Disclosure: This post is in proud partnership with YMC and Danone and I have received compensation for this content. As always, any opinions are 100% my own. Read our Disclosure for more information.
School’s out next week and spring hockey wraps up for our older boys as well. Cue the need to find ways to keep our kids busy and active during the summer months, and off the electronics as much as possible!
Like so many Canadian families, our family does the rink-hustle in the name of youth hockey from September – June. We value an active lifestyle for our kids, which is why we commit to an intense rep hockey schedule. In the off-season, however, we take a hockey break, which involves getting outdoors as a family to keep active, while also enjoying our all-too-short Canadian summer weather. Our older boys, ages 9 and 7 years-old, are competitive by nature, and love all kinds of sports, but if they could have it their way, they’d play hockey 24/7 or spend a lot of time indoors on their PlayStation and iPads this summer break.
To expose them to other activities and encourage multi-sport athleticism, while fueling the “gamer” in them in more physical ways, we’ve enrolled them in a multi-sport camp for most of the break, where they’ll participate in a variety of team sports like lacrosse, basketball, baseball and soccer.
We’re opting for unscheduled evenings and weekends this Summer, but will still stay active as a family with lots of time in our pool, heading out for family walks, or joining the kids for a game of tag or ball at the park. With a toddler and preschooler in our mix, these are great activities to keep all our kids involved.
In previous years, the older boys have played outdoor rec soccer on a team. We also encourage them to stay active outdoors with their siblings, cousins and neighborhood pals by bringing a soccer ball to our community parks.
Living in a mixed socio-economic neighborhood, we love that soccer is an accessible sport for all that can bring kids from all statuses together, while encouraging a healthy youth lifestyle.
Accessible activity and happy, healthy families are values Canada’s leading yogurt product manufacturer Danone believes strongly in and encourages through The Danone Nations Cup (DNC) – the world’s largest soccer tournament for children aged 10-12 initiated by Danone in 1999. Through the DNC, Danone has created a unique opportunity for young soccer players in local communities to participate in the ultimate athletic experience. Soccer is an accessible sport for all youth, and builds skills and positive attitudes related to teamwork and determination – values that are part of Danone’s company core.
Since its inception, more than 65,000 young Canadian soccer enthusiasts have tried their luck at being selected for Team Canada, and hundreds of them have represented our country at the international final. This year marks Canada’s 17th year of participation in the DNC, and will be the first-time Canada expands the selection process with a special edition of bringing separate boys’ and girls’ teams to the international final. Having an active daughter in our mix, this thrills us!
Canadian selection camps were held in Ontario and Quebec in April/May. The national final will take place on July 6 in Boucherville, Quebec, and from there, 12 boys and 12 girls selected from 2,000 children will have the chance to represent Canada at the international final in New York, USA! Canada’s teams will be coached by Dean Howie, Patrick LeDuc and Kristina Kiss.
The DNC is coined the “World Cup for Kids”, with more than 32 nations represented, making it incredibly motivating for aspiring young athletes world-wide to take a shot at participating in the ultimate kids’ tournament. If that doesn’t encourage a gamer to get off their video -playing tush and get moving, or hockey-crazed kid to try something new, I don’t know what will! In fact, our oldest son is just one year shy of qualifying to register, and since learning of this incredible opportunity, he’s been extra enthusiastic in improving his soccer skills and keeps asking if he can try out next year! We love how this program encourages kids to dream big, while fostering an active lifestyle.
“Believe in your dreams!” – Zinedine Zidane, International DNC Ambassador
Our family already enjoys Danone’s delicious yogurt products, so we were pretty impressed to see their involvement in incredible initiatives like the DNC that support healthy, active lifestyles for Canadian youth and their families.
In addition to Danone’s commitment to the Danone Nations Cup, they have also supported Breakfast Clubs of Canada since 1996, helping improve the quality of life for many Canadian children.
Our kids inhale their Danino yogurt drinks at breakfast and snack time, and with all the nutritious ingredients they contain, we don’t mind at all. It’s wonderful to know Danone is committed to making healthy food accessible to all Canadian youth through their company initiatives and community involvement.
To find out more about the Danone Nations Cup, and other ways Danone demonstrates it’s commitment to encouraging healthy, active lifestyles for families, visit: