ISWO Provides 5km running program in interactive group

Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario has been working to provide virtual sport and athletics programs for youth at home.

This week they launched the Well Nation Couch to 5K, which is a six week running program with an interactive Facebook page that will award participants with prizes.

The page itself is directed towards Indigenous athletes and those interested in fitness. The 6 week program will run from April 12 – May 23, 2021.

“We want to encourage positivity, health and wellness, and community connection with this initiative. Join this fun and supportive community,” read their Facebook page.

To participate, those interested are asked to join the Facebook group that will remain open to the public.

“Although ISWO is unable to provide in-person programming at the moment due to COVID-19 limitations, the organization is doing all that it can to support both individual and communal wellness through online programs and community-based funding opportunities,” says Mekwan Tulpin, High Performance and Sport Coordinator at ISWO.

“As an avid multi-sport athlete, current sport leader of Team Ontario as well as former NAIG competitor, I understand the disappointment and frustration that many of our youth are facing with the cancellation of the 2020 NAIG and the 2020/21 NAHC. We’ve also become more stagnant in our day to day living.”

“Youth need a positive outlet, and to feel like they are part of something again. It’s time to reactivate that amongst each other, and we hope that the Virtual Games will help bring us all together in an uplifting way. Games and sport have always been central to our lives as Indigenous Peoples; movement is medicine and we need that more than ever right now – we just need to find some creative and safe ways to do it, until we can be together again in person.”

Weekly schedules for the program will be posted every Sunday for the upcoming week and participants are free to download/save the schedule photos to your phone for easier access each day.

Daily schedules will also be posted throughout the week. Participants are encouraged to come back to the forum posts to share their experiences to further their personal accountability and enhance their experience. There will also be “questions of the day” to answer, to help increase ease of participation and communal interaction. There are also chances for prizes.

“Prizes will be awarded at the end of the program to hardworking participants! To maximize your chances, come back to our posts and comment a picture to share you have completed your cardio that day! Your picture can be anything to show you’ve completed the cardio (scenery, water bottle, smile, running shoes, etc). Feel free to also share a small snippet of your success!” Wrote Belle Bailey, an admin for the group.

“We want this group to be welcoming for all and we encourage all participants to engage with each other’s posts, comments, and photos to make this a successful experience for all. Feel free to start discussion posts and see what suggestions others have to share!”

The interactive Facebook group grew by nearly 400 new members in the past week and the schedule to participate will be released this week.

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