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Boston Celtics and Sun Life go virtual to connect with YMCA youth on health and wellness

BOSTON and WELLESLEY, Mass., Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- When the pandemic began, Sun Life and the Celtics had to quickly pivot their annual Fit to Win youth fitness program to a virtual format to accommodate the shutdown and subsequent safety measures. Fit to Win, a four-week program for YMCA youth in Greater Boston, Hartford, and Southern Maine, encourages kids to embrace health and fitness in everyday life. The kids track their fitness and wellness activities throughout the program and receive Celtics gear along the way. This year, the finale event, typically held at the Celtics' practice facility, was offered virtually – complete with coached workouts, an interactive discussion with the kids on fitness and nutrition, and even a Lucky the Leprechaun at-home dunk show from his driveway.

Celtics legend Leon Powe with YMCA youth at Fit to Win kickoff event in February.

"There is no doubt that this pandemic has been hard on children, with school closures and stay-at-home restrictions," said Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. "There are families who depend on community organizations like the YMCA every day, for child care, health and wellness, and community activities. We are pleased that we could continue to collaborate with the Celtics to keep the Fit to Win program going this year, and are thrilled to see that so many kids stuck with the program while at home."

Through the spring and summer, Celtics conditioning coaches and community teams created weekly workout videos on Instagram to engage the program participants and anyone else who wanted to take part in the fun. Each week featured a new workout routine, such as a combination of squats, jumping jacks, and planks, along with a wellness technique, such as meditation or getting enough sleep.

"It was unfortunate that we couldn't run the live program this year, but in the end it turned out to be really exciting because we could reach more kids where they are, and allow more families to become part of the Fit to Win family," said Ted Dalton, senior vice president of Corporate Partnerships and Business Development for the Boston Celtics. "We loved innovating with Sun Life to make sure kids could embrace the program virtually and learn more about health and fitness."

After the success of converting the program to social media and virtual platforms, Sun Life and the Celtics may expand to include this format in the future, allowing more young Celtics fans in New England the opportunity to participate. For more information about the 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 June 30, 2020, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1,122 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 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, 35 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 on the Celtics, 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
617-854-8072
hwalker@celtics.com

Participants in Fit to Win virtual finale event.

YMCA of Greater Boston kids at Fit to Win kickoff event in February.

Lucky's driveway dunk show during Fit to Win virtual finale event.

Fit to Win participants workout with Lucky during virtual finale event.

Sun Life Financial Logo (PRNewsfoto/Sun Life Financial)

Cision View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/boston-celtics-and-sun-life-go-virtual-to-connect-with-ymca-youth-on-health-and-wellness-301132567.html

SOURCE Sun Life U.S.

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