenges Mayor Frank Scarpitti at an agility test at the November Sports Day event.

Learn more about Markham’s Physical Literacy program at markham.ca/motion.

4 ways to support physical literacy in children:

  1. Get Involved.Your child will watch and learn from what they see and do.
  2. Encourage Them.Just like literacy and numeracy skills, your child will develop Physical Literacy at their own rate as their brain and muscles grow.
  3. Create Opportunities.Get outdoors and get active instead of burying your head in a tablet or turning on the television.
  4. Explore Multiple Sports.Expose your child to a wide variety of physical activities in all environments (land, ice water and air).