Natalie Toman and her son try out ‘basket-block,’ the game they invented as part of ParticipACTION’s invent-a-game challenge. Photo courtesy, Natalie Toman

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met the required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Canadians have been challenged to invent-a-game by ParticipACTION, a national non-profit organization that spearheads fitness related ‘engagement initiatives’.

With a lot of summer activities cut back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenge is a way to get people to be active in a fun and engaging way.

Before the pandemic began, health specialists with the non-profit prepared a child and youth report card to assess fitness levels, said Natalie Toman, health promotion lead at ParticipACTION.

The report revealed that only 15 per cent children and youth were achieving the required standards of the 24-hour physical movement guideline.

After COVID-19 hit the number dropped down to 4.8 per cent, said Toman.

This drop was mainly due to restrictions that were imposed due to the pandemic.

“We started thinking, ‘how do we get them to re-engage?”

That is when invent-a-game challenge presented itself as an opportunity to create an environment for children and youth to re-engage in physical activities.

According to studies, Toman said that, parents’ and caregivers’ attitudes towards physical fitness influences children, therefore they wanted to come up with an interactive and engaging formula for families to practice fitness together at home.

The challenge is open from July 31- August 27 and using household items citizens have to come up with a new,innovative game that can be played indoors or in the backyard.

To enter the challenge, participants must share a video and description with the #inventasport hashtag and tag @Participaction on social media. A $100 MEC gift card will be given to participants whose posts are chosen as the ‘invent-a-sport of the week.

READ ALSO: Over 90 Campbell Riverites cycling to raise funds for kids cancer research

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