Three of BC’s top fitness professionals (Fitness Leaders) have been honoured for their outstanding efforts in getting people physically active and healthy. The BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) presents its Fitness Leadership Awards annually in the following categories: Fitness Leader of the Year, Educator of the Year, and Program Director of the Year. The 2013 award recipients are:
Fitness Leader of the Year – Kim Magnan of Duncan
Kim Magnan is a fitness leader at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre in Duncan and the owner/operator of KimFit, a provider of fitness instruction and instructor training. She helped to spearhead Duncan’s Fit in Schools, a program that takes fitness to teachers in their schools, and was a leader in the Cowichan Aquatic Centre’s summer programming. Magnan teaches a range of fitness classes from water-based classes to Zumba and spin classes. Magnan is a diligent volunteer in Duncan as well. She is a volunteer coach and Zumba instructor with Club Fit, a fitness program run by Special Olympics Cowichan. Magnan’s clients describe her style as “energizing, inspirational and motivating.”
Educator of the Year – Chad Benson of Vancouver
Chad Benson has coached hundreds of high performance athletes in eight different team sports and 11 different individual sports in his more than 15 years in the fitness industry in BC. He is the current Director of Fitness Education at Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Clubs and the owner of ARC Performance Training Systems. In 2011 and 2012, he was the head Strength and Training Coach for the Senior Women’s National Basketball Team. Benson works with educators, health care professionals, product developers, hands on trainers, coaches, peers and business professionals on a day-to-day basis helping them to improve their knowledge of health and fitness. Benson has served as on the scientific advisory board of the NHL and as an Assistant NHL Conditioning Coach and Exercise Physiologist for the Vancouver Canucks. Benson has a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Victoria.
Program Director of the Year – Jaimee Stokes Nelson of Maple Ridge
Jaimee Stokes Nelson is the Fitness Coordinator at the Cambie Community Centre in Richmond. She has worked in the fitness industry throughout the lower mainland for more than 15 years. She created RFit, a program offered by the City of Richmond for fitness professionals and anyone interested in expanding their skills and knowledge in fitness. She also designed and coordinated seminars and professional fitness weekends with topics ranging from Yoga breathing methods to how to keep your clients engaged. Stokes Nelson instructs free Yoga classes for East Richmond Community Association preschool and older children. She leads fitness classes for Cambie Senior Secondary and Mitchell Elementary School and she coordinates free one-day client workshops and bonus one-day fitness classes. Two of Jaimee’s clients recently wrote, “We are grateful to people like Jaimee who put in many unseen hours to build a community here at Cambie that enjoys exercising together… Physical and social health is invaluable in allowing us to make connections with those who live, work and play in this area. We would like to thank Jaimee for her very significant involvement in making this possible.”
The BCRPA Fitness Awards recognize professional commitment through community and industry involvement. BCRPA Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Allard Strutt says the work of these professionals is inspiring. “Every day, our Fitness Leaders are making significant contributions to the health of our province. They’re supporting the efforts of people who want to be physically active and lead healthier lifestyles. BC has been cited as one of the healthiest provinces in Canada and the work these leaders do is helping us stay that way. Congratulations to this year’s Fitness Award winners and to all of our nominees!”
The Fitness Awards ceremony was held on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at Capilano University in North Vancouver during the BCRPA’s annual fitness conference, BCFit ‘13. The weekend event brings together hundreds of registered Fitness Leaders from across the province to discuss fitness and health-related topics and provide professional development opportunities.
There are currently more than 5,200 Fitness Leaders registered with the BCRPA. They work in public and private facilities, including recreation centres, gyms, pools, health clubs, spas and outdoor settings. They assist individuals and groups in becoming and staying strong, active and healthy. Fitness Leaders also provide expert advice and assistance as an important part of the healthcare spectrum, filling the void in the wake of clinical rehabilitation and assisting with the return to physical activity.
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