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Bold: Adventure365 donation means free rentals to high schools

Pandemic pushed personal fitness activities aside for many high school students but a Sudbury outdoors store is now taking steps to get young people back in the gameĀ 
Adventure365 donated $25,000 so Greater Sudbury schools can access free outdoor activities at Kivi Park.

A Sudbury outdoors adventure retailer has stepped up with donations of equipment rentals to 25 local secondary schools in the City of Greater Sudbury.  

The Adventure365 store is donating $25,000 altogether in rentals in a post-pandemic effort to get more young people involved in outdoors activities. 

"So basically, we donated $1,000 to each high school so that their students can come out and try, you know, fat bikes or cross country skiing or snowshoeing so they can come out as a class and try it," said Melissa Anderson, a member of the Adventure365 team.

"We were involved with the first ever Sudbury high school mountain bike race this past fall, and it kind of stemmed from that," Anderson added.

She said some of the students had never been on a mountain bike before, let alone be in a race. 

"And it was very inspiring to see these kids try something new. We have the capability of having a facility on site at Kivi Park to be able to offer a similar experience to more than just the ones who signed up for the bike race," she added.

Anderson said part of the process is to inspire young people to seek out individual activities they might be good at that will carry them through as they become young adults. She said traditional team sports such as hockey, basketball and soccer are great, but it also helps to learn new individual activities.

"Well, we just see it as something that you can do your whole life," she said.  

Anderson said the outdoors program can inspire people to find something they really excel at and not have to worry about whether there is a team gathering or a facility where the team sport needs to be played. 

She said the program at Kivi Park allows individuals to learn things such as fat biking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Anderson said these are skills that can be picked up by most people, regardless of age.

"So really,  we're involved in introducing people to new sports with the high school program. And then we're also involved in the senior's program there where we're continuing that love of outdoor activity at an older age. So we're seeing the whole spectrum right now, which is wonderful," she added.

Anderson said the lockdowns that came in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic a couple of years ago presented challenges for many of the young people who were not able to do much. She said it was something that did not go unnoticed at Adventure365.

"We're all parents here. We all have teenagers. We all saw what happened over the last few years where they weren't able to be involved in school activities. And a lot of that impacted them in such a way that they weren't doing as many activities in general," Anderson explained.

She said that was part of the reasoning behind the plan to get more schools involved. 

She added that along with the physical benefit of getting people outside and active, there is also the mental health benefit for the students.

"I know that personally if I decide to do something active, mentally I feel a lot better. Right. And I am sure that it will have the same impact on other youths as well."

Anderson said it was one the reasons that convinced her company that the donations were the right thing to do. Anderson added it is likely something the company will consider in the future.

Len Gillis covers health care and mining for Bold is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.