Ecole Alvin Buckwold School, Saskatchewan- Saskatoon

The goal of the Fitness Fun Program is to increase the opportunities for students to develop positive attitudes toward active living, gain confidence as skillful movers and to promote personal, social, cultural and environmental growth and appreciation.  Being able to offer students the opportunity to try different sports/activities, learn from other knowledgeable instructors and travel to different facilities across the city will increase the motivation for students to participate.  The long term goal of the program is that students will continue to live an active lifestyle and make it a lifelong practice for themselves and others. 

Fitness Fun will also provide opportunities for students to pass on what they’ve learned to others in the school by creating a personal plan to increase and support someone else’s level of participation in a movement activity (become a recess buddy for a younger student with special needs, lead a group of younger students through a choreographed dance routine learned in physical education class, create and implement a pedometer challenge for family members, do outdoor work with grandparents/elders etc).  

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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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