Building the healthiest communities takes teamwork in the settings where people, live, work, learn and play. To help build teamwork at schools, in motion hosts a yearly “school leaders” symposium as part of the Fall in motion Campaign.

Olympic Bronze medalist Kaylyn Kyle.

The purpose is to support school teams to make their “community” (school) a healthy and supportive environment for physical activity. Representatives from 28 rural and urban schools and nearly 200 students, teachers, administrators and public health nurses participated.

Kaylyn Kyle, Olympic Bronze medal soccer player, joined the in motion team to help inspire the student leaders to set physical activity goals for their school. Kaylyn described the successes and challenges she has faced including the heart breaking semi-final loss against the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She explained that the Canadian team refocused their efforts to achieve their goal of an Olympic medal – winning a bronze medal in a 1-0 contest over France. Kaylyn encouraged student leaders to persevere, especially when plans don’t always go as planned and envision success.

The symposium also provided an opportunity for the school leadership teams to set goals and build plans to make physical activity a part of a healthy school culture.

The symposium highlighted that less than 15 per cent of Saskatchewan youth meet the physical activity guideline of 60 minutes per day. Participants learned it takes a team effort at school, at home and in the community for children to receive the health benefits of an active lifestyle.

Submitted by the in motion Children and Youth Action Committee whose members represent the Health Promotion Department, all five school divisions, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.