McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited

McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited

September 19, 2005 10:45 ET

The Go Active!™ Fitness Challenge Goes National

McDonald's® Canada Helps Schools Across the Country Earn Credits Attention: Assignment Editor, Education Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Sports Editor TORONTO, ON--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 19, 2005) - Today, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited, with support from the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), announced the official national launch of the Go Active! Fitness Challenge. The Go Active! Fitness Challenge will become an annual program in which Canadian elementary schools (excluding elementary schools in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador) can participate with the goal of helping keep students active.

The Go Active! Fitness Challenge was designed to promote physical activity amongst students. By participating and completing this program, hundreds of schools can earn up to $500 in Wintergreen Phys-ed credits towards new gym equipment for their individual schools.

During the pilot year in 2004, 141 schools completed the Go Active! Fitness Challenge with more than 16.333 students participating. By following the Go Active! Fitness Challenge, students were able to improve on all six exercises by an average of seven per cent.

"Based on the huge success of the pilot program in Ontario, McDonald's Canada is very excited to be able to take this program nationally and help students across the country get active," said Louie Mele, President, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited. "The Go Active! Fitness Challenge is just one of the ways McDonald's is demonstrating our commitment and dedication to encouraging a balanced, active lifestyle among young Canadians."

"I believe the Go Active! Fitness Challenge is important at this level, because it's at school that we start learning good habits," said Alexandre Despatie, Olympic medalist and three-time world champion, and a new national ambassador for McDonald's Canada. "Ever since I was a kid, I've needed to move and be active. Being active, for me, is also about having dreams, working hard to get better and better, having fun doing it and achieving my dreams. I hope this program will encourage young people to be active and have dreams."

About The Go Active!™ Fitness Challenge
Inspired by the Canadian Fitness Awards, the Go Active! Fitness Challenge is designed to promote physical activity among students, and will be available to elementary schools across the country (excluding the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador and the territories). Each eligible class that registers at www.fitnesschallenge.ca (up the maximum number permitted per province/region) will receive a Go Active! Fitness Challenge kit that provides all the necessary materials to conduct the Challenge in their school.

Participating teachers will test their students on a series of six exercises, consisting of sit-ups, push-ups, 50-metre dash, shuttle run, standing long jump and an endurance run. Teachers test their students on the same six exercises once in the fall and again in the spring, aiming for individual improvement rather than simply focusing on excellence. Eligible classes that complete the Challenge and submit their results on the Fitness Challenge website will earn $200 in Wintergreen Phys-ed credits per participating class, up to a maximum of $500 per school.

About McDonald's Canada
McDonald's is the leading foodservice company in the world. McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Canadian franchisees own and operate more than 1,375 restaurants and employ more than 77,000 Canadians coast to coast. Approximately 65 per cent of McDonald's Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. For more information about McDonald's Canada, visit the company's web site at www.mcdonalds.ca.

About the Canadian Olympic Committee
The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects of Canada's involvement in the Olympic movement, including Canada's participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and educational means. For more information, see the COC website: www.olympic.ca.

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For more information, please contact:
McDonald's Media Relations Line
1-877-786-3342
IN: EDUCATION, HEALTH, SPORTS

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