HEALTH. We willingly say, moving is healthy! The claim is accepted far beyond the sports medicine community. Unfortunately, there is a kind of break in puberty for girls as the body changes. The FitSpirit organization has been celebrating the joy of being active for women for 15 years to prevent this sudden apathy from becoming permanent. And it works!
Recently, the FitSpirit Celebrations tour stopped at the Sainte-Foy open-air base. More than 1,500 girls from 57 high schools in the greater Quebec City area attended this grand event. As with the other five city centers visited, the spirit was festive, without the pressure of performance, where neighboring districts converge throughout the entire region of the province.
The purpose of these major festive events is to bring young girls together for a fun, energizing and above all an unforgettable day. All in an atmosphere where the pleasure of being active with friends is at its peak. We feel from the stretching session with the infectious enthusiasm that the organizers can declare mission completion.
“As is customary, a number of stimulating challenges are presented. The morning begins with a gathering in front of the stage for a rhythmic warm-up. Follow the start of the 5km or 10km timeless races. Next, the various startup events allow the girls to try different sports and discover new passions,” explains Élise Hofer, director of communications and marketing at FitSpirit.
Thus, after group activities, participants can test various unknown sports. The offer on the site ranges from climbing to boxing, including volleyball and the “round net” (or bouncing ball). “Our approach is based on curiosity and experimentation to bring them into a non-competitive fitness practice to keep them active. Because let’s not forget that, without external motivation, nine out of 10 adolescent girls fail to meet the basic recommendations for minimum physical activity practice to maintain health,” explains Ms. Hofer.
Sometimes all it takes to spark a new interest in a sport is a small trigger. From this perspective, participants in the Quebec City stage were able to benefit from the encouragement of former Olympic champion and Minister of Education and the Status of Women, Isabelle Charest. The one-time FitSpirit ambassador, who’s in sweatpants to join the general warm-up before the races kick off, admits there’s a connection to his commitment to politics.
“At this age, girls lose interest in physical activities. We must reverse the trend very early so that they maintain the belief that the move can be made in a variety of ways and can be enjoyed. The good habit can then be maintained for the rest of their lives. And in the long run, we reap both physical and mental health benefits,” says Minister Charest, who is convinced that these women’s sports celebrations leave positive and motivating memories in participants.
FitSpirit in a few numbers
- Dissemination of extracurricular activities in 230 secondary schools.
- It reaches more than 6,000 young girls aged 12-17 each year.
- Direct impact on more than 200,000 girls since its founding in 2007.