Bluevale CI Officially Opens BFIT Park

On June 17, Sarah Milne, Executive Assistant to Bardish Chagger, MP for Kitchener-Waterloo, MPP Catherine Fife, City of Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky, Region of Waterloo Chair Ken Seiling and WRDSB Chairperson Kathleen Woodcock and Director of Education John Bryant joined Bluevale Collegiate Institute Principal Mark Hunniford to announce the opening of the Bluevale Free Inclusive Training Park (BFIT) that will improve access to programs and services for people with disabilities in Waterloo.

The City of Waterloo, in partnership with Bluevale Collegiate, received funding to improve accessibility at Bluevale’s Free Inclusive Training Park (BFIT Park), an existing fitness park located on the school grounds. The project was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund in the amount of $50,000. In addition, $19,800 was received through the Province of Ontario Ministry of Education’s Physical Activity in Secondary Schools (PASS) grant program to support a continued change to the physical activity culture in secondary schools in order to increase the number of secondary school students participating in physical activities outside of instructional time.

This project benefits residents of all ages and abilities by allowing full access and participation to BFIT Park and increasing opportunities for active and healthy lifestyles. Improvements include removing physical barriers, paving pathways, resurfacing the facility, and enhancing accessible signage.

Quick Facts about Ontario’s Physical Activity in Secondary Schools Grant Program

  • Grants of up to $20,000 per project ($10,000 per year for two years) are provided to innovative, strategic, sustainable and transformation initiatives that address an identified need and engage students and the school community.
  • Initiatives can be regional, board-wide or targeted to an individual secondary school or a group of secondary schools.
  • The Ministry of Education provided two-year funding for a total of 70 selected projects proposed prior to March 31, 2014.
  • Secondary schools were encouraged to establish partnerships to assist with the planning, delivery and evaluation of the project (e.g., with non-profit organizations, post-secondary institutions, provincial sport organizations, and public health units).
  • The promotion of physical activity in secondary schools is part of Ontario’s commitment to promoting student well-being, one of the goals of Achieving Excellence: A renewed vision for education in Ontario (2014).

Quotes:

“We are delighted that the work of Bluevale’s Principal Hunniford, WRDSB staff and the City of Waterloo is going to result in such a beneficial, accessible asset for the community. This partnership allows the school to take an active role in enhancing student and staff well-being, which in turn benefits the community by promoting healthy and active lifestyles. Thanks to the Government of Canada, the province of Ontario and community partners for their generous support.”
– Kathleen Woodcock, Chairperson, Waterloo Region District School Board

“The BFIT Park is a prime example how all levels working together in partnership can create healthy active spaces for all of our citizens to enjoy.  We are especially thankful to all who have contributed to the creation of the park including support from the WRDSB, the City of Waterloo, the Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada.  The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) provided by the Government of Canada was the final key piece in bringing the BFIT Park to reality.”
– Mark Hunniford, Principal, Bluevale Collegiate Institute

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Students demonstrate how to use the new BFIT Park at Bluevale CI

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BCI staff and special guests officially open the BFIT Park

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WRDSB Chair Kathleen Woodcock, Sarah Milne, representing MP Bardish Chagger, MPP Catherine Fife, BCI Principal Mark Hunniford, City of Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky and Regional Chair Ken Seiling celebrate the new inclusive fitness park at BCI