Fort Whyte Alive, Manitoba- Winnipeg

Fort Whyte.jpgNestled within the urban boundaries of Winnipeg, Fort Whyte’s 640 acres includes 5 lakes, forest, marsh, meadow and farmland along with 7 km of urban trail – offering countless ways for people to interact with and within nature.Fort Whyte Alive is dedicated to providing programming, natural settings and facilities for environmental education, outdoor recreation and social enterprise.

Fort Whyte’s Winter Fun Days is a school program encouraging students and teachers to get outside and get active through outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, tobogganing, Inuit games, team building challenges, Voyageur games, and fire and shelter building – exposing students to the many possibilities that winter can hold. Winter Fun Days runs from January thru March 2010, and is designed to accommodate all abilities of students from Kindergarten to grade 12.

With assistance from GoodLife Kids Foundation, Fort Whyte Alive is inspiring Winnipeg youth to get outside and get active – no matter the season.

 

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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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