In celebration of Sports Day in Canada, Delta Gymnastics is inviting the community to a free "Come and Try It" open house at its Ladner facility this Saturday.
The goal of the event, set to run from 2: 30 to 4: 30 p.m., is to help promote physical literacy and participation to children, youth and adults by inviting them to try the sport of gymnastics as a recreational activity.
"Sports Day in Canada is a national celebration of sport, from grassroots to high-performance levels, in communities across Canada," said Delta Gymnastics executive director Ana Arciniega.
"Canadians have become a nation of spectators more than participants, so this day has been organized to engage our community to try new sporting activities. The bottom line is we want people to be active."
Gymnastics is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a foundation sport because it plays a crucial part in the development of fundamental movement patterns and sport skills. Early participation enables children to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle for a lifetime.
Only nine per cent of today's children and youth are getting the recommended 90 minutes of daily physical activity.
"Developing physical literacy at an early age will give children the start they need. Not only will they become strong, faster and more flexible, but they will develop confidence and self esteem," said Arciniega.
Canada's Active for Life describes physical literacy as a collection of basic movement and sport skills such as running, jumping, skipping, catching, throwing and kicking. The earlier children correctly learn these skills, the more "fluent" and confident they will be in physical activity.
That confidence affects every part of their lives, from academic to social. With physical literacy, they'll have more fun in a diversity of sports and they'll be more likely to be active for the rest of their lives.
"We want to include gymnastics as a sport option for children, youth and adults," said Arciniega. "We have many artistic, recreational and fun programs in a first class facility. We want our community to have a chance to test it firsthand by participating in a series of stations supervised by our coaches this coming weekend."
Delta Gymnastics is located at the new Delta Sport Development Centre, next to the Ladner Leisure Centre. For information about its programs, visit www.deltagymnastics.com.