National Health and Fitness Day
How We Got Our Start
National Health and Fitness Day is an initiative to make Canada “the fittest nation in the world”, starting with the first Saturday in June as the day when Canadians are encouraged to get out and get active.
The initiative spring-boarded off the Vancouver 2010 Olympics as a project to mobilize the spirit of the games and create a legacy of improved health for all Canadians. Former Senator Greene Raine introduced a Private Members Bill (S-211), which formally established National Health and Fitness Day. It was passed unanimously through the Senate in June 2014. Since then MPs and Senators have worked with local mayors and councillors of cities and towns across the country to proclaim Canada’s National Health and Fitness Day on the first Saturday in June and to “mark” the day in some way.
So far, almost 500 municipalities across the country from east to west to north have proclaimed the day. Programs are delivered through partnerships with organizations such as ParticipACTION, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Physical & Health Educators of Canada, and the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association. The initiative is supported by an Advisory Council made up of leaders in the fitness and health sectors. The initiative is led by former Olympic Swim coach Pierre Lafontaine, Olympic icon Nancy Greene Raine, Phil Marsh from the Running Room and former MP John Weston.
Among other activities, the initiative convenes stakeholders to oversee events such as Bike Day on the Hill, Swim Day on the Hill and Ski Day on the Hill." Non-partisan support on Parliament Hill is led by Senator Marty Deacon and a host of other Senators and Members of Parliament from all across Canada.