Victoria, BC – February 14, 2012 (ISN) – The Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) and the TC10K has formed a partnership to promote physical literacy, by encouraging schools to participate in the Island Farms School  Challenge.

For the School Challenge, teams of students, teachers and parents will be encouraged to run or walk either the 10K or the Thrifty Foods 1.5K Family Run on April 29. By collaborating on this initiative, PISE and the TC10K hope to address the importance of physical activity in the youth, while promoting registration for the School Challenge.

TC10K 2012PISE will be integrating the TC10K training program into their existing delivery of the SportFit Challenge, with the goal of reaching 20 schools, from elementary to high schools. “SportFit is an educational resource for children to recommend new sports based on their physical abilities and strengths,” says Andrea Pask, Physical Literacy Coordinator for PISE. “Children complete eight stations designed to test physical ability in areas such as speed, strength, endurance and agility. Their results from the stations along with their personal preferences are entered into the online SportFit resource, which recommends three winter and three summer sports for the child, as well as contact information for the local sport organizations providing those sports.”

All 20 of the targeted schools had teams in the 2011 TC10K, and to date 14 have registered for 2012. “We will provide schools with a School Teams package complete with registration forms, posters, Thrifty Foods Trackers, training plans, stretching tips, nutritional guides and information on running techniques,” says Jacqui Sanderson, TC10K Race Director. “Along with these packages, we are also offering to attend assemblies, PAC meetings and the schools’ group runs to help increase the TC10K’s presence.”

“Partnering with PISE is a great fit for the TC10K – PISE is already delivering SportFit in schools and now students, teachers and parents have a tangible goal by training and entering a team,” added Sanderson.

Students are required to undertake 150 minutes of physical activity per week as outlined in the Daily Physical Activity (DPA) log program. PISE has been a catalyst in advocating such programs through their After Schools Sports Initiative, and by delivering a lunch-hour physical literacy program three days a week to elementary schools.  “We need to find some strategies to get kids to reduce their screen time, and increase their physical activity – but that means that schools, parents, and community organizations all need to play their part. PISE is proud to play this advocate role with children” says Andrea Carey, Director of Operations & Community Engagement.

The TC10K has set a goal of 62 school teams to register and to date 42 have taken up the challenge. With the School Challenge brings an opportunity for teams to win three $1,000 cash prizes, sponsored by Island Farms.

To enter the School Challenge go to: www.tc10k.ca/teams/island-farms-10k-school-team-challenge.