The Quebec Liberal government has invested $64 million over the next three years into a physical fitness plan to encourage Quebecers to be more active.
The money will affect students at over 450 schools with the goal to keep them active well into adulthood.
The government is working in partnership with the Grand Defi Pierre Lavoie. Quebec’s goal is to have elementary school kids exercise for at least one hour a day.
“When you change the habit of children, you change the habit of parents,” said Lucie Charlebois, Quebec’s public health and healthy living minister, who lost 100 pounds after her first grandchild was born.
“I was making her jump on the trampoline and I was — [she imitates gasping for air], you know? And she told me, ‘Gramma, you have to do something,'” she said.
Charlebois hopes others will rise to the challenge too. The government’s aim is for 20 per cent more kids to be active in their spare time, and 10 per cent more adults in the next 10 years.
“Through sport, I was able to become a better and more accomplished person and so I want to invite those young people to start moving, whatever their passion is,” said Josée Bélanger, an Olympic soccer medallist.
Bélanger said quality sports facilities are also important, especially in small towns: “I’m from Coaticook. It’s a small city; we don’t have access to as much as the big cities, but we still want to be active and we still need to have accessible infrastructures,” she said.
The government is also investing $507 million dollars in sports complexes.
The education minister said the money towards these building projects will go a lot further than it did in the past.
“Today, we have one sports centre, library and school, all in the same building,” Minister Sebastien Proulx said.
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