Residents make videos to promote lifelong fitness

The local In Motion campaign took a video twist here on Aug. 21 when the Sun Life and Partici­paction cameras came to town hoping to inspire Cana­dians to get active.

The Participaction Sun Life – “Inspire the nation tour” had people lined up making short speeches about why fitness is so important to them. The tour visited a number of cities across Canada, and Centre Wellington qualified because the Wellington Dufferin Guelph In Motion campaign has been so successful to date.

Residents here helped to set a world record walk and Centre Wellington had one of the highest per capita participation rates in the county. Since Fergus is a midpoint for the three communities, it was selected as the site for the visit.

Marg Woods and Donna Wagenaar, both of Fergus, gave their messages to the camera.

“The seniors’ centre in Fergus asked me to come,” Woods said.

Don Andrews, an advisor with Sun Life Financial’s Waterloo Wellington Financial Centre and a fanatical bicyclist, was on hand to rally support, along with Wellington Dufferin Guelph In Motion.

Andrews said, “It’s been a great turnout,” in Fergus, despite the iffy weather. And, he added, “It’s been a great response” right across Canada.

“There have been some great stories.”

One of those came from Fergus in the form of a ballroom dancer who dances four times a week for several hours each time. Charley Coran, of Guelph, dances in Hamilton, Burlington and Toronto every week, and then does more ballroom dancing at the Victoria Park East club.

Coran is 95, and he looked like he could break into a dance at any time, or even handle a break dance.

He is the irrepressible type that seems impossible to keep down. In 1937, he won a silver medal in two different cities for diving, and to this day, he is still upset about that – even though he still carries the medals with him.

“I was cheated” he said, stating that judges stripped him of marks he had earned.

But nothing seems to get him down.

“I never get sick,” he said. “Maybe a slight cold. I don’t take pills.”

Coran believes in living naturally, and at his age and good condition, it is difficult to argue with him. He said he had dyslexia as a child, and a chiropractor cured him.

When he was young, he suffered large burns to his leg while raking a lawn and getting too close to burning leaves. Doctors used silver nitrate, a treatment of the day, he said. His daughter took it upon herself to coat his wounds in honey, and said the next day the nurse told him the silver nitrate was working very well to heal his burns.

Centre Wellington Recreation Director Andy Goldie said he was pleased with the turnout, particularly since the event, from 11am to 1pm, “is a tough time to do it.”

He said Sun Life and Participaction “recognize what we’re doing regionally,” with the In Motion program to promote health and fitness in the community.

He said that the fall program of trail walks and In Motion week will again take place in the coming months, helping to keep people active.

Dean Connor, president of Sun Life Financial Canada, said of the nationwide program, “Sun Life is committed to helping Canadians live heal­thi­er, longer, more active lives. We partnered with Participac­tion to create awareness that small, simple changes can make Canadians’ everyday lives better and to inspire them to start making these changes today.”

Participac­tion president and and chief executive officer  Kelly Murumets said, “We want Canadians to join us in the movement to make physical activity a part of who we are as a nation. We are facing an in­activity crisis in our country, and the private, public, and non-profit sectors must work together to effect change.

Residents were invited to get a free pedometer and visit the inspiration booth, which is travelling 15,000kms across Canada. The booth offers Canadians the opportunity to record a video about how they have added more movement into their lives. When the recording is complete, it is emailed as a Participaction and Sun Life commercial, which the user can forward to family, friends, and colleagues.

Those stories will also be uploaded to Participaction’s online Wall of Inspiration for Canadians to view. Some stories could be selected to be featured in nationally aired television commercials in the fall.

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