RECREATION: The Blackfoot Fitness Program created by Siksika Parks and Recreation is a new program that brings Siksika Nation members together to improve their overall health and wellness.
Siksika Nation Parks and Recreation saw a need to design a program in community that not only gets people active, but is affordable and accessible.
The program is a combination of exercise and nutritional workshops which addresses health concerns in community including high rates of diabetes. Siksika Nation is a growing community with approximately 7200 members, half who live in community which is located one hour from Calgary.
The Blackfoot Fitness Program brings out a diverse group of people ranging in age who all have a common goal of getting healthy and so far the program has been well received from the public and the staff hopes the interest continues to grow. (Go Siksika Go)
Iksokapi Magazine: What is the purpose of the Blackfoot Fitness Program?
Cassie Ayoungman: “The purpose is to offer a fitness program to First Nations and pass on our knowledge of living a healthy lifestyle. It helps the nation work towards better health. As we are all aware, Aboriginal’s have the highest rate of Diabetes. Physical activity is one the positive steps in the right direction in managing/preventing it.”
What is included in the program?
“The program includes boot camp classes that run Monday/Tuesday/Thursday for 3 months and nutrition seminars.”
How many people have joined?
“We have around 50+ people in the program right now. The numbers have been increasing and it is amazing to see the amount of people coming out!”
What is the overall response from the participants in the program?
“People love it! They love that we are helping them to better themselves through health and fitness. People from the program have stated they felt great after and they have more energy throughout the day. The people have given us the opportunity to teach what we love to do.”
“It’s beneficial to every individual by working out and eating right. The program motivates you to come out every class.” – Mandy Running Rabbit
How does one get involved? “They can contact Racey Big Snake or myself, Cassie Ayoungman. If it is their first time joining any type of fitness program, we can definitely sit down with them (participants) to explain everything they need to know if they are a bit hesitant about joining.”
Is there an age limit?
– 13 years old and up.
– $100/3 Months.
– $5 drop in fee every class.
Contact information: http://www.siksikanation.com/communitysupport.html
(Photos provided by C.Ayoungman)