The YMCA-YWCA National Capital Region launched its Y Kids Academy yesterday, Thursday, September 22, 2011 at the Taggart Family YMCA-YWCA (180 Argyle St) location. This initiative is designed to combat the growing concern over inactivity levels in our children and youth today. The Academy invites all local grade six students to a 12 hour program with instruction on strength training and interactive healthy living lessons that highlight the benefits of being active and making positive healthy choices. Upon completion of the program, all graduates receive a complimentary 12-month membership to the Y for one year, enabling them to stay active and practice their new skills. Representing the support that both CHEO’s clinical and research programs lend to the initiative, Dr. Hadjiyannakis was on hand for the launch and spoke to the importance of the development of the Y Kids Academy.

At CHEO, we see more and more children with health issues related to obesity and inactivity.  We are addressing this through research (Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group – HALO) and specialized treatment (Centre for Healthy Active Living program – CHAL).  Says Dr. Stasia Hadjiyannakis, “the Y program addresses issues from a preventive, accessible and early intervention perspective and is an excellent complement to our clinical work at CHEO; we are pleased to be able to assist with program content”.  HALO Director Dr.  Mark Tremblay adds:  “we look forward to sharing our expertise in research and evaluation with this new initiative.”