Canadian Cancer Society’s Trottibus, the Walking School Bus, finalist in $1-million Play Exchange challenge

09 January 2015

Toronto, ON -

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Trottibus, the Walking School Bus, is one of 6 finalists in The Play Exchange – a nationwide contest with a $1-million first prize to encourage Canadians to be healthier and more active. The Play Exchange is funded in part by the Government of Canada and is supported by Canadian Tire, CBC and LIFT Philanthropy Partners.

The 6 finalists will be featured on a January 9 program on CBC TV where Canadians will be asked to vote for their favourite of the 6 finalists. The winner will receive up to $1 million to put their idea into action.

About Trottibus

Studies show that young people across the country are increasingly sedentary, which contributes to excess weight and obesity. Being overweight or obese in childhood is associated with health problems later in life, including many types of cancer. To encourage children to be more active, the Canadian Cancer Society in Quebec launched Trottibus, the Walking School Bus. In this innovative program, primary school children walk to school with organized adult supervision instead of being driven by bus or car.

If Trottibus wins the top prize, the Canadian Cancer Society will set up Trottibus initiatives across Quebec and provide training and tools to other provinces to launch their own walking school bus program.

Chantal Petitclerc, a 14-time Paralympic gold medalist, is Trottibus’ ambassador for the Play Exchange challenge and is inviting all Canadians to vote for Trottibus. “As a new mom, I am very proud to represent the wonderful Trottibus Walking School Bus,” says Petitclerc. “It’s very important to help our kids adopt healthier lifestyles as early as possible. Health is the most precious thing in life.”

The Canadian Cancer Society encourages the use of active transportation (any form of human-powered transport) during childhood and all throughout life. In addition to its physical benefits, the Trottibus Walking School Bus helps children learn road safety skills and become more independent.

“About half of all cancers can be prevented. It’s never too early to teach our kids about healthy lifestyle choices, because having healthy habits now can help them reduce their risk of cancer later in life,” says Suzanne Dubois, Executive Director, Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division. “The Canadian Cancer Society is strongly committed to helping Canadians lead more active lives, and we look forward to seeing communities across Canada organize walking school buses like Trottibus.”

Canadian facts about physical activity and active transportation
  • Only 7% of children aged 5 to 11 get enough physical activity to improve their physical and mental health and reduce their risk of developing serious diseases such as cancer.
  • Only 24% of Canadian children use active transportation to go to school.
  • 93% of children and youths in Canada do not meet physical activity recommendations for long-term health and well-being.
  • Almost 30% of children and youth are overweight or obese.

About The Play Exchange

The Play Exchange is a national, online challenge to find and support innovative ideas to get Canadians healthier and more active. All Canadians were encouraged to submit their ideas for a healthier Canada, including schools, students and families, as well as non-profit organizations, social enterprises and businesses. The Play Exchange is a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Tire and LIFT Philanthropy Partners, with support from CBC.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934). Make your gift today at cancer.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Christine Harminc

Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: 416 934-5340