With 2015 proclaimed as the Year of Sport in Canada, by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, Skate Canada is proud to celebrate and promote the role that sport plays coast-to-coast-to-coast.

As a leader on the Canadian sports landscape, Skate Canada encourages all Canadians to celebrate sport in their cities and towns by attending or volunteering at a national or sectional competition.   To bring awareness to the benefits of sport and leading a healthy, active lifestyle, Skate Canada will unveil a series of special edition photos featuring national team athletes leading up to the 2015 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, taking place January 19 – 25 in Kingston, Ont.

The Year of Sport, a proactive Canada-wide initiative with an overarching theme of “Canada: A Leading Sport Nation”, encourages Canadians to participate in and seek the benefits of sport while showcasing key moments in the nation’s sporting history.

Three-time defending Canadian pair champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, also two-time world bronze medallists, 2014 Olympic silver medallist (team) and reigning ISU Grand Prix Final champions, say the social and life skills learned through sport helped boost them up to the top step of the podium.

“Sport has the ability to change and touch people’s lives”, states Duhamel. “Sport is a great passion in Canada.  You can be part of that passion, whether you are a volunteer, a coach or an athlete. I think it is so important for kids to learn the life skills taught through sports, whether it is individual or team sports.”

“I feel sport provides such a great base for a healthy life in all facets,” adds Radford.  “You can stay physically and mentally healthy while making new friends and meeting new people. You learn to deal with success, you learn to deal with failure, and can apply it to every situation you will go through in your life.”

Synchronized skating is another discipline that Canadians enjoy as both a pastime and as a competitive sport. The 2015 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships, to be staged April 10-11 in Hamilton, Ont., is one of more than 60 international competitions Canada will host in 2015.

Twitter hashtags: #YearofSport  #Anneédusport