National Health and Fitness Day
How We Got Our Start
National Health and Fitness Day (NHFD) is an initiative to make Canada “the fittest nation in the world”, starting with the first Saturday in June as the day when Canadians get out and get active.
It 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’s introduced a Private Members Bill (S-211), to formally recognize National Health and Fitness Day. It was passed unanimously through the Senate in June 2014. Over the last 10 years, MPs and Senators have worked with their 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 like ParticipACTION, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Physical & Health Educators of Canada, and the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association. The initiative is also supported by an Advisory Council made up of leaders in the fitness and health sectors. The Board is lead by Pierre Lafontaine, former Olympic Swim coach, and supported by Senator Marty Deacon, Senator Chantal Petitclerc, Olympic Icon Nancy Greene Raine, Phil Marsh from the Running Room and former MP John Weston.