Message from the Acting Dean

Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health

Dr. Jan Stewart, Acting Dean

Dr. Jan Stewart, Acting Dean

Message from the Acting Dean - Engaging in Sports on Many Levels

Those of us in the world of Kinesiology watch sports – be they amateur or professional - with a deeper understanding and appreciation than most.  Students of Kinesiology observe sporting events like the Olympics, the Canada Summer Games, or Manitoba Winter Games recently held in Thompson (which I was able to attend) - on many levels.  These include exercise physiology and biomechanics; or the cellular, muscular-skeletal aspects of athletics; or the science of knowing exactly what nutrition is needed to fuel a cross-country skier, or mountain biker; or sport psychology might say – it’s the mind that wins, as much as the body.  Academic study in the Department of Kinesiology & Applied Health covers human performance from both the inside and the outside.

Two University of Winnipeg venues took part in the 50th Canada Summer Games, last summer. Men’s and Women’s Basketball was held in the Dr. David F. Anderson Gym in the Duckworth Centre, and Men’s and Women’s Wrestling expanded across all three fields in the Axworthy Health & RecPlex.  As part of the Canada Games’ legacy, UWinnipeg received new score clocks in both the Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium and the Axworthy Health & RecPlex.  In addition, the RecPlex now boasts a roll-out tarp, used during wrestling, which transforms (and protects) the artificial turf field, and turns it into a multi-use event space. (More recently, the RecPlex hosted some of the CFL Week Festivities in March 2018, including hosting the Canadian Football Leagues Combine.)

Several of the Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology & Applied Health faculty and staff members volunteered with the Canada Summer Games. These include Dr. Glen Bergeron,  (Medical Lead), Jeff Billeck and Ben Trunzo in Athletic Therapy. All three are instructors in our Athletic Therapy program. AT students apply what they learn in the Athletic Therapy Centre (which is open to the public, lower level Duckworth), and through many volunteer, practicum hours with the Wesmen athletes.  Also volunteering for the Canada Games, the Kinesiology Department’s Acting Chair, Dr. Melanie Gregg, was engaged with young coaches observing the competitions. Val Pelleck volunteered with Softball, while other members of faculty and staff volunteered with the ‘True Sport Lives Here Manitoba’ Committee. 

The 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg and the 2018 Manitoba Winter Games were both designated “True Sport” events. True Sport is something we are familiar with here at UWinnipeg, with our Wesmen Teams and coaches members of True Sport (look for the True Sport Principles mounted on the main floor of the Duckworth Centre; and the True Sport banner in the RecPlex). The True Sport movement in Canada promotes values-based sport from the playground to the podium and is a reaction to the negative stories so often heard about on the fields and in the stands.  True Sport is a medium for sharing stories of good sports - because good sports can have a great impact. You can see some of the stories and images of True Sport Moments at the Canada Summer Games on our faculty website.

And we were delighted by the top-notch performances of our athletes and alumni. Several Wesmen Alumni on the coaching side, as well as current first year players, helped Team Manitoba win bronze in Women’s Basketball, and gold in Women’s Volleyball. Excellence and dedication is certainly the hallmark of our Wesmen Sports teams.

Have you been inspired by watching or participating in a sport competition? Are you fired up by the Olympics, or the Jets being part of the NHL Playoffs this year? Is sport your passion? You may want to consider a career based in sport, recreation, fitness, or health education.  My background is in Education where we are inspired by the dedication of our students to impact the classrooms and gyms of today’s youth.  One way to become a ‘PhysEd’ teacher is through our unique, integrated Bachelor of Health Education/Bachelor of Education program. To learn more about this, and our other study streams, explore our website. Perhaps you can turn a passion for sports into a career.

Dr. Jan Stewart, Acting Dean of the Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health