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PC Mary MacNaughton and other officers from 51 Division ran a girls fitness group, Girls Fit Club where they mentored girls about proper nutrition and benefits of a healthy lifestyle. They engaged in weekly sports related activities such as basketball, boxing, yoga, Zumba and volleyball. The program just started its 4th year.
“When I had first joined Girls Fit Club, I thought it would be a fun way to spend my lunch period since most of my friends had joined. After only 5 weeks did I realize how lucky I was to be in the program. Fit Club encouraged me not only to speak my thoughts, an aspect I had trouble with but encouraged individuality. The month of boxing we did taught me strength and how to protect myself. It boosted my self-esteem and was generally a memorable experience. The Zumba classes we did taught me that dancing can work up a sweat, it taught me to be comfortable in my own skin and exercising is not just for boys who want to gain muscle. By far, one of my most memorable experiences while in Girls Fit Club was the conversations we underwent that made me feel as a girl conversing with adults. It made me feel as if we were one group of strong women who were not afraid to talk about controversial issues such as gender inequality. From the end of the tournaments that we did, I learned teamwork and the importance of working together whether we lost (even though we usually lost) or not.” – Program Participant
"Community policing programs like Girls Fit are very necessary. A lot of kids especially in Regent Park don’t have the best examples and opportunities. With programs like this they give kids, this kid an opportunity. It teaches kids that they can trust and look up to police officers. This program affected me because it made me understand my qualities and how I have to work with them in order to be successful in life.” – Program Participant
“I strongly believe that the Fit Club allows me to build connections with the youth in the area. Overall, my experience with ProAction was rewarding and positive. This year I had a lot of amazing feedback from the girls which makes all of the time and efficiency that we put into ProAction worthwhile. I enjoy spending time with the kids and seeing them blossom into young adults.” - Program Officer