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April, 2016

Concordia’s Wellness Week

Wellness week (WW), an annual event hosted by the students of the Department of Exercise Science at Concordia University, has been going on for the past six years. The event’s goal is to promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle within the Concordia and local communities while raising money for a charity of choice. We raise money by offering various fitness classes and relaxation massages through out the four day event which takes place during the second week of March. Volunteer instructors and Concordia graduates living in the Montreal area teach the fitness classes while third and fourth year Athletic Therapy students give massages. One hundred percent of the proceeds are given to the selected charity for that year.

Wellness week was introduced into the Events Calendar at Concordia in 2010 to give more visibility to the Exercise Science Department on the Loyola Campus of the University. In the winter of 2010, the Haiti Earthquake hit, affecting a great many lives, and necessitating international aid. The Exercise Science community decided to evolve the spinning classes and massages into a one-week event for the winter semester where all funds raised would go to the Canadian Red Cross Haiti Aid. The event was a major success and has since been instilled as an annual event to help various organizations and charities. Some of the previous recipients include Operation Smile and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Last year, Wellness Week raised money for the David H. Jones Memorial Award. David H. Jones was an Athletic Therapist and beloved faculty member who passed away suddenly in May 2014. The Exercise Science Department developed an award following his passing, but needed a way to raise enough money for the scholarship fund to be permanently endowed. We thought It was important to honor a man who had donated his time to help in the organization of Wellness Week in previous years: notably supervision of the students who provided the relaxation massages. The award in his name now honors Athletic Therapy students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the profession, just as he did. The award holds special meaning to the Athletic Therapy graduates of 2016, as they are the last group of students with the pleasure of having had David H. Jones as an instructor.

This year, Wellness Week took place from February 29 to March 3rd. Funds were raised for the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation—more specifically the BLEU BLANC BOUGE program. This program helps raise funds to construct outdoor rinks in order to encourage disadvantaged youth to live healthy active lifestyles.

Over the past six years, this Wellness Week initiative has managed to raise over $25,000 for various charities and organizations, all the while promoting health and fitness, not to mention the Athletic Therapy profession, to the community at large. We hope its success continues for many years to come.

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