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Saskatoon programs aim to get kids more active

SASKATOON – Now that books have closed on another school year, it’s easy for kids to just lounge around the house playing video games and watching television. But programs around Saskatoon are making it just as easy for them to get up off the couch.

This is the sixth year the PotashCorp Soccer Kids In the Park program has been offered in Saskatoon.

“The kids just love playing in an environment where they’re just being guided and not necessarily coached and the difference is quite big, because they just want to do what they want,” said Octavian Iliuta, program coordinator with Saskatoon Youth Soccer.

There are two crews that hop around Saskatoon to different playground sites every day. Over eight weeks, they will hit each location between six and nine times.

While being physically active is vital for healthy growth and development of children, according to the Saskatoon Health Region less than 15 percent of kids are getting the needed 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

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“But what we also know is that screen time is increasing on average. Kids are getting six or more hours of screen time every day, which is a trend we really want to reduce,” said Brent Rioux, Saskatoon Health Region In Motion senior consultant.

If soccer isn’t your sport of choice, the City of Saskatoon playground program is another option.

Most summer programs have already kicked off and run through August.