It was an opportunity to get fit while being exposed to some of the physical testing required to become Toronto Police officers.
Nearly 200 students from communities across the Greater Toronto Area participated in the Employment Unit’s Fitness for Kickz event on September 27 at Yorkgate Mall.
ProAction Cops & Kids supported the initiative that featured the beep test, which is a very popular method of fitness testing.
“The kids know it as the shuttle run, but it’s the same and they do it in school to test their endurance,” said Sergeant Rod Chung. “We wanted to give the young people an opportunity to get a sense of what it takes to become a police officer while at the same time promoting fitness and healthy living. Far too many of our kids are not using open spaces outdoors to run around and have fun.”
Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic High School student Briana Graham agreed.
“I would be texting or doing some other thing that’s not constructive if I was not here taking part in this event,” she said. “I learned how to keep a steady pace and manage my time in the run. I really enjoy the police coming out and keeping us occupied.”
Constable Jason Gill, one of the event’s organizers, grew up just across the street from Yorkgate Mall.
“I was raised in Jane & Finch, so I know the challenges this community faces,” he said. “That’s the reason why I seize every opportunity to come back here and give back. There is too much negativity in this community where about 99 per cent of the people are good and doing positive things.”
Other Employment Unit members at the event were Sergeant Chris Gordon who provided musical entertainment, Constables Juliane Palm, Milton Ferguson and Joseph Lee, Nalini Sukhu, Lucy Pignataro and unit commander Ann-Marie Henry.
“This is an opportunity for us as a Service to ensure that our youths are participating in physical activities,” said Henry.
The top eight students in the test were presented with Nike shoes while each participant was given a T-shirt.