Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference comes to the Okanagan
The Recreation staff at UBC’s Okanagan campus will show off brand-new facilities, the campus, and Kelowna’s highlights as host of the Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference next week.
Recreation Fitness Coordinator Crystal Westgate says the conference, January 29 to 31, gives the university an opportunity to showcase the campus, state-of-the-art recreation equipment, new Hangar fitness centre, and fitness and recreation programming.
But it’s not all fun and games, she says, noting that the annual event brings post-secondary recreational professionals and student leaders from institutions from across Western Canada to share ideas, network, and learn. Workshop topics generally include student leadership, development, personnel management, wellness and fitness programs, intramurals, sport clubs, recreation facility operations, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
“This is the first time we’ve had an opportunity to host an event like this,” says Westgate. “And we’re excited because we have the Hangar as a venue. We are bringing many recreation and fitness professionals from across western Canada to campus—and the location site is perfect.”
In September 2013, UBC officially opened the $4.1-million Hangar Fitness & Wellness Centre. Its name recognizes a $3.5-million gift from the Lapointe family, honouring the employees of Kelowna Flightcraft. Funding for the Hangar came with two specific stipulations: it required an aviation theme, and construction was to be mostly from locally sourced lumber to support the region’s forestry industry.
When the facility opened, UBC was able to double its full-time recreation staff. Westgate’s team was instrumental in significantly increasing recreation and fitness programs that are open for students, faculty, staff, and the community.
The Western Canadian Campus Recreation Conference includes a trade show, educational sessions, and the sharing of new ideas within campus recreation. The opening keynote speaker will be Crystal Flaman, local athlete, professional speaker, and social entrepreneur. Kelsey Serwa, Olympic silver medalist, World Champion, and X Games Champion, will speak at the closing event. Serwa is currently a Human Kinetics student at UBC Okanagan.
“Many educational sessions will be student-led with areas of focus being on recreation and fitness trends, intramurals, club sports and staff development,” says Westgate.
UBC Okanagan hosts also plan to showcase some of Kelowna’s highlights, including off-campus activities at Big White Ski Resort, and events at the Coast Capri Hotel and Manteo Resort in Kelowna.