Tag Archives: health

ParticipACTION highlights importance of sports in childhood fitness, health

Remember ParticipACTION from when you were a child? The health-and-fitness-promoting organization, a Canadian non-profit, is still going strong, advocating for us to all be active for the betterment of our health and well-being.

When it comes to children’s activity levels, ParticipACTION notes, “Research shows that children who don’t participate in organized sports exhibited higher emotional distress, shyness, and social withdrawal later than their counterparts.” The full 2020 report card can be accessed here.

Participaction
ParticipACTION graphic

Sadly, the news is not good, as the report card “gives children and youth a D+ for overall physical activity and a D+ for sedentary behaviours.” The report adds, “Less than 1 in 5 children (5-11 year-olds) and youth (12-17 year-olds) in Canada are meeting national movement behaviour guidelines for physical activity, sedentary behaviours and sleep.”

The report goes on to highlight the importance of family working together to promote activity and health. Among the ideas for parents are…

  • Be an active role model
  • Prioritize active transportation (e.g., walking, cycling, wheeling)
  • Create a family media plan that includes screen-free times
  • Encourage more outdoor time

ParticipACTION has oodles of information and resources on its website. There is currently a program running called the Great Big Move, with prizes up for grabs to help encourage families and groups to be active.

The organization also offers a handy mobile app.

With the challenges of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit recognizes that some families and individuals may not be comfortable engaging in organized sports.

“Is your family opting out of organized sports and activities this year? That’s okay. Take ParticipACTION’s Active Family Pledge and discover new and exciting ways for the whole family to be active together.”

EOHU posting on Facebook

Another great resource is the ParticipACTION Facebook page.

Share this:

Tighter COVID-19 rules to impact sports in Ottawa, Toronto

The so-called hot spots for COVID-19 cases – Ottawa, Toronto, and Peel Region – have seen a number of new restrictions imposed by the provincial government. The new rules affect many aspects of society, including sports, which now will be prohibited from any scrimmages, limited only to training with physical distancing.

Ontario government logo

From the Ford government announcement… “In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in the Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto public health unit regions. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.”

The new rules, for these regions, will take effect on Saturday, October 10, at 12:01 a.m.

In terms of sports, the rules state, “Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).”

These three regions will also see social gathering numbers reduced to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, along with the closure of bars/restaurants for indoor service, gyms and fitness centres, gaming establishments, cinemas, performing arts centres, spectator areas at racing facilities, and more.

For the full details, please see the government press release here.

These new measures do not, at this time, apply to our region, remains in the government’s Stage 3 plan.

Earlier this week, MPP Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister of heritage, sport, tourism, and culture industries, was quoted in a CBC News story about the provincial government’s plans for hockey, specifically the top junior league, the OHL. In the piece, MacLeod was quoted as stating that the OHL will have to “remove physical contact, including bodychecking, if it’s to have a 2020-21 season.”

According to MacLeod, as quoted in the story, the OHL is not interested in playing under a bubble format as the NHL did for its 2020 playoffs. The OHL had already delayed the new season, tentatively aiming for a December 1 start (unlike Quebec’s major junior hockey league which began regular play this month and has experienced COVID-19 positive cases).

The CBC News story about MacLeod and the OHL further indicated that the provincial government would require the OHL and all sports organizations in Ontario to remove close physical contact amongst players. Also complicating issues for the league is the fact two teams are located in current COVID-19 hot spots, while three other clubs play out of USA cities.

Regarding local junior hockey leagues, the EOJHL (junior ‘B’) has begin team-versus-team scrimmages without body contact, as has the CCHL (junior ‘A’), following the Hockey Eastern Ontario return-to-play policy and its high-performance league guidelines.

The so-called HEO Stage 3(a) allows “our players an opportunity to safely continue their development by participating in modified-for-COVID non-contact game play.” In addition to the CCHL and EOJHL, this applies to the HEO U18 ‘AAA’ and HEO Minor ‘AAA’ leagues.

Share this:

Fall is a great time for outdoor walks, hikes; but check for ticks, says EOHU

The fall season is upon us, providing ideal conditions for outdoor walks and hikes on our terrific nature trails, but the Eastern Ontario Health Unit reminds you to be on guard for ticks.

tick
A tick (stock photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Trails are in abundance in our region, and so are these pesky insects, some of which carry diseases, such as Lyme, that can affect humans.

The EOHU tells us, “Lyme disease is a serious illness that can be spread to people by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks). Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, symptoms can last from months to years and can cause serious health problems. Blacklegged ticks live in woodlands, tall grasses and bushes, and are found throughout Ontario – including the five eastern counties. The number of infected blacklegged ticks is increasing each year.”

