After-School Pilot Program Empowering Girls

Posted On Thursday January 30, 2020

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Kamloops-Thompson School District No. 73 want to help high school girls to become more physically active. 

 A pilot project involving 240 female secondary students from six secondary schools will kick off Feb. 5, 2020 during an EmpowerHER Forum at the Tournament Capital Centre. The forum, in partnership with FitSpirit, PacificSport Interior, the City of Kamloops, and the Kamloops YMCA-YWCA, will introduce the girls to the FitSpirit experience through physical activities and connect them to an activity of personal interest. 

The forum will also connect them with community organizations to help each girl find HER way to succeed in physical activity. Paralympic athlete Jessica Vliegenthart will speak at the event, bringing a message of inspiration about her personal journey with movement. Each student will be personally invited to join FitSpirit, a free 16-week after-school program, to be held at their schools.

School District No. 73 and PacificSport Interior have partnered with FitSpirit, a Montreal-based organization, offering activities designed to get girls moving to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle. 

Girls from grades 7 - 12 at six schools: Chase Secondary, Brock Middle School, Valleyview Secondary, Westsyde Secondary, Norkam Senior Secondary and Kamloops School of the Arts are invited to participate in this program. They can sign up by registering at their schools' office. 

“Sport and physical activity play a powerful role in helping people lead healthy, productive lives. It also has the power to drive positive change for gender equity in our society and empowers girls and women to be active participants and leaders,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “This pilot initiative is a wonderful collaborative effort designed to expand opportunities for young women and girls so they can explore their potential and enjoy the immense benefits of being active.”

Backed by a community of inspiring and dedicated girls and women, FitSpirit transforms every activity into a memorable experience with friends, role models and fun. FitSpirit has positively impacted the lives of more than 185,000 girls aged 12 to 17 since it was founded in 2007. 

Kamloops is one of two cities selected in Western Canada to pilot FitSpirit. 

“This is an incredible opportunity to change the current narrative around physical activity,” said Alexandra Inglis, SD73 after-school program coordinator. “We want to inspire movement, reduce barriers to participation and connect girls with some amazing role models in our community. We want girls to be excited about physical activity and to help them to find success in their own way.” 

“We are so excited to be the first in Western Canada piloting this initiative. This program reaches beyond a local community initiative and illustrates that this program is an investment in the health and well-being of girls across the province,” said Katie Klassen, sport participation coordinator, PacificSport Interior. 

“It is such an honour for FitSpirit to enter this new partnership with these dynamic organizations. Staying active is an integral part of young women’s physical, mental and emotional health,” says Claudine Labelle, FitSpirit President and Founder. “If girls commit to an active lifestyle in their teenage years, they are more likely to continue to be active in adulthood. For me, it’s a dream come true to provide a safe and supportive space for girls from coast to coast to pursue the fun of being physical active.”

A FitSpirit celebration event will be held at Riverside Park in Kamloops June 3. Participants will enjoy a day of physical activity and fun with friends. Every girl, regardless of skill or fitness level, will go on a 5K or 10K walk and/or run without worrying about their times. 



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