Bookmark this page
The Regional Municipality of Durham printPrinter Friendly Version

News Release

Get an active start to the school year with the Grade 5 Action Pass

WHITBY, ON September 26, 2017 - The Grade 5 Action Pass is back for the 2017-18 school year, with the goal of getting grade 5 students up and moving. The pass gives all grade 5 students in Durham Region access to free public swimming, public skating, and other programs such as soccer and basketball, throughout the school year from September 2017 to August 2018.

Research shows that 70 per cent of Durham Region elementary school students are not getting the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. These findings also indicate that as students reach higher grades, physical activity levels tend to decrease, so grade 5 is a critical time for students to enjoy being physically active and help them to develop the habit of being active throughout their lives. The pass can be used at participating municipal recreation centres, the Oshawa Mary Street YMCA Centre, the Abilities Centre and at the Durham College/UOIT Campus Ice Centre.

“Regular physical activity has multiple benefits for children and youth,” said Kristen Reinink, a public health nurse from the Health Department. “These benefits include improving focus and concentration in school, increasing fitness and wellbeing, improving sleep and relieving stress.”

Other active initiatives geared toward students this fall include International Walk to School Week (IWALK) from Oct. 2 to 6 and International Walk to School Day on Oct. 4. IWALK is part of an active transportation initiative known as Active and Safe Routes to School, which is organized by Green Communities Canada. The Health Department encourages students to walk or wheel, which could be biking, inline skating, skateboarding or riding a scooter, to and from school as a way to get active, benefit the environment and also help to reduce traffic.

“Programs such as the Grade 5 Action Pass, and initiatives like IWALK and International Walk to School Day can help encourage children to be physically active and also help them to get ready to learn at school,” explains Ms. Reinink. “School communities are encouraged to contact their public health nurse for support with the Grade 5 Action Pass program, IWALK and other active travel ideas for students.”

For more information about these initiatives, please call Durham Health Connection Line at 1-800-841-2729 or 905-666-6241, or visit

- 30 -

Media inquiries:

Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999,

If you require information in an accessible format, please contact 1-800-841-2729.

For more information, please contact Health Department.