Sport and health program for Burnaby school kids gets $27K boost from Beedie

A local kids sport and health program got a $27,000 shot in the arm this week thanks to a Burnaby developer.

KidsMove Schools is a 10-week program developed by Fortius Sport & Health to help children aged nine to 12 years develop physical skills, competency and confidence.

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A coach guides kids through gymnastics movements during a KidsMove session at Fortius. - Cornelia Naylor

Launched in 2017, the program is provided at no cost to Burnaby schools, thanks to funding from the Fortius Foundation, the Steve Nash Foundation and TELUS.

Burnaby developer Beedie joined in this week, announcing a $27,000 donation from its foundation, Beedie Cares, Tuesday (April 9).

That money will allow Fortius to expand the program at Douglas Road Elementary, including in-school teacher training sessions and a sports equipment box that will allow teachers at the school to integrate KidsMove concepts into every PE class.

“We’re building capacity of kids but we’re also building capacity of teachers,” Burnaby school district director of instruction Peter Dubinsky said. “That’s a huge component of the program. The teachers are learning along with the kids. It’s a 10-week program, but the idea is that it becomes a routine in the classroom and in PE classes.”

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Bahare Poleshuk and Christine Calvin of the Beedie Cares Committee pose for a photo during a KidsMove session at Fortius. - Cornelia Naylor

KidsMove Schools has seen 450 students from nine elementary schools go through the 10-week program at the state-of-the-art Fortius centre on Kensington Avenue beside the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.

“When Fortius was created and we created this incredible building, we said we wanted to be a community asset,” Fortius Foundation executive director Andy Price said. “This isn’t just about professional athletes coming in and getting treatment. This is about supporting the whole of the Burnaby community, and, for us, programs like KidsMove are really what this is all about.”

Delivered by Fortius strength-and-conditioning coaches, each of the KidsMove sessions involves a variety of sport and movement-based activities designed to foster the basics of agility, balance, coordination and speed. The program also teaches kids about things like mental health and sportsmanship.

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KidsMove activities are designed to teach kids agility, balance, coordination and speed. - Cornelia Naylor

“It goes beyond just simply playing sports,” Dubinsky said. “What I love about this program in particular is the focus on all aspects of being healthy. There’s healthy movement, healthy nutrition, healthy sleep, how to deal with anxiety … I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the program.”

For more information about KidsMove Schools, visit www.fortiussport.com.

 

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