Today, the indoor turf at the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) had 46 people participate in the morning session of the 4th annual Sweat for a Vet and more are expected this afternoon.
Those adults and youth unable to attend but who want to show their support have a chance to participate in two other events in the front lobby of the sports centre until Nov. 11.
"We felt, why not celebrate Veterans Week instead of one day," explains Michelle Everett, SLSFSC sales and marketing manager. "Having this setup in our lobby brings more awareness to Remembrance Day, it gets people more involved, and I think it's great for kids. This is a hustling bustling place, so adding this physical component makes a lot of sense for what we do."
Stephanie Marrello, fitness and wellness coordinator for the family sports centre, says it's free to participate and you don't have to be a member of the sports centre.
Adults can Walk a Mile in Their Boots.
People over 13 are challenged to complete a 15-minute workout on a stair climber or arc trainer. They can increase the challenge by adding a 20lb weight vest - the weight of an armour-plated bulletproof vest, and a Firefighter’s oxygen tank, or a 40lb weight vest – the same weight as a full police uniform including a vest and duty belt, or approximately half the weight of a soldier’s pack.
"In 15 minutes, your legs will be on fire, your shoulders will be burning and it just puts into perspective what our first responders and military do, how they always have weight, whether it's heavy equipment on their body or equipment they use every day, and what it's like to move with that sort of stuff," says Marrello.
She adds it's also a good workout, and you'll definitely sweat.
For youth, they have created the Climb the Cochrane Fire Tower Challenge. They get to use an arc trainer and climb 71 steps, just like a firefighter does when training at Cochrane Fire Services. Instead of a weighted vest, they can wear a firefighter's helmet lent to the sports centre by two local firefighters.
A little sticker goes on a nearby chart every time a youth completes the challenge. Marrello hopes it will be filled by the end of the week.
In addition, Everett says they have custom postcards for people to fill and write a message to veterans. We know these people that are far away from their homes and families will really appreciate seeing these messages."
"We're going to bundle them up after the event and send them to Ottawa so they'll get them in time for Christmas," says Everett. "Just messages of encouragement and support and to let them know how much we appreciate them."
Donations are also being accepted for Wayfinders Wellness.