Faculty of Health runs for YMCA Strong Kids Campaign

Despite the cool and wet weather, members of the Faculty of Health participated in the 2009 YMCA Corporate Team Challenge run in support of the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, May 27. It was the first time the Faculty had come together to run in the event.

Organized by Professors Christine Jonas-Simpson and Mina Singh, both from the School of Nursing, eight four-member teams from the Faculty joined in the fun. The pair also approached Dean Harvey Skinner with the idea that the team span all four units of the Faculty.

“When Mina Singh approached me to ask what I thought of a Faculty of Health running team, I jumped at the chance. I cornered Harvey Skinner one day in the hallway and he too thought it was a great idea and so, with the amazing help of Nora Gubins (director of communications and external relations for the Faculty) and the volunteer runners from York’s Schools of Nursing, Kinesiology, Psychology and Health Policy & Management, the Faculty of Health Run for Health Team was created,” says Jonas-Simpson.

Right: York’s Faculty of Health participants and volunteers for the 2009 YMCA Corporate Team Challenge

“I am thrilled that we have eight teams of four our very first year running in the YMCA Strong Kids corporate run," says Jonas-Simpson. "What better way to get to know our colleagues in the Faculty of Health than running as a team to support kids and their health. It fits our Faculty mission beautifully, and that is, keeping healthy longer."

Singh, graduate program director of the School of Nursing, agrees. “What a great way to meet our colleagues in the Faculty of Health, and to have fun with fitness.”

The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign helps individuals and families participate in YMCA programs and services they otherwise could not afford. Proceeds from the run may send a kid to camp, and provide employment skills, training, literacy programs, youth substance abuse counselling and transitional housing for youth. This year marked the 29th annual YMCA Corporate Team Challenge, one of the YMCA’s anchor events in the Strong Kids Campaign, which helped over 250,000 people in the GTA last year.

The Faculty of Health teams were decked out in matching York U singlets. Each runner covered five kilometres for a total of 20 kilometres per team. Held at Exhibition Park by Lake Ontario, this annual event attracted over 1,500 participants from various organizations. The Faculty of Health participated in the women over 50, co-ed over 35 and open categories. Students, lab teams and staff also participated.

Interested in being part of next year’s run? Contact Gubins at ngubins@yorku.ca.