Win 4 Kids Finalist- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Woodstock & District

Big_Brothers_Big_Sisters_of_Woodstock_and_District.jpgGo Girls! is a group mentoring program for girls ages 11-14 that focuses on physical activity, balanced eating and self-esteem. The single, most important goal of the program is to positively shape the lives of young women and girls by helping them build a positive self-image – setting them on a path to reach their full potential in life. 

Game On! is a group mentoring program providing boys and young men with information and support to make informed choices about a range of healthy lifestyle practices. Through non-traditional physical activities, complemented with healthy eating support, participants are engaged in life skills, communication, and emotional health discussions designed to engage participants in the pursuit of life-long healthy lifestyles. 

Both programs consist of 7 mentoring sessions, held over a 7-10 week period, within school or a community facility. Each session is loosely structured around four themes: physical activity, healthy eating, self-esteem, and communication skills while providing the tools they require to begin implementing an active, healthy lifestyle. The programs have continued to grow over the past six years and now run multiple sessions January – December, once a week for 75 minutes. Approximately 175 kids will take part in the programs this year. 

Selina Guy, a GoodLife Fitness Associate who also nominated Big Brothers Big Sisters Woodstock says, “Through this program we see the kid’s confidence soar. Their knowledge about healthy living improves and we’re not only making an impact but we get to play and have fun too.” 

Funding from Win 4 Kids will be used for physical activity supplies, recruitment, training, and materials to support both Go Girls! and Game On!

TESTIMONIAL 

Game On!

“I learned that active living and being healthy can be easy and how you feel inside about yourself matters more than what people see on the outside”

- Participant

Go Girls!

“Go Girls has helped me feel better about myself and built up my self-esteem”

- Participant

SOCIAL MEDIA

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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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