A new project will prescribe recreation to kids. STOCK PHOTO

Nanaimo kids will receive recreation prescriptions for digital detox

Recreation project wins nearly $50K grant from Island Health

Health care workers plan to pull out their prescription pads to help get kids moving.

Nanaimo health and education organizations are teaming up for the Recreation Prescription Project, an new initiative to help improve the health of Grade 5 students by prescribing them recreation.

The project involves Island Health, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, City of Nanaimo and primary care givers and it’s just won a nearly $50,000 grant from the health authority.

The idea is to use recreation as intervention and help vulnerable youth who might have health issues or who don’t get a lot of recreation go from a trajectory of ill health to well health, according to project lead, Joanne Schroeder, a faculty member of Vancouver Island University’s department of recreation and tourism.

“The prescription is recreation and we’re looking at addressing kids by digital detox, so trying to address their sedentary lifestyles, trying to connect them to nature and active transportation,” she said.

Ten-year-old students from Bayview, Fairview, Georgia Avenue and Brechin Elementary will be invited to take part in the project, where primary care givers will fill a prescription for recreation. It’ll be a ticket to a 16-week program to connect kids to nature, local trails and activities like geocaching.

VIU students will join the youngsters as role models and the university will track the health of the Grade 5s to measure if the recreation experience has improved their mental, physical and social health.

“The age 10 is very specifically identified as a critical age, not only from a research base, but just from a youth development,” said Schroeder, who hopes kids get hooked on recreation and see it’s a benefit to them and their mental health.

The idea is to also help children build capacity to make healthy recreational choices, while also addressing the ways organizations work together for the health of youths and the community, according to Schroeder.

Liz Williams, City of Nanaimo recreation manager, hopes to see research that shows there’s a clear link between recreation, physical activity and health and called it a natural fit for the city.

The city is also hoping to get the message out that people can be active with very low barriers. Recreation is all-encompassing and doesn’t mean someone has to be brilliant at playing soccer, or basketball or mountain biking, Williams said, adding there’s many things people can do in this community that keeps them active and don’t necessarily cost money.

“I’m excited about this because we have the right people at the table,” she said. “With the university and Island Health and the school district involved and the city I think we can hopefully make an impact and keep our communities active.”



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cooler day helps crews fighting fire on mountainside southwest of Nanaimo

Firefighters making progress, but it’s ‘slow-going,’ says B.C. Wildfire Service

Nanaimo RCMP say increase in cycling opens up potential for more bike thefts

Police advise cyclists register their bikes with 529 Garage

City of Nanaimo to look at turning NDSS field into mid-size stadium

Parks and rec will begin stakeholder engagement and begin work on a phased plan for improvements

Woman arrested near Nanaimo’s Westwood Lake after road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Pandemic isn’t a time for tax increases

City councillors are out of touch with the taxpayers, says letter writer

New ICBC data details Nanaimo intersections with the most crashes

Old Island Highway at Bowen Road and Norwell Drive saw the most crashes in 2019

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Most Read