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Celtics and Sun Life wrap first fully virtual Fit to Win youth fitness program with Semi Ojeleye

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In its 7th year, Fit to Win has helped over 300 children embrace fitness and healthy lifestyle habits

BOSTON and WELLESLEY, Mass., March 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Life and the Celtics have closed out another year of Fit to Win, a four-week fitness and health program for children from YMCA locations in Greater Boston, Hartford, and Southern Maine. Over the course of the program, kids from grades 3 through 6 engaged in new fitness and lifestyle activities each week and received prizes for their participation. This year, to reach more children and maintain safety amid the pandemic, the program shifted to an entirely virtual format. Participants were sent fitness kits for at-home workouts, and accessed a new exercise video online each week.

From top left, clockwise: Celtics community engagement coordinator Kash Cannon, Celtics mascot Lucky the Leprechaun, Celtics power-forward Semi Ojeleye, Celtics legend Dana Barros.
From top left, clockwise: Celtics community engagement coordinator Kash Cannon, Celtics mascot Lucky the Leprechaun, Celtics power-forward Semi Ojeleye, Celtics legend Dana Barros.

"Sun Life has been an incredible partner in bringing this great program to YMCA communities throughout New England," said Ted Dalton, senior vice president of Corporate Partnerships and Business Development for the Boston Celtics. "We are thrilled we could transition to the virtual setting to continue reaching kids and making them feel enthusiastic about health and fitness."

During the finale event yesterday, the kids were treated to an exclusive virtual tour of the Celtics' practice facility, the Auerbach Center, and then heard from Celtics power-forward Semi Ojeleye, who talked about commitment to health and fitness. Throughout the four weeks of the program, the kids engaged in fitness routines, healthy habits (such as eating full servings of fruits and vegetables and limiting sugary beverages) and mindfulness (via breathing exercises and meditation), all while learning about overall wellness, fitness and nutrition. Nearly 450 Sun Life employees took on the Fit to Win challenge as well, tracking their results and sharing their experiences with colleagues.

"We have fondly watched this program grow year after year, and it's been wonderful to see how engaged and excited the kids get when they learn about health from their favorite athletes," said Neil Haynes, CFO of Sun Life U.S. and board member of the YMCA of Greater Boston. "We are especially grateful to the Celtics organization for their dedication to this program and helping people live healthier lives."

This year's Fit to Win program featured a new component: two virtual nutrition workshops. The kids and their families were able to learn about healthy cooking on a budget and diabetes prevention, and were provided with grocery gift cards courtesy of the Celtics and Sun Life so they could buy ingredients to try the recipes at home. The workshop attendees were joined by Celtics legend Leon Powe, who showcased his healthy cooking skills.

"The continued support from Sun Life and the Boston Celtics has helped grow so many YMCA programs for youth, adults, and families overall," said James Morton, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston. "We are proud to be a place for local families to access health education and fitness programs, and are grateful to our community partners who help keep these programs going."

For more information about the Fit to Win program, visit https://www.nba.com/celtics/video/community/fit-to-win-program-overview

About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2020, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1,247 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

In the United States, Sun Life is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 60,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life's broad portfolio of insurance products and services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life, dental, vision, voluntary, supplemental health and medical stop-loss. Sun Life and its affiliates in asset management businesses in the U.S. employ approximately 5,500 people. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.). For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.

About the Boston Celtics
A charter member of the Basketball Association of America (which evolved into the National Basketball Association) since 1946, the Boston Celtics have won a record 17 NBA Championships, including eight (8) in a row from 1959-1966, winning their first title in 1957 and their most recent in 2008. The Celtics have long stood for equality and respect, including hiring the first African American Coach and starting the first all black starting five. In addition, 39 former Celtics players, management or staff have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In December 2002 the team returned to local ownership for the first time since 1963. For more information, log on to www.celtics.com.

Media contacts:

Devon Fernald
Sun Life U.S.
781-800-3609
Devon.Portney.Fernald@sunlife.com

Heather Walker
Boston Celtics
617-594-4453
HWalker@celtics.com

Sun Life Financial Logo (PRNewsfoto/Sun Life Financial)
Sun Life Financial Logo (PRNewsfoto/Sun Life Financial)
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SOURCE Sun Life U.S.