Tuesday, 7 December, 2010

Brand Building, Uncategorized

CBC Live Right Now


As you know, YMCAs in Canada are committed to nurturing the potential of kids and promoting healthy living.  I’m pleased to share a new initiative that we are working on with the CBC to do exactly that – to provoke, motivate and support all Canadians to live healthier lives.

I’m on the Advisory Board of Live Right Now, together with these other credible and inspiring organizations focused on healthy living in Canada:

–    Breakfast for Learning
–    Canadian Diabetes Association
–    Canadian Obesity Network
–    Dietitians of Canada
–    Healthy Active Living  and Obesity Research Group
–    Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
–    ParticipACTION

Participating with me from YMCA Canada, are Gisèle Tennant (National Manager of Health and Wellness) and Meghan Reddick (Vice President, Communications).

Let’s get involved!

Apart from providing advice and support to CBC to activate this initiative, we are also encouraging Canadians to join the movement online.  Launching January 3rd, 2011, the CBC Live Right Now website will offer tools and resources for healthy living, including daily challenges, blog posts, goal tracking, body age calculator, recipes, videos etc.

The CBC is encouraging Canadians to register, build a profile and share with friends and family.   I encourage you to sign-up, create your own local YMCA groups online, and demonstrate our leadership in engaging with our communities.

One of the daily challenges online will be to ‘Try the Y’ – encouraging Canadians to visit their local YMCA and YMCA-YWCA to receive their CBC Live Right Now special.  Many associations will offer a two-week trial pass to help kick start their pledge to get healthy. 

Check out the CBC Live Right Now short video:

Gisèle Tennant, our guest blogger

I’ve asked Gisèle Tennant to be our guest blogger today, to discuss some of the health issues facing Canadians:

The stats are staggering. The latest Canadian Community Health Survey tells us that 17% of Canadian children are overweight and 9% of Canadian children are obese.  As I think of the advances made in technology and medicine, it’s ironic that we are faced with the first generation of children who potentially could have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

How did we get there?  To me, the answer to this complex issue is simple: the human body was designed to move.  We are not moving as much as we used too and we are eating more.  On one side of the energy balance scale we have the convenience of fast food, supersizing, low cost burgers, added sugar, junk food, soft drinks etc.  On the other side of the scale we have sedentary entertainment, remote controls, drive-through conveniences, decreasing physical education in schools, all of which is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

Is it easy to eat less and move more?

Try to tell that to a low income family with children to feed.  Education and awareness campaigns aren’t enough.  People know what they should do, but it has been reported that those with low levels of education and in lower socioeconomic groups have a harder time purchasing and consuming foods that follow the food guide.

Thankfully, there is the YMCA

At the YMCA, we know that the social conditions in which people live (the social determinants of health) will affect their health.  I am grateful that at the YMCA, socioeconomic status is not a barrier to living an active lifestyle.  The YMCA has a duty to support families in helping children reach their full potential.  For example, last year, $20.9 million in financial assistance has enabled 178,000 individuals and families to benefit from YMCA activities.

To us, health is more than just being active. It’s about having a network of support, a job, good working conditions, education and literacy and a safe place to live, while also staying active. That’s why YMCAs offer programs in all these areas for individuals, groups and families of all ages and abilities.



In your opinion, what is the number one way that YMCAs in Canada can support Canadians to live healthier lives?


  • Scott Haldane

    I completely agree, Randy. Some of the scenarios that are being considered in the local workshops being conducted by Associations across the country include a strong emphasis on an external focus for the YMCA. If we are to have the kind of impact we want to have, we must reach out to our communities beyond our facilities and our members and in collaboration with other organizations. Thanks for reminding us of this imperative.


  • Randy Klassen

    I agree with the comments but I would like to add to the concept of people coming in our door. I think that we also have to find the need in our community as well as react to the people that “come through our door”. With some of our relationships, we may need to be more proactive than reactive.

  • Scott Haldane

    Thanks for the encouragement, Jennifer!


  • jennifer wilson

    just to ‘coat tail’ on Bryan’s comment – we need to build relationships with everyone who comes in our door AND other health and wellness providers in the community – whether they are hospitals or other worthy organizaitons like those participating in Live Well Now – well done , definately a step in the right direction – now we need to operationalize the vision that comes out of these relationships – full steam ahead !

  • Bryan Webber

    Thanks, Scott. I agree completely. We have many wonderful outreach programs and partnerships here in Hamilton, Burlington and Brantford, with children that deserve the same opportunity for personal development and good health.

  • Scott Haldane

    Hi Bryan,

    We can always rely on you to respond to the blog! Much appreciated.

    I think the challenge for all of us is to do the same for people (especially children and youth) who don’t come through our door. This can be accomplished through outreach programs but more importantly through our partnerships and relationships with other organizations in communities across Canada.



  • Bryan Webber

    Thanks for the question, Scott and Gisele. I think the number one way is for our staff and volunteers to build a relationship with everyone that comes through our door – and to help them reach their personal goals and potential.