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News from November 2008

And the Winners Are!

November 28, 2008

This year Alberta CSEP recognized three outstanding Alberta fitness industry professionals.

Kelly Blackshaw is this year’s recipient of the Alberta CSEP CEP of the year award. The award is given to those who have made significant contributions to the promotion and recognition of physical activity, Alberta CSEP and to professionalism within the fitness industry.

Kelly began her career in corporate health as a Kinesiologist with Dr. Derek Thompson. She has successfully advocated the acceptance of the standard fitness test to be included in executive comprehensive medicals and other workplace health risk assessments. Kelly believes that education, assessment and motivational tools are critical to improving general health, work performance, productivity and work culture.

In 2003, Kelly and Dr. Susan Lea purchased Foothills Health Consultants and built a first class team of doctors, kinesiologists and other health and wellness professionals. Dr. Susan Lea and Kelly have recently sold FHC to begin a new venture:a world-class workplace integrative health company. Kelly continues her work with FHC as Director of Business Development.

Kelly is also a founding member of Alberta Kidsport, and was inducted into the Alberta Sport Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of her outstanding commitment to physical activity and youth.

Alberta CSEP is proud to recognize her for her continued support of physical activity, and the professional standards of Alberta CSEP. Congratulations Kelly.

Kelly Blackshaw’s Alberta Sport Hall of Fame entry

Dianna Patton is the recipient of the Alberta CSEP Dr. Ewan Bako award. This award is given to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the Alberta CSEP Health and Fitness Program. Dianna, a U of A BPE and MSc graduate, has maintained her Alberta CSEP certification since 1985. She is team leader for NAIT‘s Campus Sport and Wellness, and has kept NAIT campus employees active by introducing them to and encouraging them in the Alberta Corporate Challenge.

Dianna was instrumental to the 1997 launch of NAIT‘s Personal Fitness Trainer program. The program has evolved from a continuing education certificate program to a two-year diploma program with over 65 full time students and many more part-time and distance students. Several other colleges have structured their Personal Trainer programs based on the NAIT model. Dianna set the bar for Alberta colleges to jump on board all the while consulting and supporting these institutions collaboratively to support the CSEP –CPT designation. More graduates from the NAIT PFT program attain Ab CSEP CPT certification than any other program in Alberta.

In 2007 Dianna was recognized by NAIT with the Ernest Manning Award, the highest form of recognition offered by NAIT and the Board of Governors. The Manning Award honours employees for their vision, leadership, dedication and commitment.

Rene Huellstrung, Alberta CSEP CEP has made countless contributions to the CSEP Health and Fitness Program for over 20 years, beginning with his own certification in 1985. Rene worked with the Provincial Fitness Unit from 1986 -1988, and then moved to the Worker’s Compensation Board of Alberta, where he now holds the title of Manager of Customer Service and Disability Management.

Rene has supported the hiring of CSEP personnel, as well as ongoing professional development opportunities for CSEP members such as MacKenzie training. He also chairs the Millard Health research committee, and is an active volunteer for CSEP.

Rene’s work for CSEP at the national level on the Exercise Rehabilitation Committee (1997–2002), was a significant factor in the expanding of the CSEP scope of practice and the development of the CEP and CPT designations. Rene is also a skilled trainer and educator and, with his colleagues, developed upgrade workshops for Alberta CSEP CEP designated members. This format was adopted as the standard for the over 1500 CSEP members across Canada.

Rene continues to be an active certification course conductor and examiner, educating and training numerous health and fitness professionals, and mentoring others in the community. He is always a welcome presenter at CSEP conferences provincially and nationally. CSEP is highly honoured to recognize Rene’s dedication, passion and endless commitment as the 2008 recipient of he CSEP Health and Fitness Program Recognition Award.

Plus Side of Adult Tax Health Benefits

November 20, 2008

In November, Alberta MLAs passed a bill to offer physically active Albertans a $500 fitness tax credit.

In a vote of 24–20, MLAs narrowly approved a private member’s bill, sponsored by Calgary-Lougheed Tory MLA Dave Rodney, which will provide partial tax relief up to $500 per person on annual fees for physical activities.

It is still up in the air as to when the bill may be proclaimed law, which activities will be included and what percentage of the credit (portion of registration fees up to $500) will be reimbursed to Albertans.

The bill was sponsored by Calgary MLA Dave Rodney. The tax credit (originally proposed for $1,500, but scaled back to $500 in committee) will incent Albertans to be healthier and hopefully help to trim Alberta’s multibillion dollar budget.

The federal government already implemented a $500 fitness tax credit, but only for children, while Nova Scotia recently approved a credit for that province’s residents. The bill was supported from backbenchers, ministers and opposition members.

Recent research commissioned by the Fitness Industry Council of Canada suggests that an adult tax credit could increase the number of physically active Canadians by 1.5 million people if both the federal and provincial governments participate, and that health care savings could increase significantly over time. It could also significantly impact on work and productivity in reduced man hours lost to sick time.

The human cost of inactivity is disease and illness. The combination of our sedentary modern lifestyle plus aging population is deadly. Research shows that adults over 35—women and immigrants in particular—are the most likely to be inactive. There are many socio-economic factors that contribute to this, but the fact is that the risks for all Canadians who are inactive are high. Those who carry excess weight carry an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer to name a few. The impact of these diseases on the quality of individual lives—their family and work relationships is immeasurable.

Physical activity is a key primary preventative strategy for good health. An adult tax credit makes physical activity just that much more attainable and accessible for Canadians. It would be one proactive step, among many other awareness and community endeavours to encourage Canadians to use exercise and active living as part of a healthy lifestyle.