News Archives: Adapted Physical Activity, Fitness and Sport Symposium In GP March 21-23
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
GPRC has partnered with the University of Alberta (Steadward Centre) and Grande Prairie's Eastlink Centre to present a 3-day symposium providing information and training regarding fitness and sport activities for persons with disabilities. The speakers and sessions will be of benefit to anyone involved, from people with disabilities to the parents, teachers, and personal trainers who work with them.
The concept for the symposium originated at the Steadward Centre - and two of their staff who are key symposium organizers and presenters are alumni of GPRC physical education programs. That close connection made the decision to host the event here easy for all concerned.
"Grande Prairie Regional College is where my passion for Adapted Physical Activity ignited," says Bobbi-Jo Atchison, who is a graduate of the University of Alberta and an alumna of GPRC. "It is an honour to come back not only as a presenter but as a collaborator for the upcoming APA Symposium." Bobbi-Jo has been working in the field of Adapted Physical Activity over the past seven years, and will present a session discussing four essential elements to community success and barrier reduction as seen in The Steadward Centre's Community Exercise Transition Model: Individual Readiness, Community Readiness, Physical Environment and Community Opportunities.
"My experiences at Grande Prairie Regional College will stay in my heart forever," says Amanda Ebert, who has been the team lead of the Free2BMe program, the children and youth component of the Steadward Centre since 2011. She is responsible for the overall supervision of the children and youth programs. "It was during Bethe Goldie's adapted physical activity class that I found my passion for working with individuals experiencing disability. The personal relationships I developed with the faculty, staff and coaches helped to get me to where I am today. It is wonderful to be back at GPRC, and hopefully spark passion for Adapted Physical Activity in other professionals." Ebert will present on the topic of physical literacy and the long term athlete development (LTAD) as it applies to children and youth experiencing disability. Using Free2BMe's fundamental movement skill assessment tools, participants in her session will learn to observe, assess, cue and enhance physical literacy in children and youth living with impairments.
Bethe Goldie, who is one of the key organizers for GPRC's participation in the event, is understandably proud of the accomplishments of Ebert and Atchison, and excited about the opportunities the symposium will provide for current students. "Our students will be volunteering at the symposium as part of their course requirement," Goldie points out. "They are going to learn so much, and I hope be inspired!"
Goldie has worked with a Grande Prairie organizing committee which includes representation from the Eastlink Centre, Wolverines Wheelchair Sports Association, and Canadian Paraplegic Association GP as well as Jodi Peebles from the Teacher Education North program at GPRC, and GPRC gymnasium and fitness centre manager Dwayne Head.
The three days of the Symposium includes keynote speaker Karen Slater from the Steadward Centre, and guest presenters such as Ross Norton on wheelchair basketball, and panel discussion on extreme sport activities for persons living with disabilities. Yoga fusion, national sitting volleyball, therapeutic aquatics, wall climbing, a spin class - even a wheelchair dance performance by Explosion Dance are all on the agenda.
The event will kick off with a reception and trade show on Thursday evening, proceed through a full day of sessions at Eastlink Centre before the Friday evening at Ovations Dinner Theatre. On Saturday the sessions will be held at GPRC, including those presented by Atchison and Ebert.
"We are exceptionally pleased to help provide these important resources for our community," says Susan Bansgrove, Vice-President Academics and Research at GPRC. ""The Symposium is offering such a broad range of information; there is no doubt that people living with impairments, and those who work with them, will benefit greatly. It is especially meaningful to us that alumni from our programs have been key to the organization of this event."
Earlybird registration ends Friday, February 15, and organizers have been gratified by the keen interest from the community. For more information please call Bethe at 780-532-6348, or register at steadwardcentre.ualberta.ca.