Canadians need to close the gap: Research shows while most believe that sport promotes healthy living, few participate

Nov 25, 2013, 06:00 ET from ParticipACTION

RBC Sports Day in Canada gives Canadians from coast-to-coast the opportunity to participate in sport

TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - New research shows that 95 per cent of Canadians believe that sport promotes healthy and active living, yet only 13 per cent participate in sport on a regular basis and just six per cent choose to spend time playing sports or being physical active over other activities such as watching TV or surfing the internet when they have free time. The survey, commissioned by ParticipACTION, Canada's national voice of physical activity and sport participation, is an important reminder that Canadians need to close the gap. They need to act on their beliefs and ensure they are living a healthy, active lifestyle. RBC Sports Day in Canada, which takes place on November 30, 2013, provides the perfect opportunity for Canadians to get active and participate in sport.

"Sport has the power to make individuals, communities and our nation stronger," said Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of ParticipACTION. "It provides a way for adults, children and youth to learn new skills, make new friends, and challenge themselves, all while becoming more physically active. ParticipACTION is committed to inspiring Canadians to get active and participate in sport so that all Canadians are leading healthier, more active lifestyles. RBC Sports Day in Canada is a great opportunity to get people engaged."

Canadians truly believe in the benefits of sport. In fact, 94 per cent of Canadians believe that sport helps build self-esteem and/or social skills. More than eight in 10 Canadians (88 per cent) believe sport can build and/or strengthen communities, and 86 per cent say that sport can foster a better and stronger society.

"Research tells us that the vast majority of Canadians believe that community-based sport can have a positive influence in the lives of our children and youth," said Karri Dawson, Director of True Sport Operations at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. "When sport is inclusive, fair, fun and fosters the pursuit of personal excellence, Canadians and the communities where they live can reap the benefits associated with a positive sport experience."

RBC Sports Day in Canada offers Canadians the opportunity to embrace the benefits of sport. In the week leading up to and including November 30, local organizations, communities and schools across the country will host over 1,400 sporting events and activities, open houses and try-it days that showcase sport at all levels.

National Jersey Day, on Friday, November 29, provides another opportunity for Canadians to show their love for sport by wearing a jersey, team or club uniform to school, work or play.

"We're thrilled to partner with ParticipACTION, CBC and True Sport for this national celebration to get Canadians, and especially kids, active and participating in sport," said Jane Broderick, Chief Brand and Communications Officer, RBC. "RBC recognizes the lifelong lessons gained through sport, and today, we announced RBC Learn to Play, an initiative to help improve the delivery of youth sport and recreation programs in communities across the country. Our Sports Day sponsorship and Learn to Play initiative are part of our larger commitment to improve the well-being of one million children and youth in Canada."

Get involved!

  • Visit to watch RBC Sports Day stories and videos or to search for events in your area. Be on the lookout for elite athletes, politicians, Paralympians and Olympians who will make special appearances at some RBC Sports Day in Canada events across the country.

  • Wear a jersey, team or club uniform to work, school or play on Friday, November 29 to celebrate national Jersey Day and show your love of sport.

Watch it live!
RBC Sports Day in Canada will be marked by a compelling broadcast event, live from Calgary, airing on CBC starting at 1pm ET on November 30. The broadcast, hosted by CBC Sports Weekend & Olympic host Scott Russell, will profile many standout community events that embody the RBC Sports Day experience.

About RBC Sports Day in Canada
RBC Sports Day in Canada, on Saturday, November 30, 2013, is a national celebration of sport, from grassroots to high-performance levels, in communities across Canada. The official day caps off a week of more than 1,400 local events and includes a special broadcast on CBC Television. 

RBC is the new title sponsor of RBC Sports Day in Canada, which is presented by ParticipACTION, in partnership with CBC Television, ICI Radio-Canada Télé and True Sport, working in collaboration with national sporting organizations and their networks of coaches, athletes and sports enthusiasts across the country. RBC Sports Day in Canada is generously supported by Sport Canada and in BC through Healthy Families BC. For more information about RBC Sports Day in Canada, please visit:

About the survey
From November 1st to November 2nd 2013 an online survey was conducted among 1,006 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

For a list of other events taking place across the country, please visit