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UBC to study NV rec program for newcomers

THE University of British Columbia has been awarded a research grant to study the North Vancouver Recreation Commission's Health and Wellness Project for Newcomers initiative.

THE University of British Columbia has been awarded a research grant to study the North Vancouver Recreation Commission's Health and Wellness Project for Newcomers initiative.

According to a written statement, a three-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant of $110,000 was awarded to Dr. Wendy Frisby in UBC's School of Human Kinetics. She'll conduct a participatory action research project on the commission's program.

The initiative was presented with a 2010 Program Excellence award by the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association. The project supports newcomers in meeting their health and wellness needs through multilingual volunteer hosts, orientation tours of recreation facilities, translated health and wellness resources, multilingual healthy living workshops, and other community engagement initiatives. The project was originally funded through a grant from the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

The UBC research project will begin in the fall and will engage recent immigrant women, commission staff and volunteers, and various community partners to assess strengths and areas of improvement. The focus is on immigrant women because research has shown that they suffer most from what is known as the "healthy immigrant effect" where their health tends to decline after migrating to Canada. Opportunities for involvement in the project include: membership on the project advisory committee, support in participant recruitment, and participation in data generation about the role that public physical activity programs play in settlement into a new country.

For more information, contact Anne Rodgers at rodgersa@ northvanrec.com or Cathy Mills at mills2ca@interchange.ubc.ca.

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The North Vancouver Recreation Commission was also recently awarded the first-ever Healthy Choices Award from the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association.

The award was presented to the commission for its Play Well Eat Well Healthy Eating Project in recognition of its commitment to significantly improve the food environment in recreation and community settings by offering healthy choices in vending and food services, as well as implementing policy changes. The project was piloted in 2009 at the Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre thanks to support from and collaboration with a number of organizations.

This is the third year in a row that the commission has won an association award.

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