Dear Queen's Supporter,
We all know about fitness goals – from “hitting the gym” to training for races to dropping a few pounds. For a person with a disability, fitness goals can range from building upper body strength to get in and out of a wheelchair independently to getting fit enough to participate in elite level sport.
Our School of Kinesiology and Health Science (SKHS) students are helping people with disabilities reach their goals through an exciting program called Revved Up.
Now in its seventh year, Revved Up is directed by SKHS Professor Amy Latimer. Originally, the program was created to meet the needs of people living with mobility impairments such as spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and cerebral palsy. Today, the program includes people with development disabilities such as Down’s Syndrome and autism.
The goal of Revved Up is to help people get fit, improve their quality of life, and boost their independence. Revved Up currently boasts more than 100 participants from all over the Kingston region. And I’m very proud to say that our SKHS students are integral to the success of the program.
Each year more than 100 of our Queen’s students volunteer their time as Revved Up trainers. Some of our senior students take on leadership positions supervising exercise sessions, developing new programs, and coordinating additional physical activity experiences. Students benefit enormously – earning course credits, gaining experience necessary for the pursuit of professional designations and post-graduate education, and preparing them to promote physical activity in their own communities.
For our Queen’s students, the most immediate benefit of participating in Revved Up is understanding the complexities and challenges of helping people with disabilities realize their fitness goals. This reinforces classroom lessons and helps students develop new perspectives. Students develop unique skills and knowledge to promote physical activity for adults with disabilities – a sorely underserved group in many communities.
Madie Meehan, a Health Studies major, has been involved with Revved Up since 2009 and is now coordinating the program. As Madie explains, “You learn a lot just by talking to people. About their personal stories, about the road to recovery, about the challenges they face.”
And I constantly hear from participants about how impressed they are with our student volunteers, their knowledge, their commitment and their compassion. “We’re in good hands” they tell me. Our students play a big part in forging connections between the School and the community.
Our SKHS students have the passion and commitment to improve the lives of others in so many ways. Our challenge is to sustain and build the programs that inspire our students and prepare them to make a difference in the world.
But our students can’t do it without us.
Please join me and add your support with a gift to the School of Kinesiology & Health Studies Student Resource Fund today, where every gift creates opportunity.
Samantha King, PhD
Associate Professor and Acting Director
School of Kinesiology & Health Studies