February 15, 2017 – (OTTAWA) — Today, Parliament Hill was transformed into a cross-country ski venue to promote National Health and Fitness Day which will be celebrated on Saturday, June 3rd in 2017.
Led by Senator Nancy Greene Raine, MPs Robert Kitchen, Cheryl Hardcastle, Will Amos, and Elizabeth May, a cadre of Ottawa youth, Olympians/Paralympians and officials from Cross Country Ski Canada came together to ski a cumulative relay of 150 Kms in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Special guests included Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
The unique event was held in partnership with Nakkertok Nordic and XC Ski Fast – a program designed to promote the fun of cross country skiing to Grades 6-8 students in the National Capital Region.
“Ski Day on the Hill provides an opportunity for parliamentarians to come together and showcase the importance of physical activity for Canadians, while enjoying some cross country skiing.” Robert Kitchen, MP for Souris-Moose Mountain encourages “all communities across Canada to proclaim National Health and Fitness Day and join us in making Canada the fittest nation on earth. As the Official Opposition Critic for Sport, I invite all Canadians to bundle up, head outside, and get active in whatever way works best for you!”
“Cross-country skiing is an excellent way to get out and enjoy Canadian winters,” said Cheryl Hardcastle, MP for Windsor-Tecumseh. She commended the MPs and Senators for reaching out to the communities they represent and asking them to proclaim National Health and Fitness Day. “They can mark it any way they like – a walk with the Mayor, half price admission to the community pool, or convene a giant intergenerational Sports Day.”
“Cross-country skiing is a great environmentally-friendly sport that Canadians can enjoy throughout their life span” added Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich – Gulf Islands. “Canada’s mountains, lakes, parks and wilderness offer recreational and fitness opportunities for everyone to enjoy.”
“My family and I are so appreciative of the spectacular Gatineau Park, right in our back yard – truly one of the premiere cross country ski venues in North America. I encourage all Canadians to get out on their skis in the next few weeks. Winter seems long in Canada but cross country ski season is actually quite short!” quipped Will Amos, MP for Pontiac.”
Senator Nancy Greene Raine encouraged all Canadians to follow Canada’s political leaders’ path to a healthier lifestyle while kicking off the event on Parliament Hill.
“These legislators are great role models for all Canadians to keep physically active. My dream is that we could have cross country tracks like this one on school playing fields across Canada. We need to do everything possible to get kids outside being active in the fresh air. We ask all MPs and Senators to help us spread the idea via National Health and Fitness Day. Let’s do it!”
Senator Raine was pleased to present an award to Dave Adams, Head Groomer and Project Manager of the Sir John A MacDonald Winter Trail, in recognition of his volunteerism and dedication to promoting accessible healthy physical activity and cross country skiing in the City of Ottawa. www.wintertrail.ca
Get more information on National Health and Fitness Day at www.NHFDcan.ca or @NHFDcan.