Participation in sports among teens is declining, and especially among girls: according to a 2004 Canadian Community Health survey, 64% of girls aged 12 to 19 are physically inactive, compared to 48% of boys.
FitSpirit is a group that helps girls aged 13 to 17 learn about the importance of exercise and eating well and promotes a healthy self-image—paramount at this critical time in girls’ lives. Currently operating only in Ontario and Quebec, they have presented seminars to more than 25,000 female students and have over 3,000 members. And they recently received critical funding from the Jays Care Foundation, which will help them further promote fitness awareness among young women in Canada, including spreading awareness of positive role models. "Our focus is inspiring more young women to be actively involved in sport," says Claudine Labelle, founder, FitSpirit. "At FitSpirit, our team of Canadian female athletic talent, including Olympic athletes, conducts workshops and give motivationalspeeches to young teenage women. We want to show young women all thepositive attributes and benefits sports can bring to their lives.”
For more on FitSpirit, visit their website at fitspirit.ca.
Pictured: FitSpirit girls at Monte-Saint-Anne in July 2008. They were at the Velirium, an International Mountain Bike Festival, interacting with racers and getting a great view of the race.