Boys and Girls Club, Newfoundland- St. John's

Boys and Girls Club.jpgGoodLife Kids Foundation is supporting Boys and Girls Club of St. John’s with a grant to Blast off to Wellness.

Blast off to Wellness will educate and actively engage participants in the areas of healthy eating, physical activity and healthy lifestyles. The program includes three initiatives; Back to basics for juniors, where 5-9 year olds will learn skills in organized sports and free play. The second part is Play for Life where older children can take part in traditional and non-traditional activities and sports. Part three is Family Fun- increasing parental awareness concerning the obesity epidemic while promoting fitness as a family endeavor.

The grant is made possible through the fundraising efforts of St. John’s Atlantic Place and St. John’s Torbay Road GoodLife Fitness members and associates during the 2012 Be A Kid’s Superhero Campaign.

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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