Queen's University

Students rally community around physical activity

[Occupational therapy students]Occupational therapy students Teresa Wick, Mary Van Impe, Amanda Spark and Carolyn Hall (left to right) have enjoyed carrying out their community development project in Sharbot Lake, a community north of Kingston.

A group of Queen’s occupational therapy students has spent the last several months developing a project for promoting the benefits of physical activity in Sharbot Lake, a community north of Kingston.

“One thing stressed in our community development course and reinforced through the project is the importance of building a strong rapport with local residents,” says Teresa Wick, one of four master’s students who organized the project. “We focused on talking with people, groups and local organizations to get their input.”

Ms Wick and her colleagues Amanda Spark, Mary Van Impe and Carolyn Hall developed the Frontenactivity Festival working with Sharbot Lake Family Health Team. The day-long event supports and celebrates increased physical activity opportunities in the rural community in recent years.

“We have a tight-knit community but the population is dispersed. Residents relish the opportunity to get together with their neighbours,” says Laura Baldwin, Program Manager, Sharbot Lake Family Health Team. “The students’ project has helped instil among the residents a sense of pride in their community.”

Master’s students in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s occupational therapy program complete a community development project, supported by course/internship co-ordinator and associate professor, Michelle Villeneuve.

The Frontenactivity Festival is one of several current projects. Other groups have worked with a variety of organizations including the Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington and the Frontenac Council on Aging. Seven students will also leave shortly for international community development placements in Tanzania, Bolivia and Bangladesh.

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Last updated at 4:55 pm EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
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