Published on March 24, 2014 | by Megan Kimmerer Photography by kingames.ca0
Students participate in largest kinesiology event
Close to 800 kinesiology students came together to compete in the largest undergraduate conference in the country – Kin Games.
In all, students from 33 Canadian universities attended the event. Twenty-four of those students were from the University of Guelph-Humber.
“The atmosphere is unreal,” said Melissa Koteff, a third-year kinesiology student. “There are hundreds of kids with tons of energy chanting and screaming all day long.”
This was Koteff’s second year attending Kin Games. She got to travel with her team to Calgary for the 2013 event. This year’s games were closer to home, at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, from March 20-22.
Corey Masters, head coordinator of Kin Games 2014, planned almost everything during this year’s event.
“I’m responsible for all of the teams’ meals, where they’re sleeping, what they’re doing during the day and at night,” said Masters, a fourth-year kinesiology student at McMaster.
“Everything that happens between the time they arrive and the time they leave is under my umbrella,” he said. “It’s really rare that a student gets to be part of a planning process this big.”
Physical challenges included games like bombardment (a version of dodge ball played with bowling pins), wheelchair basketball, a dance contest, and Quidditch – the game played in the Harry Potter books. Students also competed in an academic game show.
Dr. Leslie Stefanyk, assistant program head of kinesiology at Guelph-Humber, participated in Kin Games when it was held at the University of Windsor in 2004. She said the challenges have changed since she attended the games.
“They used to be pretty generic sports,” said Stefanyk, who competed in ball hockey.
According to Masters, participation in Kin Games has grown tremendously since it was created in 2001. Registration numbers have doubled again in the past three years.
Keenan Taylor participated in Kin Games for the first time this year and was told to expect the time of her life.
“I had an amazing weekend,” said the third-year kinesiology student at Guelph-Humber.
The University of Western Ontario won the games this year. Win or lose, Taylor said networking is one of the highlights of Kin Games. “Not very often do programs have the chance to meet students from other schools,” she said.
Masters agreed. “I could go into any city with a kinesiology university and I would know at least 10 people there,” he said.
Masters said the host school changes every year and is chosen through a bidding process. A meeting is held at the end of the games, where representatives from each school come together to decide. Those who are interested in hosting must prove their school is better than the rest.
“It comes down to what really makes a school a good host,” said Masters, adding that a school’s capacity to hold all participants is an important factor now that the games have grown. “No school has hosted twice.”
Next year’s event will be held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.