Canada’s Worst Winter in Decades Has Canadians Anxious to Lace-Up Their Running Shoes

April 1, 2014

Harsh Winter Leads to 88% of Runners and Joggers Being More Motivated Than Previous Years to Get Outside This Spring

Sport Chek Partners with Olympians to Showcase Spring Training Tips and New Products in National PR Tour

CALGARY, April 1, 2014 /CNW/ – Coming out of one of the harshest winters in recent history, a new consumer survey reveals 91 per cent of Canadians are motivated to get active this spring through a range of activities. Commissioned by Sport Chek, the survey(i) polled Canadians from coast-to-coast about their fitness and exercise habits over the winter months as well as their intentions this spring.

The survey focused on the habits and trends among Canadian running enthusiasts specifically, revealing that 86 per cent of runners and joggers are anxious to strip off their winter coats, lose their boots and get back to their outdoor running regimes. With the extreme cold and harsh conditions keeping nearly half of all runners inside and not active this winter, the warmer weather will see 50 per cent of runners getting in outdoor runs at least two to three days per week.

Sport Chek’s survey also revealed some other interesting findings:

    --  The recent Winter Olympic Games in Sochi inspired 22 per cent of women
        and 19 per cent of men to be more active this spring.
    --  Ninety three per cent of female runners and joggers are more motivated
        this year than previous years to get outside this spring; 84 per cent of
        male runners.
    --  Over a third of Canadian runners are hoping to improve their time this
        spring to impress friends and/or a crush.
    --  Nearly half (44 per cent) of Canadian runners admit that they go for
        runs to escape their spouse or family.
    --  Seventy three per cent of runners are hoping that jogging will lead to
        weight loss.
    --  Most popular running accessories include music players (52 per cent),
        water bottles (44 per cent), cellphones (31 per cent), sunglasses (22
        per cent) and stopwatches (19 per cent).

As the sidewalks begin to clear and the trails start to dry, runners are starting to dig out their running gear – only to realize that they need an upgrade. Not surprisingly, over two thirds of Canadian runners are looking to purchase new running gear this spring, and running shoes are at the top of the list. Sport Chek has partnered with Winter Olympians Charles Hamelin, Kaillie Humphries and Meaghan Mikkelson on a national media tour to provide Canadians with spring training advice, tips and tricks, and new product recommendations to assist with the transition from the treadmill to the trail.

“Our country’s strong performance at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi must have inspired Canadians because over half of Canadian runners are looking forward to beating their personal best times this spring. And to do that, they’re going to need the best gear,” said Kaillie Humphries, reigning two-time Olympic champion in women’s bobsled. “As Canada’s largest and most trusted sporting goods retailer, Sport Chek has everything runners and active Canadians need to find their ‘better’ – from running shoes and high performance apparel, to accessories and wearable training electronics.”

According to Statistics Canada there are over 6.5 million runners and joggers across the country, and Sport Chek’s consumer survey indicates that it is among the top five athletic pursuits for Canadians this spring. Activities we intend to regularly participate in over the coming months include walking (76 per cent), cycling (22 per cent), hiking (18 per cent), running (17 per cent) and golf (13 per cent). See chart below for additional regional data.

                     National      British Columbia    Alberta      Sask. & Manitoba     Ontario      Quebec      Atlantic Canada
                     --------      ----------------    -------      ----------------     -------      ------      ---------------

    Walking                    76%                 77%          77%                  84%          76%         75%               70%
    -------                   ---                 ---          ---                  ---          ---         ---               ---

    Cycling                    22%                 15%          23%                  23%          21%         29%               20%
    -------                   ---                 ---          ---                  ---          ---         ---               ---

    Hiking                     18%                 22%          24%                  13%          15%         19%               16%
    ------                    ---                 ---          ---                  ---          ---         ---               ---

    Running/Jogging            17%                 22%          20%                  21%          18%         10%               10%
    ---------------           ---                 ---          ---                  ---          ---         ---               ---

    Going to the gym           15%                 19%          22%                  11%          16%          9%               13%
    ----------------          ---                 ---          ---                  ---          ---         ---               ---

    Golf                       13%                 14%          20%                  11%          13%          8%               13%
    ----                      ---                 ---          ---                  ---          ---         ---               ---

    Baseball                    5%                  1%           4%                   5%           7%          3%               10%
    --------                  ---                 ---          ---                  ---          ---         ---               ---

    No Activity                 9%                  9%           8%                  11%           9%         11%                4%
    -----------               ---                 ---          ---                  ---          ---         ---               ---

For Sport Chek’s Top Spring Running Product Look Book, please click here.

About FGL Sports:

Part of the Canadian Tire Family of Companies, FGL Sports Ltd. is Canada’s largest national retailer of sporting goods. Offering a comprehensive assortment of brand-name and private-brand products and operating more than 400 stores from coast-to-coast, FGL Sports includes the following corporate and franchise banners: Sport Chek, Sports Experts, Atmosphere, Pro Hockey Life, National Sports, Intersport, Nevada Bob’s Golf, Hockey Experts, the Tech Shop, and S3. FGL Sports also has websites for several of its corporate and franchise banners which can be accessed through its main website at www.FGLSports.com.


[i] Spring Running Study, Ipsos Reid eNation Omnibus, March 2014. The Ipsos Reid eNation Canada Omnibus is a daily online survey of 1,000 Canadians with full national representation. Results among the Canadian runner subgroup (171 Canadian runners) are accurate within plus or minus 7.5%, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE FGL Sports Ltd.

Source: PR Newswire

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