FitSpirit

  • FitSpirit Celebrations are exciting, fun-filled days in which thousands of teenage girls are invited to run 5 or 10 kilometres.

    Photo: © Vanessa Cyr Photographie

  • An active lifestyle has positive effects not just on physical fitness and mental health but also on perseverance and academic success.

    Photo: © FitSpirit

  • FitSpirit helps teenage girls discover the advantages and the enjoyment that come from taking part in physical activity in an environment that is positive, rewarding and open to everyone.

    Photo: © FitSpirit

  • FitSpirit gives teenage girls the possibility of being active with their friends, encouragement, and a positive environment with an emphasis on fun!

    Photo: © FitSpirit

  • Since 2007, FitSpirit has created awareness among more than 110,000 teenage girls in hundreds of schools in Quebec and Ontario to develop healthy lifestyle habits based on realizing their own potential.

    Photo: © FitSpirit

  • FitSpirit’s team is made up of dynamic and inspiring young women. These ambassadors demonstrate the organization’s values and feel strongly about the importance of good health for teenagers.

    Photo: © FitSpirit

BY THE NUMBERS

Each year, the FitSpirit program reaches 25,000 girls in Québec and Ontario

The girls in the program are 12–17 years old

255 secondary schools in Québec and Ontario were involved in the program during the 2017–2018 school year

13,000 girls took part in the FitSpirit training program and 2018 Celebrations

Encouraging teenage girls to be physically active

Statistics on inactivity show that one out of two girls give up sports when they hit puberty. Moreover, that trend takes a dramatically downward turn between the ages of 12 and 17, since 9 girls out of 10 do not meet Canadian exercise guidelines by the time they graduate from high school. Fear of being judged, concerns relating to weight and body image, lack of self-esteem and lack of confidence in their athletic abilities, the absence of role models and of programs suiting their needs, as well as a lack of resources, are all reasons frequently given by teenage girls for no longer taking part in physical activities regularly.

Intending to do something about this problem, since its founding in 2007 by Claudine Labelle, FitSpirit has fully devoted itself each year to inspiring and motivating thousands of Québec and Ontario teenage girls to get moving. Its mission is to help girls discover the fun and benefits of physical activity through an enjoyable, non-competitive and empowering program.

The FitSpirit Approach

FitSpirit partners with schools and community organizations to provide activities that will keep 12- to 17-year-old girls physically active over the long term. It offers tools and services within a holistic approach based on flexible, individualized support that help schools get girls moving through activities tailored to their challenges and their lives. Guided by facilitators in the schools and FitSpirit ambassadors (athlete speakers, kinesiologists, mentors, etc.), participants enjoy empowering experiences in a relaxed atmosphere free of competition and performance objectives. In fact, the only goal is for girls to have fun and try out new physical activities amongst themselves.

FitSpirit Celebrations

Every year FitSpirit holds Celebrations that bring together thousands of young Canadian girls who have taken part in the activities supported by the organization. During these exciting, fun-filled days, girls who have followed FitSpirit’s 8- to 10-week training program are asked to take on the personal challenge of running a 5- or 10-kilometre distance. The goal of that challenge is to give them an opportunity to push their limits and have a blast discovering how enjoyable it is to be physically active.

“It was through coaching children from disadvantaged areas that I realized how physical activity is an exceptional development tool,” says Claudine Labelle, Founder and President of FitSpirit. “Being physically active builds self-esteem and leadership, and when you’re having fun doing an activity, you are even more likely to make it part of your lifestyle. The subject fascinated me and the many available studies spoke clearly of the need for specific initiatives to address the problem of physical inactivity among young girls. When I founded FitSpirit and became a social entrepreneur, I faced a great challenge. Slowly but surely, however, a strong team was formed and now hundreds of school program leaders are involved in the movement and thousands of girls have been motivated to move together,” she adds.

“Claudine Labelle is a true social entrepreneur, using her business acumen to create a range of physical fitness activities that will have an enduring effect on teenage girls,” points out Paul Genest, Senior Vice‑President, Power Corporation. “Through her business-like approach, she has succeeded in building a community of support for her FitSpirit program, extending its reach and broadening its appeal.”

As time has passed, FitSpirit has acquired more partners for its events, allowing girls in the program to be introduced to more activities sure to interest them, another way of encouraging them to stay active throughout the year.

Claudine Labelle is a true social entrepreneur, using her business acumen to create a range of physical fitness activities that will have an enduring effect on teenage girls.
Paul Genest
Senior Vice President
Power Corporation

Video

See videos from FitSpirit YouTube (in French only).