St. John Vianney Catholic School, Ontario- Rexdale

GoodLife Kids Foundation is supporting St. John Vianney Catholic School’s Gymtastics Program.

Students at St. John Vianney, in Rexdale ON, like many other places in Canada suffer from lack of activity as well as from obesity. This Gymtastics program will allow students access to gymnastics/climbing equipment that they otherwise would not have access to. Many students are unable to afford or find this type of programming in the area.

Gymtastics will provide students with an age appropriate circuit training program based on gymnastics. Stations will include a climbing wall, tumbling mats, balance beams among other things. This unique program will provide an under serviced community the opportunity to experience gymnastics and stability training first hand. It’s no secret that if someone likes doing something they will continue to do it. Through an enjoyable program as this, students will hopefully gain a lifelong love and respect for physical activity.

This grant was made possible by the fundraising efforts of Etobicoke King’s Mill GoodLife Fitness associates and members during the 2013 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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