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Flames Foundation to assist in exciting research project

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- The Flames Foundation for Life alongside Cardel Place and Mount Royal University have launched a multi-year community-based, action research project to increase physical activity among children, youth and families in north-central Calgary. The Raise the Bar campaign will establish baseline fitness levels within north-central Calgary children and youth, help Cardel Place develop and deliver new programs and services to increase young peoples' physical activity levels, and measure the improvement over the next decade.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this project. Cardel Place's commitment to individual, family and community health, well-being and active living are values we the Calgary Flames and Flames Foundation for Life align with," said Calgary Flames CEO and President Ken King. "We are looking forward to the results of the research and the positive effects it will have on our community."

According to a Canadian Health Measures survey released in January 2011, only seven per cent of Canadian children aged five to17 years of age get the recommended minimum level of 60 minutes of daily exercise. The survey's most sobering finding is the reality that Canadians spend between 60-70 per cent of their waking time being completely sedentary.

"Getting more people, especially kids, more physically active are an urgent national challenge that demands local solutions," said Cardel Place General Manager Sue Scott. "This generational research project, will raise the bar for healthier generations and prove that Canada's recreation centres can, and must, play a catalytic role in reducing health care costs."

"This is pioneering work," said Mount Royal University President Dr. David Docherty. "It's the first time that a Canadian public recreation centre and a university are collaborating with the community on an action research project targeted directly at real solutions to increase physical activity."

The Raise the Bar action research project will help identify shifts and changes that individuals, families, the community, and recreation providers and their allies can make to create new behaviours.

The 18-month, phase one will establish baseline levels of physical activity among two age groups: 4-5 year olds and 6-15 year olds. It will then track increases in their physical activities sparked by new approaches and programs developed by Cardel Place.

The population of north-central Calgary is one of the fastest growing and most ethnically diverse in the city, with projections suggesting it will increase 25 per cent to 180,000 residents by 2025. Children and youth are the largest and fastest growing population segment, with 30 per cent of residents under 19 years old.

The Raise the Bar campaign will help raise healthier generations of Calgarians and to demonstrate that Canada's public recreation centres can play a new and more relevant role in getting Canadians, especially children and youth, more active.

The Flames Foundation for Life is the charitable arm of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club. The Foundation is committed to supporting Education, Health and Wellness, and Amateur and Grassroots Sports and raises funds throughout the year for these key areas. From families facing life-limiting illness of a child to student athletes, with your support, we are creating positive change and touching the lives of thousands for over 30 years.

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