By Akasha Di Tomasso
On Thursday, September 26th, the MLSE Shape Up program launched its fourth season to a school-wide assembly at St. Leo Catholic School in Etobicoke. The MLSE Shape Up program is a FREE, online DPA (Daily Physical Activity) and H&PE (Health & Physical Activity) resource for teachers – providing tools they need to help get their students active.
As a part of the program, Shape Up visits various schools in Ontario throughout the year, bringing the excitement and spirit of the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies, and Toronto FC to the classroom in hopes of building interest in physical activity. For Shape Up’s fourth season, the program launched at St. Leo’s with some very special guests from all four teams.
Students at St. Leo’s had the opportunity to hear insight from the experts, including Raptors Alumni Jamaal Magloire and Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Lee, Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Dave Bolland and Trainer Anthony Belza, Toronto Marlies Forward Greg McKegg and Strength Coach Mark Fitzgerald, and Toronto FC Defenseman Ryan Richter and Assistant Athletic Therapist Shawn Jeffers.
“Kids more often than not are sitting behind their desk all day, I think exercise and getting them engaged in some physical activity is just as important,” says Raptors Alumni Jamaal Magliore, “Just stay active, you may not be involved in sports but there’s other things you can do to keep active, keep your heart rate going, keep physically fit, so when you are in class you’re able to focus more and get through the day easier.”
The purpose of the school visit program is to teach students the importance of participating in physical activity and healthy living. The school-wide assembly at St. Leo’s engaged students with exciting demonstrations, exercises and tips to help teachers and their students maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
“Of course there is play but not as much as there could be or should be,” said St. Leo’s principal Lillian Ugrin. “A healthy lifestyle includes being physically active and that’s important because that in turn leads to longevity and a feeling of well-being. Don’t forget the social component: the friendships you develop on the basketball or the tennis court can last a lifetime.”
For more information or to register as a teacher for the MLSE Shape Up Program visit www.mlseshapeup.com.