Active for Life is a Canadian not-for-profit social enterprise founded by B2ten. We are a national initiative created to help parents give their children the right start in life through the development of physical literacy.
Active for Life was born in a cottage in the Laurentian Mountains in the spring of 2010, where the leadership team of B2ten met to debrief after Canada’s success at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. They realized that winning medals is wonderful but if those medals aren’t inspiring kids to be active then what was their true value? The B2ten team soon determined that Canadian kids were less active and less involved in sport than ever before. The inactivity and sedentary behaviour were making Canadian children sick.
B2ten became dedicated to reversing this negative trend in kids’ health. They created Active for Life and gathered a team to inspire and offer solutions.
In AfL’s search for those solutions we talked to many experts and parents. The recognized leaders in the field of children’s sport and activity, like those at Canadian Sport for Life, told us that there was one simple thing that could turn the tide: physical literacy.
When we spoke to parents, we learned that while moms and dads were aware of the alarming statistics and the crisis in children’s health, they were overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do to make a difference in their kids’ lives.
We connected the pieces of the puzzle and reached the following conclusions:
- Physical literacy is one simple solution to help kids become more active, healthy, and successful for life.
- Parents need direction, education, and inspiration, but mostly they need practical solutions.
- Parents are the gatekeepers of their kids’ activities, and the enablers of life-long habits.
In 2012, few people beyond the sports and recreation sectors had heard of physical literacy, yet we were convinced it was a concept parents could grasp and care about.
We were right. Since we’ve been established the term physical literacy has evolved from obscure concept to mainstream topic.
The growth of both AfL and public awareness of the term “physical literacy” (PL) has been astonishing and remains a testament to B2ten’s profound belief that getting kids moving is of vital importance to Canada. Here are some of the highlights from our past couple of years:
Sport Canada, who believe that raising active children is important and that PL plays a key role, join us as a financial supporter.
- The RBC Kids Pledge is the Royal Bank’s five-year, $100M commitment to improve the well-being of one million kids and youth. As part of this pledge they have chosen Active for Life as one of the programs that they support in order to meet this objective.
- Olympic athletes such as Jenn Heil, Shelley-Ann Brown, and Eric Guay, and professional athletes like Steve Nash and Vincent LeCavalier, have supported our efforts by appearing in our PSA videos, attending in-person and online events, and speaking about PL in the media.
- The Physical Literacy Alliance was launched in late 2013 with the goal of promoting PL education and programming across Canada and is committed to:
- Providing quality PL programming for our community, and supporting similar programs across Canada.
- Educating parents, families, and media on the importance of PL.
- Providing parents and families with practical PL resources.
- Developing best practices for PL professionals through sharing and dialogue.
We’re committed to equipping professionals who work with children with the tools and resources they need to provide high quality PL programming:
- Our lesson plan builder, has simplified the process for daycares, programmers, and educators to easily incorporate fun PL games into their programs.
- Grow Your Program, provides tools for those delivering PL programming to educate their communities of parents about the importance of PL.
We’ve launched a new Role Models program that will help us reach more Canadian parents by amplifying our message. We’re excited about the number of influential Canadian parents and elite athletes that make up our team of Role Models.
Since 2012, Active for Life has built a full-fledged media organization, publishing more than one thousand original articles in both English and French. Our top articles have been shared up to three thousand times and seen almost one million times.
Our social media channels have experienced tremendous growth since we first launched, expanding our community, reach, and engagement. Taken together, we have the ability to reach upwards of ninety thousand parents through our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube accounts.