Re-inventing childhood play time

Panorama Recreation program part of pushback against child obesity

Former Olympian Silken Laumann and her daughter Kate

Getting kids outside and back to the basics of physical activity is what programs like Play in the Park are all about, says a former Olympian.

Silken Laumann was at Sidney’s Iroquois Park for the official launch of Panorama Recreation’s Play in the Park program. Laumann, an elite-level rower, child and youth advocate and board member of Right to Play International, said this is one of many similar programs across B.C. and Canada, designed to overcome Canada’s growing youth obesity rates.

“There is a crisis in Canada around physical activity,” Laumann said. “Only seven per cent of kids are getting what’s required.”

The threats of inactivity and obesity are amplified by the amount of “screen time” children and youth are taking in — an estimated seven hours per day, says Ian Hennigar, senior manager of Panorama Recreation.

He added thanks to supports from Investors Group, Sidney-by-the-Sea Rotary Club and the Peninsula Recreation Commission, Panorama Recreation staff have been able to get the Play in the Park program running here every night in July and August for free.

“Nights like this are about getting back to basics,” Laumann said.

She added that parents can do similar things on their own, outside of formal programs.

“You can lead your children and kids from your neighbourhood in play. Even the old games that the parents grew up with are good.”

To make that point, Laumann and her daughter Kate engaged a group of children in a game of Duck Duck Goose, which allows kids to have fun running around in a circle.

Carl Jensen, chair of the Peninsula Recreation Commission, said finding time to be active — especially with your children — is key.

“Be flexible and open to it,” he said. “Look for opportunities to get out there.”

Play in the Park

From Monday to Friday, between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Panorama Recreation staff will be in local parks encouraging families to play together.

Play in the Park runs throughout July and August (no session on Aug. 5) in Central Saanich (Rodolph Park, Centennial Park, Pioneer Park), North Saanich (North Saanich Middle School, Wain Park) and Sidney (Iroquois Park, Rathdown Park).

Be sure to check www.panoramarecreation.ca for where the program will be on each night of the week.

Just Posted

Early indications say allergy season could be milder this spring

The Aerobiology Lab collects pollen samples from across Canada to help make predictions

Victoria street repatriated with proper spelling after a century-long mistake

‘Penwill Street’ was named after a Victoria man, but mistakenly spelled ‘Penwell Street’

Short-term accommodations in Canada generated an estimated $2.8 billion in 2018

British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec generated almost 90 per cent of total revenue

Colwood, Esquimalt mayors support potential passenger commuter ferry

Mayors Rob Martin and Barb Desjardins hopeful study will continue

The sun streak continues with a high of 18 C today

Showers expected this weekend so enjoy it while it lasts

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island cougar might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Most Read