$100,000 to Fund Physical Education

NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release                                        December 16, 2013

$100,000 Grant to Fund Physical Education program at Craigflower Elementary

Victoria, BC – Agility, Balance, Coordination and Speed – these are words often used to describe elite athletes.  Thanks, however, to a $100,000 grant announced today, some 160 children at Craigflower Elementary School will be learning these fundamental skills of movement for at least the next two and a half years.

The Rotary Club of Victoria and the Victoria Foundation announced their joint funding at the school this morning where one very special guest was in attendance.  Two-time Olympian and Victoria native Ryan Cochrane was on hand to help celebrate with the kids and provide some thoughts on the importance of physical activity and sport. Last month, Cochrane was named the OMEGA Canadian Male Swimmer of the Year following the 25-year-old’s silver medal win in the 1,500-metre freestyle at the world aquatics championships, giving him his sixth world championship medal.

The $50,000 contribution from the Rotary Club of Victoria is part of the organization’s centennial project funding, as 2013 celebrates their 100th year since inauguration. “This has been an exciting year for our members in many ways, but in particular with respect to our support for the less fortunate in the Victoria area,” noted Rotary President Murray Ramsbottom. “Our year began with the purchase of a much-needed van for the Rainbow Kitchen, followed by generous donations to the Victoria Cool Aid Society and Mustard Seed, and concluding with this contribution towards the Physical Literacy Program at Craigflower Elementary.  Over the course of the year we will have disbursed more than a quarter of a million dollars into the Greater Victoria community.”

The Rotary donation is being matched by an equivalent amount from the Victoria Foundation and will be used to fund the ABCs of Physical Literacy program by the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE). Today’s announcement will continue to fund the program which has been running at Craigflower for about a year. Typically the children would not be getting regular physical education programming within the school day at Craigflower, as it is not part of the school’s budget. 

”Our school cannot afford a staff P.E. specialist,” said Craigflower Principal Lynne Moorehouse. “But with the skills-based physical education teaching that PISE provides, we can an offer an integral child development program for our students – 96% of whom are aboriginal.  Beyond the obvious physical benefits, it helps improve our literacy rates, as we know that hand-eye co-ordination provides children the ability to ‘track’ in reading and the brain cross-overs help with connecting meaning and memory. I believe that PISE’s involvement in our school has helped  with improving our Reading Rates over the last 3 years from 28% meeting or exceeding to 54% two years ago…to 71% last year!  Thank you Rotary Club of Victoria and thank you Victoria Foundation!”

In 2011, the Victoria Foundation was one of the first in the country to create a Smart & Caring Community Fund in response to a call to community foundations from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada to join him in bringing to life a vision for a smarter and more caring nation. Physical literacy was made the fund’s initial focus because findings from the local and national Vital Signs® reports indicated Canada’s children were less active and at greater risk from childhood obesity than ever before.

“We’re proud to be able to provide this support from our Smart & Caring Community Fund and to partner with such a wonderful organization as the Rotary Club of Victoria,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “The PISE program lays the groundwork for young children to build confidence in their physical abilities and support lifelong health and well-being.”

Funds from the Rotary Club of Victoria were raised through the sale of raffle tickets. “We thank the Victoria Foundation and the Smart and Caring Community Fund for providing us with the inspiration to go out and sell our car raffle tickets around Victoria this past summer,” stated Rotary Club of Victoria President-Elect, Alexandra Edgell. “We also thank all of the people in Victoria who bought a car raffle ticket from us.  Today’s funding mirrors the contributions the Club has made over its 100 years of existence to help the homeless, the handicapped and the sick, to enhance education and learning, and to improve the lives of thousands of fellow citizens in Victoria and around the world. Rotary’s motto is ‘Service Above Self’ and the dedication of its members towards this principle have enabled the Rotary Club of Victoria to be a significant force in building the Victoria community over the last century. Our members are committed to continue that tradition over the next 100 years.”

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The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest and fifth largest community foundation. To date it has invested more than $130 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in B.C. and across Canada. Read more about the Victoria Foundation’s vision and mandate.

The Rotary Club of Victoria is a vibrant, active club with a wonderful history of service to the community and internationally. As one of the first hundred clubs in Rotary, they proudly celebrated their Centennial on the 15th of November this year.  The Club marked its 100th year with several legacy projects including major disbursements to the Rainbow Kitchen, Cool Aid and Mustard Seed – and concluded with a $50,000 donation to Craigflower Elementary.  All of this was made possible through the support provided by the people of Victoria to the Club’s various fund-raisers, in particular their annual car raffle. Read more about the Rotary Club of Victoria.

For more information, please contact:

Robert Janus, Director of Communications                           Murray Ramsbottom, President
Victoria Foundation                                                            Rotary Club of Victoria
P. 250.381.5532      C. 250.886.6112                                   P.  250.474.5662
rjanus@victoriafoundation.bc.ca                                          jacmur@shaw.ca