Federal Minister of State for Sport Pumped Over Year of Sport in Canada
Prince George, B.C. – The Federal Minister of State for Sport, Bal Gosal, has been busy handing out medals to the highest achievers in sport this weekend as he visits various venues of the Canada Winter Games, and he is expecting 2015 to really put Canadian Athletes on the sports map of the world.
( at right, Minsiter Gosal awards a Gold Medal to a Synchronized swimmer from Quebec)
“Canada is hosting something like 120 different sporting events throughout 2015” says Minister Gosal “It started with the World Juniors Hockey, and it was an honour to present the gold medal to our kids, an amazing feeling.”
And now it’s the Canada Winter Games, the only event of its kind in the world, where athletes from one nation get to compete at the highest level in the country in Games that consist of multiple disciplines, it is, says Gosal, a stepping stone for athletes ” Young athletes learn how to compete, respect each other, cheer on each other, get to know each other and that helps in their athletic careers, whether its Olympic or Paralympic Games.”
Gosal says athletes gain a great deal of confidence through events like the Canada Winter Games, “Then they get prepared for bigger events.”
“Canada is a leading sport nation” says Gosal, as the country prepares to host the Pan American and Para-Pan Games, an event that will see venues spread around Lake Ontario from Oshawa to Welland . There’s also the Women’s FIFA soccer tournament in June which will also attract international attention. And when Canadian athletes do well, they inspire others to follow suit “Look at Egenie Bouchard, and Milos Raonic. Last summer, I was at UBC and the amount of kids involved in the tennis academy there was overflowing. These are such inspirational role models for all Canadians ( who inspire) more and more people to get involved in physical activity and that helps the country.”
“I think sports is something that creates healthy communities” says Gosal. With childhood obesity and diabetes on the rise in Canada, he says there are challenges, “I think what I would like to see is getting provinces to get mandatory physical education in junior kindergarten to grade 12”. He says all levels of government have a role to play “We all work together, I just met with the Provincial Ministers, but I still would like to see mandatory physical education from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in each and every province and territory.”