Eighteen graduates fit to lead
- EFN Staff | June 14, 2018
Eighteen more Indigenous fitness leaders recently graduates, adding to a rooster of instructors who can incorporate Indigenous culture into fitness.
In February of this year, Saskatchewan Park and Recreation Association (SPRA), with funding and support from Health Canada, put out a call of interest for eighteen positions to participate in the certification. Over ninety Indigenous applicants from across Saskatchewan responded to this call, and applied for the pilot project to become certified group fitness leaders. The programming wrapped up in May this year at the Saskatoon Tribal Council training facility in Saskatoon.
The fitness leaders training that was conducted over three weekends included: exercise theory; development and structuring of classes; and leading a conditioning class. The program was based off of the standards outlined in the National Fitness Leadership Alliance (NFLA), most importantly added content of Indigenous culture and focus on holistic aspects in relation to fitness.
“This course is a significant accomplishment for all the participants, the theory and exams are similar to first year College level information. The completion provides all with a starting block to have sustainment of fitness programming for Indigenous communities, by Indigenous Leaders,” said Joel Pedersen, course co-conductor. “The team that put this program together spent the last two years adding content,” noting the experience of Lead Facilitator Kathy Fowler, Lecturer University of Regina; Kimberly Willison, course and content conductor; Christine Deiter, course co-conductor; Mimi Lodoen, content and exam conductor; Jacob Sinclair and Wendy McKellar of SPRA; and Elder Moshum Mike Maurice made this program a reality.
The next step for the project is to evaluate the reviews by the participants and prepare a follow up report with recommendations for continued programming to ensure the new instructors are having successful fitness programs in their communities. The course has the potential to be presented in communities throughout Saskatchewan that have interest and capacity to host. Interested communities can contact Saskatchewan Park and Recreation Association.