Walk This Way - It Begins with a Single Step!
Bourgeois Cote Forget Swim & Oliver Insurance Brokers
McCann Clubhouse, MacArthur Ave Ottawa, Ontario
October 8, 2010
Small (up to $50K)
**"It brought tears to my eyes to watch *Peter* cross the finish line at the race. Thank you Walk This Way for enriching my son's life and empowering him to be the best he can be."**
**Mother, Walk This Way participant.**
There is no question that in the twenty first century child obesity has reached near epidemic proportions. In fact, experts predict that today's children are not likely to outlive their parents! Nearly 40% of Canadian children are considered to be overweight and 23% of those are classified as obese. Pediatricians across the country continue to diagnose and treat a vast array of insidious and preventable diseases including diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. This situation must be reversed! It is time we stop investing in reactionary medicine and start investing in prevention. This is what Walk This Way is all about.
Walk This Way is a training and motivational program for underpriviledged, inactive and weight-challenged children. The program challenges them to do something they probably never dreamed of: complete an event at the Ottawa Race Weekend.
Walk This Way specifically targets underprivileged children because they often face the most obstacles in maintaining healthy diets and active lifestyles. Low-income families lack the resources to register children in physical activities such as sports, recreation, dance and more. Healthy eating can also be a challenge. As a result low income children are among the most vulnerable to obesity and its associated health risks.
Walk This Way is about **empowerment, leadership, leveraging self-esteem and community building**. Each week the participants actively plan and prepare their training routes which are sometimes local and sometimes in other neighbourhoods around the community.
The true impact of Walk This Way is measured not by the number of pounds lost. Instead it is measured in the number of teeth visible in the smiles of the participants when a shiny medal is placed around their necks after achieving a goal they never thought possible.
The program was inspired by the life work of Dr. Sean Egan, a professor of Human Kinetics at Ottawa U, who passed away, while attemping to summit Mount Everest (see video). His summit quest was motivated by a desire to draw attention to and reverse a disturbing trend towards sedentary living and poor diets amongs Canadian children.
Gavin Lumsden was part of Dr. Egan's Everest expedition and had the opportunity to document the professor's concerns first hand. The messages resonated deeply and Gavin was compelled to action on his return from Nepal. He decided to launch, "Walk This Way."
Since 2007 more than 40 children crossed the finish line at 2, 5, and 10k events - and one participant completed an entire marathon!
Please help us sustain and expand our program. The consequences of raising a generation of unhealthy, poorly nourished and sedentary young people cannot be ignored. You can make a difference right now. Vote for children like *Peter*. Vote for Walk This Way!