Cochrane area residents are invited to participate in the annual “Sweat for a Vet” workout challenge on Wednesday, Nov. 9, as well as other events planned during National Veterans Week at the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC).

Following a 9 a.m. opening ceremony on the indoor turf, the first boot-camp-style workout begins at 9:15 a.m. A second one follows at 12:10 p.m.

In between, there's a brisk 4 km walk (march) starting at 10:30 a.m. from the sports centre. It's a gentle route to allow families to participate and largely follows town walkways. People are welcome to bring their dogs on a leash.

Paul Wagman, founder of Wayfinders Wellness, says it's the fourth year of the event and they salute SLSFSC for their ongoing support.

"To have an annual event come up at such as a time when we're really looking to honour veterans for serving our country and celebrate our heroes of society makes it just perfect to put this on as an awareness event because that's really what it is and what it's been in our community. It's been well attended year after year."

Stephanie Marrello, SLSFSC fitness and wellness coordinator, has put together a customized boot-camp style workout for the event. It wasn't that long ago she did the same for the annual 9/11 Memorial Workout.

There's a display inside the main entrance of the sports centre to salute veterans, and draw attention to the special events.

"We've actually got a nice setup in the front lobby of Spray Lakes," says Wagman. "We've got a Princess Patricia uniform set up on a mannequin, some other decor, Canadian flags, and our banner, so when people walk into the rec centre for the next five days they can see for Sweat for a Vet is in the air."

On the day of the event, donations are welcomed for Wayfinder Wellness, which assists veterans and first responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder through a wide variety of programming in a tranquil ranch setting. They will also have merchandise available to purchase with cash.

SLSFSC has also organized other opportunities to honour National Veterans Week, Nov. 5 to 11. The challenges celebrate the bravery and valour of those who have served, and those to continue to serve.

They include a Walk a Mile in their Boots Challenge for those 13 and over, and the Kids Climb the Cochrane Fire Tower Challenge, where they can put on a Firefighter’s helmet and climb 71 steps on a stair climber to simulate training firefighters undertake at Cochrane Fire Services.

4 km marchA 4km loop will be briskly walked starting at 10:30 a.m. at the rec centre. (file photo)