Spurred on by former Red Mountain Racer and Rossland resident Senator Nancy Greene Raine, the City of Trail will launch its first National Health and Fitness Day (NHFD) on Saturday with a number of activities and fitness incentives going all day at the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre.
“We’re the Home of Champions, so that right there speaks for itself,” said Trail councillor Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson. “I really think we embrace something like this because of our history, and for an individual’s personal health, if you have the capabilities and capacity to do something, I think it’s a great thing.”
The initiative began five years ago with Conservative politician John Weston, MP for West Vancouver and Sunshine Coast, when he and other parliamentarians decided to shape up.
He created fitness initiatives for MPs and Canadians, and introduced NHFD to his colleagues in the House of Commons in the fall of 2012. By 2013, Senator Greene Raine began to involve 100 Canadian Senators and introduced a Bill to create NHFD in the Senate in fall 2013.
“We’re asking every municipality to sign on and do something special to promote health and fitness in their municipality, whatever they want to do,” Greene Raine told the CBC while promoting NHFD in April.
Greene Raine bemoans the fact that one-in-three children in Canada is either overweight or obese.
“The long-term goal is for Canada to be the healthiest, fittest nation in the world. We have to target that. Why should we target having all our kids get chubby and fat? Chubby is the new normal? That’s crazy.”
Trail’s municipal government fully supported NHFD, proclaiming June 7 National Health and Fitness Day, and invite residents to participate in its activities at the TALC on Saturday.
“We invite people to come to the Aquatic Centre and be part of a healthy day that we’ve provided and give them an opportunity to check out the different kinds of programs that we offer and services,” said Recreation Coordinator Lisa Manaigre.
Residents will receive a free courtesy pass when they attend the Aqua Fit class from 10-11 a.m., the fitness centre orientation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Seniors Nutrition and Fitness Orientation from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or a personal training Q&A from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Regular fees apply for the classes, but the free pass will encourage residents to return and hopefully develop a routine of fitness and health. Visitors’ names will also be entered to win a free personal training session.
“It’s just like going on a diet, you can’t do it for one day and expect to lose 20 pounds, it’s an every day battle,” said Gattafoni-Robinson. “Fitness is a good thing, and we’re very fortunate to have the facilities in the area that we live in.”
In addition, TALC invites all Greater Trail residents to enjoy a Toonie swim between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., including those residents whose municipalities withdrew from the Trail Recreation agreement.
The Trail Aquatic Centre is one of the best facilities in the Kootenays and the rec department offers a variety of programs for all ages, from youngsters to seniors.
“We encourage people to check out our website and our leisure guide and just see what we do have to offer,” added Manaigre. “We have a lot of great programs.”
The NHFD has been backed by many supporters including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and its 2000 members. So far, 132 cities officially proclaimed the day.