Monday, November 1, 2010

AthletesCAN Forum

Jen here,

I just arrived home from the 2010 AthletesCAN forum in Gatineau, Quebec.  The forum consisted of three days of panel discussions, workshops for Canadian athletes from all sports.  I had the opportunity to meet athletes from a variety of sports and hear some of the stories from those fresh back from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.  The day prior to forum was KIDSCan, which is a day when national team athletes have a chance to speak with schools about their sport and what it's like to be an athlete. We then run the kids through a series of sport related activities so that they get to experience our different sports.  As you may have guessed, this was a real challenge for me as there was neither a 470 nor a large body of water available!

I was partnered with Ryan Ferguson, a member of the Canadian Life Saving team.  Who knew that lifesaving was a sport!?!  Ryan's sport consists of pool events, surf events, and emergency response events-all of which emerged from the tasks of lifeguards.  We decided to combine our two sports into a relay race with stations from each sport to create the "Lifesaving/Sailing Relay Race of Intensity."  The race went something like this:

Station 1: Sun safety, smear your partner's face with as much sunscreen as possible as quickly as possible.

Station 2: Run to one of 3 trapezes and demonstrate your intense trapezing skills.

Station 3: The ocean, to simulate that wonderful feeling of driving a 470 while water shoots in your face, dunk your head into a bucket of water and have your partner towel off your face. Teamwork at its finest.

Station 4:  Rope Throw:  throw a heaving line to your partner and pull them in to rescue him or her!

As you can imagine, there was sunscreen everywhere and a series of smiling and soaking wet kids leaving our station. Great fun was had by all and many comments about wanting to try our two sports.  We even managed to do a few talks in french! 

All in all, the AthletesCAN forum was a great event and a great opportunity to network, learn more about issues outside of my own sport, and to make some great new friends.  Thanks to all the kids who participated in KidsCAN, you all made my day!


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