Idea alert


As noted by the Crawford Report, one of the dilemmas in funding elite sport is demonstrating that it has some impact on the activity and health of the general public. Keith Martin, who just sits around most days thinking up ideas, actually came up with a way to address this last November.

An elite athlete health ambassador program (EAHAP), created and funded by the federal and provincial governments, could be that legacy. This program would employ our Canadian athletes to adopt a series of schools that they could visit on an ongoing basis. The athletes would teach children how to live healthy, active lives; give workshops on making healthy food choices; improve literacy by encouraging reading; speak about the destructive impact of smoking, illegal drugs and alcohol abuse. As they are young role models, their message would be a powerful one for the students to hear. This program would provide children with the knowledge and encouragement they need to lead active, healthy lives.


Idea alert

  1. Sounds like an entirely reasonable idea.

    • It's not a bad idea, but if you're looking for return on investment for public spending, we have teachers who are already supposed to do a lot of those things.

      • Well, it's in the curriculum, but that doesn't mean that it necessarily shouldn't be taught elsewhere.

        I think it's a pretty good idea, especially if it gets paired with what used to be called (in Ontario, at least) VIP programs, where younger-looking uniformed officers would come into schools (at regular intervals) and describe the impacts of drugs, alcohol, and gangs for 5th- and 6th-grade students.

  2. Worth a try. If you are going to claim a social benefit to get funding you have an olbigation to create a strategy that actually addresses achieving that.

  3. I'd rather our athletes focus on training, rather than forcing them to tour the country.

  4. It's funny that we would have to create a program to try to create a benefit that we are already claiming exists, and using as a reason to fund these athletes. I guess we are uncomfortable admitting that, as a country, we just like the benefit of spending money this way (feeling good when our athletes do well) more than we like the benefit of spending money on something else, like social programs or education.

    Of course, we should be uncomfortable with that; it's an absurd funding allocation choice.

  5. The elite athlete health ambassador program sounds like a fantastic idea. Kudos to Dr. Keith Martin for coming up with it. He's a first-rate MP.

  6. Fantastic idea and let's get it going.
    We all know the impact of someone during school level who inspired by their example. Small, little programs like this can have a huge impact.

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