It’s worth noting that not all ticks, including all blacklegged ticks, carry the Lyme-disease-causing bacteria. Nonetheless, it’s important to take mitigation measures before your hike and to do a tick check afterwards.

Among the suggestions from the EOHU…

  • Wear light-coloured clothing. It makes ticks easier to spot.
  • Wear closed footwear, socks, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Tuck your shirt into your pants, and tuck your pants into your socks.
  • Use an insect repellent that has DEET or Icaridin on clothes and exposed skin (be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions).

When completing your tick check, “If you find a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible. The risk of getting Lyme disease increases with the length of time the tick remains attached to your body.” You should then monitor the site where the tick was attached to your body, if it was, and watch, over the next few weeks, for any symptoms of Lyme. Treatment with topical antibiotics is usually only needed if the tick has been engorged for more that 24 hours.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include…

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Spasms
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Facial paralysis
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen glands
  • Expanding skin rash (however, many people never get or see a rash)

For more information, please see this section of the EOHU website.

If you find a tick and are curious to learn more about its identification, there is an online submission tool. You can access it here.

Share this:

Lancaster Curling Club invites members to submit feedback on potential return to curling; EOHU releases guidelines for sports & rec

Will you feel comfortable participating in curling this season? That is part of what executive members of the Lancaster and District Curling Club are trying to learn from the general membership, as planning continues towards potential re-opening this fall.

logo

Last season came to a crashing halt in mid-May, when health authorities issued directives to help control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not much has changed in terms of risk since then, but the provincial government and local health authorities have gradually reduced restrictions, allowing sports and recreation groups to begin preparing for a return to play.

The Lancaster and District Curling Club conducted its 2020 annual general meeting remotely this year, in June, at which the new slate of executive directors was confirmed.

As part of the group’s work, plans are being explored for the 2020-21 season, including a survey of members.

Among the questions asked, the board wants to know, “If authorities allow sports to reopen in the fall, do you plan on curling with us this year?”

Should the club re-open for play, a number of health-related changes are being considered:

  • In an effort to spread out games, the club is looking at having league games extend through the weekend.
  • Members are also being asked, “Do you think it is reasonable to ask curlers to help wipe down the rocks, brooms, and door handles before each game?”

For individuals uncomfortable curling this year, the Lancaster executive asks if they will return once there “is a vaccine / effective treatment.”

EOHU publishes guidelines

To assist sports and recreation organizers, coaches, etc., the Eastern Ontario Health Unit has published a set of guidelines.

Amongst the recommendations…

  • Wherever possible, activities should be re-located to outdoor settings.
  • Indoor facility ventilation systems should be both operational and appropriate for the activities practiced within.
  • Designate a responsible person to oversee activities to ensure public health guidelines are followed.
  • Consideration should be given on how to appropriately include or accommodate vulnerable persons such as seniors, those with disabilities and persons with compromised immune systems.
  • Remove unnecessary communal items such as candy, magazines, and complimentary phone chargers. Where disposable water cups are provided, place a garbage receptacle close by for any used cups.
  • Communicate to all participants (coaches/staff, instructors, officials, participants, and their guardians, volunteers) about the risk of COVID-19 and practices that should be undertaken to mitigate risk.

The guidelines go further, specifically detailing rules for screening, prevention, and outbreak management; mandatory mask use indoors; entrance signage; capacity and scheduling requirements to maintain physically distancing; cleaning and disinfection; locker rooms; participants and spectators; equipment; and food and drink.

The EOHU document states, “Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players, or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.” It also suggests, “participants should be encouraged to bring their own equipment.” Any shared equipment must be “cleaned and sanitized between users.” The EOHU also recommends that organizations develop a publicly-available written plan.

Share this:

Summerheights Golf Links eyes possible opening in near future

As announced on its Facebook page, Summerheights Golf Links is ready for a new season, as soon as the go-ahead comes down from the province and local health officials.

As with all golf courses (and sports facilities), closure is currently mandated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 20, the club noted staff continue to prepare the course.

“Summerheights is committed to a safe golf environment. Through this difficult and unprecedented time, that commitment includes the health and well-being of golfers as well as our team. Our thoughts are with those personally affected by the virus including their families, our most vulnerable citizens, and the incredible healthcare workers who are facing the pandemic on the front lines. They are true heroes.

We continue to maintain the course and are waiting on the go-ahead from government officials for an opening. We are getting new procedures in place to be prepared to keep everyone safe. There will be many changes but you will still be able to golf and have fun.

Please continue to stay home, stop the spread, and dream of golf. We miss you and look forward to seeing everyone soon.”

