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

Just Posted

UPDATE: Discontent City campers don’t plan on leaving

City of Nanaimo issues trespass notice at downtown homeless camp

RDN and CUPE 401 ratify three-year deal

Collective agreement retroactive to Jan. 1 and runs until the end of December 2020

UPDATED: Nanaimo city manager gone

Tracy Samra is no longer with the City of Nanaimo

No fare discounts for Island residents, says B.C. Ferries CEO

Mark Collins spoke about B.C. Ferries’ vision and mission last week in Qualicum

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

City showcases power of public works to Nanaimo students

City of Nanaimo holds second Public Works Day

VIDEO: Regional district and B.C. Transit show off NextRide bus technology

New technology for Nanaimo bus riders will allow for real-time tracking

Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR, thanks to 911 dispatcher

‘The dispatcher literally taught me CPR over the phone’

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

COLUMN: Women’s breasts really aren’t that big a deal

A follow on some Princeton, B.C., students gained considerable exposure when they dropped their bras

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Most Read