The City of Hamilton is rolling out a new initiative that it hopes will help kids develop confidence and become more physically active at an early age.
Sport Hamilton president Helen Downey says low self-esteem and anxiety around fundamental movement skills has become a major issue.
“A lot of simple things, running, jumping, throwing, catching, kicking, skipping, hopping, kids can’t do because they don’t practice them, we don’t teach them in a setting,” she said.
“We put them in a game situation,” she adds, “and then it becomes high anxiety for them.”
The Hamilton Moves initiative plans to change that by creating leaders in physical literacy through training.
More than 2,000 people in the City’s health and recreation departments, local sports organizations and staff at Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board will soon be equipped with programs that introduce skills like agility, balance and speed.
“We want kids to have the permission to play, to be active, to release all that energy, get their blood flowing, so that when they get back in the classroom, they’re ready to learn,” Downey said.
Hamilton Moves has received $550,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to provide training over the next three years.