Taking Care of You, the Athlete recap
On Wednesday, June 29th, Sport PEI’s Athlete Health and Performance program hosted The “Taking care of you the athlete” event. The event took place on the UPEI campus and was held for Athletes between the ages of fourteen and twenty-four. The event took place from 9 am until 3:30 pm, there were two snack breaks and a lunch break to help split up the day. It was the objective of this event to provide athletes with information and resources that would be beneficial not only to their athletic careers but to their lives beyond sports.
There were a total of six different speakers involved in the event on Wednesday, and all of the speakers did a tremendous job capturing the audience’s attention throughout the day. The first speaker was Nancy Fong, she is a Registered Dietitian, Consulting Sport & Performance Dietitian, and a Certified credentialed anthropometrist with The International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) Level 2 Anthropometrist. She was focused on giving the athletes the basic knowledge to start improving how they fuel themselves before and after events.
The next speaker was Dr. Shaunna Taylor one of the leading sports psychologists in Canada and a professor of Sports Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Taylor was the main speaker during the event having 2 different time blocks during the event. She started by speaking about the foundation of mental preparation and how anxiety and stress can impact an athlete’s performance. During her second block, Shaunna brought in a guest speaker by the name of Tara Costello, who is a sports psychologist based on PEI. They focused on teaching the athletes about “using your mind’s eye”, this was about how important visualization is in sports.
The last sports science speaker was Randy Goodman, Randy is one of the premier Sports Physiotherapists in Canada. He speaks throughout North America on the rehabilitation and training of developing athletes. Being able to have someone of his standard talk to the athletes was a tremendous opportunity, especially because he talked to the athletes about how important sleep is.
The next two guests were athletes born on PEI, who have reached high levels in their respective sports. The first was Ava Boutilier, She was born and raised on PEI and is now attending New Hampshire University. She is the starting goalie and current captain of their women’s hockey team. Ava spoke to the Athletes about the challenges of going from being a big fish in a little pond to being a little fish in a big pond. This was referenced to starting her hockey career on PEI and then moving to the national stage with team Canada and with her NCAA team in New Hampshire.
The next local Athlete was Mark Arendz, born in Hartsville, PEI. He is one of Canada’s most dominant and successful Paralympian with a total of 12 Olympic medals. He came in towards the end of the event and although he was presenting about how to stay focused and ignore the noise, he tied everything that the other presenters talked about together into one presentation. This offered a full-scale view to the athletes about how doing everything that Nancy, Shaunna, Randy, Tara, and Ava talked about can impact your life.