Summerheights statement on Facebook

Recently, some golfers were circulating an online petition to get courses opened. However, it appears that the provincial government and health officials are taking a cautious approach, with the only announcement of new guidelines for businesses currently open and those soon to be allowed to re-open (though we don’t know which they will be).

For now, the advice to all of us remains the same: stay home as much as possible, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face, and practise physical distancing when out in the community by staying at least 2 metres from others.

Share this:

Lacrosse season remains on hold

As with all sports locally, lacrosse leagues are currently on hold, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally, this applies to the Cornwall Minor Lacrosse Association, which runs a spring house league program, as well as to the junior ‘C’ Cornwall Celtics and the junior ‘B’ Akwesasne Indians.

Typically regular-season play would begin around mid-April, and the hope is that the respective leagues will see 2020 action at some point, but that all remains paused for the time being.

Officially, all in-person activities are suspended through to April 5.

OLA letter
Ontario Lacrosse Association letter
Share this:

North Glengarry township closes community, recreation facilities for COVID-19 precautions

As recently as Friday afternoon, North Glengarry’s recreation and community facilities remained open, as mayor Jamie MacDonald told me that the township was following the recommendation of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to cancel events with more than 250 people.

However, Friday evening, EOHU medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis issued an order to all municipalities within his territory (Cornwall, Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, and Akwesasne) that municipally-owned community and recreation facilities must be closed to the public through to April 5.

As such, North Glengarry, on Saturday, issued notice to residents that its facilities would be closed.

notice

At the time of the EOHU letter, libraries were exempted from the order. However, Cornwall subsequently closed its library, and the SD&G Libraries system followed suit.

notice
March 13 EOHU letter to municipalities

Community and recreation facilities in South Glengarry and Cornwall were previously closed, effective March 13. For more background, please see this previous post.

Updates from area municipalities are being posted to the respective Facebook pages:

Share this:

Minor football announces temporary cessation of activities

Football Canada, the nation’s oversight body for the gridiron game, yesterday issued a recommendation to leagues and clubs across the country to consider “suspension of practice or play until further notice.”

The Cornwall Wildcats had begun pre-season training camp for the OFC provincial team under new head coach Alex Labonte. As well, the club was running speed and agility training, along with NCAFA teams pre-season practices. All of these activities are suspended, effective March 13.

Labonte adds, “It’s a temporary stop, hopefully.” At the OFC level, players are being encouraged to work out on their own. The head coach is also looking at holding meetings online, via FaceTime.

COVID-19

The Glengarry Gaels football club hadn’t yet begun its spring activities, president Ian Parent noted in an online post. The focus currently is on player registration for the spring outdoor tackle season.

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Gaels football since its 1980s hiatus. For player registration information, please see the club’s website here.

Wildcats spring team recruitment information can be found here.

Share this:

Char-Lan Skating Club abruptly ends season due to township rink closure

With South Glengarry announcing the closure of all recreation facilities for the next three weeks due to COVID-19 concerns, the Char-Lan Skating Club was forced to abruptly end its season, with means the cancellation of this year’s showcase event, which had been scheduled for March 29, at the arena in Williamstown.

Reportedly, the ice-making machine at the rink will be turned off this weekend.

The club has cancelled, as a result, all remaining skating days, in addition to the annual showcase, which skaters had been preparing for under the theme, ‘Ice, Camera, Action.’ The event is traditionally held at the end of each skating season, with stands packed full of family members and friends, as all athletes from the club skate in group performances.

Here’s the club’s official announcement:

announcement
Char-Lan Skating Club announcement regarding COVID-19

The skating club says it plans to hold a small awards ceremony at a later date. In years past, awards have been presented to skaters on the ice, following the performances.

Assessment Day

Recently, the skating club held its assessment day for competitive skaters.

skaters
Char-Lan Skating Club photo

From the club’s Facebook post: “A huge shout out to the Township of South Glengarry for all their hard work and support in preparing our facility and ice surface for this special day, and to our Assessment Coordinator and wonderful CLSC families for organizing a fun-filled after-party for all.”

Share this:

GSL postpones tonight’s dome match, suspends indoor season

The Glengarry Soccer League’s indoor season has been suspended, effective March 13, says Tammy MacSweyn, GSL vice-president.

The lone match on the docket tonight was the last senior men’s regular-season game featuring the Barflies and McCrimmon. Nothing was scheduled for the March Break (next week), with GSL action originally booked to resume March 22. However, that is now in limbo.

MacSweyn explains that the league is following the direction of Ontario Soccer, which announced last night, “Ontario Soccer has made the difficult decision to immediately suspend all sanctioned soccer activities in the province until further notice.” This includes “all competitions, training, coach and match official education, and team-building activities.”

Ontario soccer graphic
Share this: