Saskatoon School Division Circus Arts Project, Saskatchewan- Saskatoon

Saskatoon School Division Circus.jpgGoodLife Kids Foundation is supporting The Circus Arts Project,  being offered at 5 schools in Saskatoon, facing challenges in providing access to physical activity for their student community. During the Circus Arts Project, students work with professional circus artists and school staff in order to learn a wide variety of circus arts skills including juggling, Chinese yo-yo, rola bola, feather sticks, stilts, tight wire, hoops, and trampoline. Students will also learn to combine these skills with theater, performance, and clowning in order to use their skills as part of a performance. Circus skills are iåntegrated into the phys-ed program, and schools run a circus club that meets every day in order to increase physical activity time for students.

Because the program combines a focus on physical skill development, circus arts, and physical theater, the Circus Arts Project aims to engage participants who may not choose, or have access to, traditional sport or arts activities.  

This grant was made possible by the fundraising efforts of Saskatoon Circle & 8th GoodLife Fitness staff and members during the 2014 fundraising 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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