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Social distancing. Learning and working remotely. Limiting trips to the grocery store by ordering in. Whatever you’re doing to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, you don’t have to do it sitting down.

That’s the message Sheridan’s Athletics and Recreation department is emphasizing through a new initiative that promotes fitness, healthy eating and general wellness during the pandemic. The 10-week program, titled 20-4-20 because it consists of 20 acts of outreach, supports both Sheridan’s student body and the greater community — including five area food banks.

“There’s a million studies on how being active promotes well-being and positivity in general, and it’s obviously much more challenging to stay active during these times,” says Scott Van Hende, Davis Campus Athletics Facility Co-ordinator. “We feel this campaign is very important, especially for students who are very social beings and may find this pandemic even more challenging than others.”

“We feel this campaign is very important, especially for students who are very social beings and may find this pandemic even more challenging than others.” – Scott Van Hende

The program began Tuesday, April 28, with a ‘Student Connection’ session during which Athletics and Recreation joined forces with Student Affairs to offer assistance to current and prospective students. Act of Outreach #2 came two days later, when Van Hende delivered a video message that promoted the efforts of five area food banks: Fareshare Food Bank Oakville, Kerr Street Mission, Knight’s Table, Seva Food Bank and Khalsa Aid. Each Athletics and Recreation staff member made a $20 donation to one of the food banks and encouraged others to do the same.

Going forward, the department will stream live or recorded exercise sessions on Tuesdays and host informative or social events on Thursdays. Other outreach planned as part of 20-4-20 includes:

  • live boot camps on Facebook Live, hosted by Facility Co-ordinator Mostafa Babouli
  • the launch of a Sheridan Run Club, including an eight-week challenge
  • E-sport tournaments (NBA 2K and Super Smash Bros.) hosted by Recreation/Varsity Co-ordinators Rory Cooper and Nadene Boothe
  • live yoga classes
  • healthy eating tips segments created by Varsity Co-ordinator Tahir Khan
  • a trick-shot challenge inviting students to submit video of their best trick shots for display on the department’s social media feeds
  • information sessions about Sheridan and Ontario College of Athletics Association (OCAA) athletics, featuring Sheridan Athletic Director Jim Flack and Dean of Students Maria Lucido-Bezely
  • stretching/mobility classes

“It’s a full team effort,” notes Van Hende, who is collaborating with Marketing and Information Co-ordinator Caitlin Terry to organize the schedule and deliver material using Athletics and Recreation’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. “Our department was already doing some of these things and just switched to a different method of delivery, but we’re also doing some extra things on the side to try to promote healthy living during COVID-19.”

More information on the 20-4-20 campaign, including upcoming events and how to participate, can be found on the Athletics and Recreation website and social media accounts.

Athletics and Recreation staff also remains busy with other projects. Academic Varsity Co-ordinator Tom Hipsz is fielding questions about online delivery and academics from current and prospective student-athletes; Khan is creating a bid to host this year’s OCAA cross-country championships and also working with Facilities Management on the Hazel McCallion Campus Student and Athletics Expansion; Facility Co-ordinator Courtney Godfrey is leading National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association meetings with other Canadian colleges, exploring best practices for when athletic facilities are re-opened;  Cooper is putting together a bid to host the 2020 OCAA women’s volleyball championships; and Babouli is working with the Sheridan Student Union delivering exercise classes while providing remote personal training.


Story written by: Jon Kuiperij, Marketing Copy/Content Writer at Sheridan.

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