By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
On March 26, the New Westminster campus of Douglas College hosted a Health Fair. Organized by the college group Douglife, the fair was also held at the David Lam campus on March 20. In New West, various booths and activities were placed throughout the concourse. Although many of the interactive booths were set up and organized by students, several groups from outside the school participated in the day’s activities, such as the Vancouver College of Massage Therapy (VCMT) and Steve Nash Fitness World.
The goal of the Health Fair was to promote the physical and mental health of Douglas students, leading to a healthier campus. Many of the health initiatives promoted were included on-site, such as access to exercise bikes, healthy snack samples, distribution of other health products, and access to counsellors and nurses.
Most of the booths were organized and run by students in the Sports Science program as part of a project for their “health promotion” class. For all six hours of the fair, these students monitored the booths, presenting information and activities to all who visited. Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching student Ali Bonesky ran a “Got Energy” booth along with fellow students Gillian Russell and Lisa Trulson. This exhibit showcased ways to feel more energized and healthy.
Bonesky said, “Good company and interaction is making this day go on a lot faster. There’s a lot of high traffic… I’m surprised at the amount of people who have visited.”
Perhaps a reason for the high interest was how interactive the event was. Almost every booth had a hands-on activity, brochures, and items promoting health, or even a free service. For example, the VCMT had free 10-minute massages given by graduates. Over in the presentation area, “Health Jeopardy” was set Up, where teams could compete with rules identical to the game show Jeopardy, but with health-themed questions.
Private and public organizations also had a presence. These ranged from government-run operations such as Fraser Health to for-profit businesses like Steve Nash Fitness World. Mikaela Osmak, director for marketing and student services at VCMT, said they frequent health and job fairs around the Lower Mainland. “We try to set out in the community as much as we can. We’re very passionate about networking, health care, and health services.”
Many of the organizations in attendance frequent other post-secondary institutions for career and health fairs. Most of them provide essential and important services, and the fairs allow quick and easy access to as many students as possible.