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January 4, 2018 - The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) is piloting the first Indigenous Fitness Leadership Certification Program in Saskatchewan over three weekends in April and May 2018. The program will train individuals committed to an active lifestyle who want to learn how to motivate and energize others in their community. Participants will earn nationally recognized certification, enabling employment in the fitness industry. It will be held in Saskatoon with support from the Saskatoon Tribal Council. 

The program’s goal is to empower Indigenous People to deliver safe, high quality fitness programs in their communities that are culturally relevant and incorporate traditional learning methods. It was designed by a diverse team of educators and fitness professionals with experience leading Indigenous recreation and physical activity programs. Participants will be able to provide guidance and feedback on the program, ensuring that it meets the fitness and physical activity needs of Indigenous People.

According to Chief John McNab of George Gordon First Nation, “This is a great opportunity. This SPRA Project will benefit us as Indigenous People in two main areas: building our human capacity and promoting health and fitness."

Registration for the program opens February 1, 2018. An application package will be available on the SPRA website. Individuals willing to work towards becoming a certified fitness leader trained in group exercise content, who can be recommended by members of their community, are encouraged to apply.  

This pilot program is made possible through a funding agreement with the Department of Indigenous Services Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. The program supports the 89th Call to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, ensuring that barriers to participation in physical activity and fitness are reduced, and fitness programs are inclusive of Indigenous Peoples.

Since 1986, SPRA has trained and certified over 5000 Fitness Leaders in Saskatchewan.

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For more information, contact:
                
Wendy McKellar
Fitness and Physical Activity Consultant
Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association
Phone: (306) 780-9470
Email: wmckellar@spra.sk.ca