News and Events

Rinks and Gyms

November 21, 2013
Written by Mark Keller, director of college advancement
Featured in"On Campus" in the Medicine Hat News

Among the many wonderful things about working at MHC is easy noon hour access to the gym and weight room. And it was there, resting between a set or rep, that I read Collin Gallant’s recent stories in the News of expansion and renovation at the Family Leisure Centre.

The discussion about one rink or two, artificial turf, and inventory of gym space was a perfect reminder that among the college’s aspirations is a Sport & Wellness Centre that will better meet our needs.

The rationale for the new facility, in negative terms, is simple. The roof is too low, the walls are too close, and the space is too small.

I’ve not double checked but I’ve been told that the roof of our gym is just a few inches shy of being regulation height for national volleyball competitions. The mats strapped to the walls under the basketball nets are there so players collide with something more yielding than concrete during hard fought games. The existing weight room, though well-equipped and busy, is well down at the small end of the scale.

The physical limits of the existing facilities are all valid reasons to dream of new space, but the college is looking for more than an increase to the roster of square meters devoted to sport.

What I’ve heard our kinesiology faculty, coaches and wellness specialist talk about are facilities in which they can better meet the needs of students, the college community as a whole, and our region as well.

They see students learning about physical development of young athletes by helping those competitors learn to train. Conversations include the possibility of a focal point where students would find all the support assets we offer. Perhaps the coach of a local youth team could develop skills to share with others.

When we achieve this goal the Rattlers will have access to facilities that match their talents, and we could welcome national competitions with the related excitement and economic impact that entails.

That’s the outline of the dream.

Our draft vision statement goes like this: “Expanded, purpose designed facilities will allow all members of the college community to reach their goals, strive for excellence, and achieve balance in their lives through healthy lifestyle choices. Our vision is to become the focal point of wellness education in our region, supporting people through all levels of physical activity, athletic competition and personal wellness.”

This might not be an easy goal to reach, but I’ve run a few marathons in my life and each of them started with a single step.

Feel free to share your thoughts with me.