Coca-Cola Canada

Coca-Cola Canada

June 28, 2011 08:30 ET

Youth Ambassadors Bring Their Best Game to Queen's Park

Coca-Cola Canada Supports Youth-Inspired Activities Across Ontario With Over $350,000

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 28, 2011) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

From balloon volleyball to obstacle courses to dodge ball, Ontario youth are tapping into their creativity to get their peers moving. Chosen as Ambassadors for Sogo Active, a group of young people will bring their energy and passion for promoting physical activity to Queen's Park today. The youth ambassadors will participate in a leadership and communications training program, tour the Legislative Assembly and meet with a member of the Press Gallery.

Each youth leader will receive a $5,000 scholarship in recognition of their efforts to engage and inspire activity among their peers through Sogo Active – a five million, five-year national youth active living program sponsored by Coca-Cola Canada and managed by ParticipACTION.

The program provides grants to community host organizations that create events or 'challenges' which get young people active. Events have included boxing and cross training at the Underground Gym and Youth Centre in Thunder Bay, a hip hop dance class at CultureLink's Newcomer Youth Centre in Toronto and a rock climbing course at Gravenhurst High School. To date, Sogo Active has supported more than 400 organizations in Ontario reaching nearly 9,000 youth with over $350,000 in funding.

The Ontario Sogo Active Ambassadors are:

  • Ursula MacDonald, 14 of Toronto - created a daily dancing challenge
  • Attinderpal Toor, 17 of Mississauga - created a four-week challenge, which included an obstacle course and scavenger hunt
  • Amish Patel, 17 of Mississauga - created a table tennis tournament
  • Bonnie Huang, 17 of Richmond Hill – created a balloon volleyball program
  • Sophia Marin, 17 of Toronto – created a lunchtime sports league, which included dodge ball and floor hockey

"A busy student myself, I wanted to design something that would fit easily into people's lives and allow people of all skill levels the chance to participate," says Bonnie Huang, a Grade 12 student at Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill who created a balloon volleyball program for her fellow students. "I was motivated by the inactivity crisis in Canada," says Huang, who plans to use the $5,000 scholarship toward a Life Sciences degree at McMaster University.

"I want to commend all the ambassadors for inspiring their friends and families to get active. Our government wants to encourage all Ontarians to do the same. We know that physical activity is one of the most important things Ontarians can do to stay healthy," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

"Coca-Cola Canada understands the benefits that active healthy living offers young Canadians," says Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipACTION. "Through this private/not-for-profit partnership, we are able to inspire and support thousands of teens to increase their physical activity levels to the recommended 60 minutes per day."

"Promoting a balanced and active lifestyle is a key part of our Live Positively platform," says Sandra Banks, Vice President Public Affairs and Communications at Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada. "We are strong believers that we can all accomplish more working together with partners like ParticipACTION, than working alone." Live Positively is Coca-Cola's commitment to making a positive difference around the world and in Canada.

Ontario organizations looking for grant information are encouraged to visit www.sogoactive.com or contact Megan Sutherland at Motivate Canada, the Ontario Sogo Active coordinator at megan@motivatecanada.com.

About Coca-Cola Canada

Coca-Cola Canada operates in all ten provinces, employing 6,300 people in more than 50 facilities, including seven production facilities, across Canada. We offer a wide variety of non-alcoholic brands; these beverages include sparkling soft drinks, still waters, juices and fruit beverages, sports drinks, energy drinks, coffees and ready-to-drink teas. We're proud to offer some of the most popular brands including Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero®, Sprite®, Fanta®, Nestea®, PowerAde®, Minute Maid®, Dasani® and vitaminwater®. Coca-Cola in Canada is represented by Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada and Coca-Cola Ltd.

About ParticipACTION

ParticipACTION is the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada. Originally established in 1971, ParticipACTION was re-launched in 2007 to help prevent the looming inactivity and obesity crisis that faces Canada. As a national not-for-profit organization solely dedicated to inspiring and supporting healthy and active living for Canadians, it works with its partners, which include sport, physical activity, recreation organizations, government and corporate sponsors, to inspire and support Canadians to move more. ParticipACTION is generously supported by Sport Canada. For more information, visit www.participACTION.com.

About Sogo Active

Sogo Active, powered by ParticipACTION and sponsored by Coca-Cola Canada, is a program created for one reason: to help youth challenge themselves and their friends to get moving. The program was designed to create a "for youth, by youth" physical activity movement to help young Canadians between the ages of 13-19 to become more active. For more information, visit www.sogoactive.com.

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