From 1972 ParticipACTION was one of the initial members of the
international group of countries who established national programs
to promote a more physically active lifestyle. European countries,
especially Norway, Germany and Switzerland were the initial pioneers
and the movements were identified as “Sport for All.”
Meetings were held every two years to share experiences, strategies
and program resources. Canada (ParticipACTION) and Australia (Like.
Be In It.) were two of the early year, non-European participants,
with the USA (President’s Council on Physical Fitness and
Sport) joining a few years later.
The generally recognized leader of the international Sport For
All movement was the head of the then West Germany program “Trimm”,
Dr. Jurgen Palm. Dr. Palm was invited to Canada by Mr. Cor Westland
(head of Recreation Canada – Health Canada) in 1971. His visit
and information proved to be highly influential in Canada’s
decision to initiate ParticipACTION (originally called Sport Participation
This international gathering of countries (Trim and Fitness Conferences),
in 1991 established a more formal international organization, “Trim
and Fitness: International Sport For All Association” (TAFISA),
with Dr. Palm as the president. ParticipACTION staff members (including
Russ Kisby, Ebbe Marquardsen, François Lagarde and Nanci
Colbeck) were active participants in these meetings over many years,
with Russ Kisby serving on the international Executive Board for
Over three decades, many countries sought to learn from the ParticipACTION
experience and success. With funding from External Affairs Canada,
Kisby was asked to travel to and share these experiences with some
25 countries, from the USSR to Malaysia to South Korea. It would
be fair to state that ParticipACTION was generally considered one
of the leaders in the effective use of the mass media to promote
physical activity and sport participation.
Lagarde discusses TAFISA (Trim & Fitness International
Sport for All Association) and how the CrownLife ParticipACTION
Date: August, 2004
Humour played a big part in the success of ParticipACTION.
See more posters and ads in Motivate.