Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island — The Honourable Robert Ghiz, Premier-Elect was on hand at a news conference in Charlottetown today, along with 2009 Canada Games President Joseph Spriet and PEI Active Living Alliance President Barb Mullaly, to help launch a new physical activity initiative of the two organizations called the 2009 Canada Games Activity Challenge.
The Challenge is an initiative resulting from a Memorandum of Agreement signed earlier this year between the 2009 Canada Games Host Society and the Alliance that sees the latter carrying out a province-wide strategy to encourage Islanders to become more physically active. Today, 2009 Canada Games President Joseph Spriet officially announced the details of the agreement, saying, “The Host Society is pleased to announce our formal relationship with the PEI Active Living Alliance, an organization already well-equipped to help us raise the activity level of Islanders as part of our mandate in organizing the Games.”
Spriet further explained that one of the Host Society’s commitments is to promote ‘Dreams and Champions’, one of the Canada Games Council’s national ‘between Games’ initiatives that strives to inspire dreams in Canada’s youth and encourage them to participate in sport and physical activity. “We already have a professional organization in our Province that has the same mission, so we felt the best way to deliver on our promise was to enlist their expertise,” he added.
President Mullaly stated, “The PEI Active Living Alliance is delighted to partner with the 2009 Host Society and to play a significant role in the lead-up to what will be the largest sporting event in Canada and ever to be held on Prince Edward Island.” She added, “The 2009 Canada Games Activity Challenge will be based on the concept of linking physical activity with the arrival of athletes from across the country for the Games. Islanders will be challenged to walk the distance equivalent to the number of kilometers necessary to get ALL the team members from each province and territory to Prince Edward Island.”
Spriet also stated, “The Host Society wants to lead by example and will play an active role in the program, and, in fact, our Board of Management, many of whom are here today, have been recording their activity for the last number of weeks so they can help walk the athletes to Prince Edward Island.”
Phase one of the initiative is an intra-provincial challenge starting June 2007 where communities across PEI will be paired up against each other in a friendly competition to encourage physical activity. A second phase involving an inter-provincial competition will roll out in January, 2008.
Participants will be able to track their own physical activity by logging onto the PEI Active Living Alliance website. The website will give them an idea of how physically active they are, as well as giving them tips and ideas about physical activity. The goal is to accumulate 13, 144,360 kilometres, an average of 110 kilometres per Islander.
Mr. Ghiz helped demonstrate the state-of-the art online tracking system by logging his activity over the last 24 hours—needless to say, the Premier-Elect is a busy man these days, and therefore, the group thanked him for his substantial contribution to start off the tally.
The 2009 Canada Games will be held August 15-29, 2009 and will comprise 4,400 participants from across Canada, competing in 22 sport events. Beginning this month, the 2009 Canada Games Activity Challenge is open to all Islanders and hopes to involve them over the two-year period leading up to the 2009 Canada Games, both encouraging active living and raising awareness for the Games.