Celebrating 100 Years of Healthy, Active Living! | Ophea.net

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Celebrating 100 Years of Healthy, Active Living!

Friday, April 9, 2021 - 14:43

A hundred years ago—when Ophea was founded—things were eerily similar. An influenza pandemic had just swept through various parts of the globe. Weary populations were struggling to cope with its effects. But as the last wave receded there was a renewed sense of hope.

Educational institutions had played an important role in curbing the spread of the disease, and there was an understanding that, moving forward, health and physical education should be prioritized to set the next generation up for improved health and well-being.

Since1921, Ophea has evolved and adapted, but our core focus has remained the same. We work to provide quality curriculum and classroom supports for teachers. And, in doing so, we increase their confidence in supporting healthy active living education in multiple environments—with the end goal of fostering healthy, active habits in each new generation.

Partnerships have been the key to our success

Helping 100-years worth of Ontario students to grow up healthier and happier is no small task, and it’s definitely not one Ophea could have hoped to tackle alone.

One thing we know for sure is that learning is most effective when Health and Physical Education programs are delivered in healthy schools and supported by school staff, families and communities. Simply put, working together is the best way to help children and youth make safe and healthy choices.

Over the years, we’ve had the advantage of working with the highest quality volunteers and professionals in Health and Physical Education. They’ve made Ophea what it is today.

What’s more, the caring classroom and teachers in Ontario’s schools—the ones who road test our resources and put the curriculum into practice—are the true heroes. It’s always been the case, but today more so than ever. These educators have worked tirelessly to foster hope, resilience and learning for students and their families through the most difficult period our generation has ever faced.

Health and Physical Education is a fundamental right for all children and youth

The concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion are central to the implementation of the Health & Physical Education curriculum in Ontario, but this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, Health and Physical Education has played a historic role in Canada’s colonialism and is implicated in racism, ableism and other oppressive behaviours within the education system.

As we mark our 100th anniversary, we’re more committed than ever to working toward change. By understanding the collective history of Health and Physical Education we can begin to unravel how this subject area can contribute to reconciliation, achieve respect and celebrate diversity.

The future is looking healthy and active

As we celebrate a century of fostering healthy active living, we know our work is far from done. We’ll be continuing to advocate with provincial and regional leaders to create policies that support student well-being, and to deliver resources that support their implementation within cultures of inclusion. We’ll also be providing updated safety considerations that align with the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education to support students joy of movement and safety during COVID.

But in true Ophea style, while we’re hard at work, we’ll also be celebrating our successes. We’re looking forward to sharing milestones, accomplishments and exceptional moments in our collective history. But most of all, we’re looking forward to having you join in the celebrations as we reflect on where we’ve been and where we’ll go from here!