Fighting obesity at heart of program

New youth pass at Panorama offers access to fitness for less

Panorama Recreation is launching what it calls a game-changer when it comes to helping young people get better access to recreation and fitness programs — and to help reverse trends of childhood obesity in Canada.

To do its part, Panorama Recreation has announced that it will offer youth under 19 an annual pass for $59 — and if a parent or guardian buys an annual pass, complimentary annual passes will be offered to all dependent children, aged six to 18.

It’s a bold effort, stated Ian Hennigar in a media release, to improve community health.

“It’s a game-changer for youth on the Peninsula,” Hennigar told the News Review. “Something like this has never been tried in this region.”

Access to low-cost recreation facilities, he said, will hopefully get more youth into active pursuits. The goal, he said, is to help get families more active than they are now.

“The Peninsula Recreation Commission has a serious concern on the health of youth,” Hennigar continued. “One strong indicator of inactivity is national statistics showing that only seven per cent of Canadian youth get the exercise they need.”

With things like computer and video games competing for their time, Hennigar said the rec. commission felt it had to do something more to attract youth to in door and outdoor activity.

“Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years,” Hennigar stated. “It’s a troubling statistic because excess weight has many negative effects on children’s health. They are at a much higher risk of developing health problems later in life.

“We wanted to be leaders by significantly reducing the barriers to participation and this program does that.”

The new youth pass program will work in tandem with other Panorama initiatives, such as its free Play in the Park program for families. They also already offer free access to their facilities for preschool children, age five and under.

To find out more about the new youth pass program, visit www.panoramarecreation.ca.