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Jul 4, 2017

A passionate advocate of physical activity and youth sport development, Vancouver-based Matthew Young has dedicated his life to raising the bar in the health and fitness industry.  In our podcast interview with Matt, he explains why this is such an important mission and what he's doing about it.  

70% of kids drop out of sports by the age of 15 and only 6% of high school kids will engage in a college/university sport experience.  What they're finding is that the adultification of youth sports is running contrary to the 2 main reasons kids want to get involved in sports - hanging out with their friends, and having fun.

Instead, it's becoming so competitive and stressful that most kids are losing interest.  And according to the NCAA, many of the youth who do continue on to Division 1 sports, are coming to Div. 1 injured and under-developed due to repetitive training of a single sport, and the over-involvement of parents in decision-making and problem solving.

What is Matt and his team doing about it?  Through Personal Sport Record, they offer training and coaching for parents, coaches, and athletes, re-framing the sports experience and incorporating measurements beyond just the score and standings - confidence of the athlete, level of enjoyment, along with physical, mental and emotional developmental aspects.  They also distribute a documentary film addressing the cost of winning, to educate coaches, parents, and organizations on how to best to engage youth in sports. 

In addition, they are building Innovative Fitness gyms across Canada and have 12 franchised locations so far, where members are guided to choose physical activities that they really enjoy doing and fulfill dreams that they always wished they could do, but didn't believe they were capable of.  

Want to run your first 5K? 10K? Half or full marathon? Imagine having your trainer actually run it alongside you, supporting you every step of the way.  That's the level of dedication Matt and his team have for their clients. 

As part of their business model and commitment to communities, they've also raised $5.6M for charity.  Matt shares with us one of his favorite stories, where they were able to raise $1M for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by turning their participation in the Ride Across Canada into a fundraiser.  They achieved a Guinness Book Of World Records for completing it as a relay in 8 days, however Matt is clear that the greatest benefit was being able to contribute to this worthy cause.  

A peak-performance athlete and business man, Matthew Young is the real deal. Listen in as he shares with us how he blends his passion for excellence and physical activity with his love for youth, to develop the next generation of transformational leaders.   

Key Takeaways

1) Top 2 reasons kids get involved in sports - to hang out with their friends and to have fun.  The adultification of youth sports is driving kids away at record rates. 

2) Turn your 'have-to's' into 'want to's' and physical activity will become fun again.

3) Winning is more than the score and standings; it's building your confidence, enjoying what you're doing, while developing your mental, emotional and physical skills. 

4) Giving back is part of doing good business. Align your vision (why), your mission (what), and your core values (what makes you different) so you are giving back to the communities in which you do business. 

5) Walk your talk. 

Favorite Quotes

“We want kids to make mistakes in our presence, so they can succeed in our absence.”

“The win is more than the score.”

"The formula for success need not be reinvented, it need be implemented.”

Free Resources

Physical Literacy For Life Documentary

Fixing The Childhood Obesity Epidemic (TEDx Talk)

Matthew Young Bio

Matthew Young is keen on leaving his personal stamp on the health and fitness industry. Co-Founding Innovative Fitness in 1995, he was instrumental in developing the IF vision from a single customer to 12 personal training facilities across Canada using IF's patented Lifestyle management business systems. 

He is also the CEO of Personal Sport Record, a movement in youth development sports designed to bring change and shift today’s sports focus; moving away from who scored to, instead, tracking how athletes develop. Powered by data, they put complete performance data directly into the hands of athletes, parents, coaches & sports organizations.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist 2010 & 1999
Business in Vancouver Top 40 Under 40 Winner 2011
Canada's Top 40 under 40 winner 2006
Produced & directed over 200 hours of Fitness video content
Published articles for Idea, Opulence, Impact, BMW & Sage publications
Authored &/or co-authored 7 published books
Founder Innovative Fitness Inc (1995-present) 
Founder 60 Min Kids Club Inc (2010-present)
Founder of Healthmet Technologies Inc (2014-present) 
Founder of the Healthy Community Challenge (2012)
TEDx Stanley Park Speaker (2015) 
Viasport Physical Literacy Advisory Board (2016) 
Canadian Sport for Life Physical Literacy Advisory Board (2016)
Executive Producer No Running Documentary (2016) 

Over 5.6 million raised for charity.
Founder of H2V coast to Coast charity ride across Canada (1m-2007)
Founder of CP Adventure Challenge benefiting terminally ill children (1.75m -2005-present)
Founder of the train the trainer concept (.8m) to various charities (2000-present)
Founder & producer of 1st ever media reality series. Fitness Fantasy (2010)
Board of Advisors: 4 What Matters Foundation (2013-present) 
Board of Advisors: Exercise is Therapy (2014-present) 

Guinness World record holder (fastest bike relay across Canada-2007)
Australia Bike relay (Cairns to Melbourne in 8 days-2009)
2 time Ironman finisher(02/05), 5 time 1/2 Ironman finisher(2000-2007)
10 time marathon finisher (New York, Honolulu, Sahara Desert)
3 time adventure stage race podium (Sea2Summit : 2004-2008)
36 hour adventure race finisher (5th place - 2009) 
24hr Mtn bike 1st place finish (24hrs of Adrenalin -2013 & 24hrs of light -2011) 
Multi day stage race mountain bike finisher (BC Bike race 2010) 
Multi day stage race run finisher (Sahara desert 2008)
Multi day adventure race participant (Raid the North Extreme 2012) 
Varsity Canada West All-star football (1995)
Kilimanjaro (2008), Mt Ranier (2013) & Machu Picchu Summit (2010) 
1500 Mile Baja Moto (2011)

Connect With Matthew Young Online