We are the Same - 2017 Kin Games

We are the Same

2017 Kin Games

Kathleen Hossack - CKA VP External Communications - Manitoba

Kin Games blew into Winnipeg this year as a force to be reckoned with. Having never gone as a student, I wasn't sure what to expect. 

The weekend opened with an invigorating opening ceremony that included a blessing from local Metis elders, a speech from our hometown Mayor Brian Bowman, and the Kin Games organizers. The dance competition ensued following this, combined with the mascot competition, lasting most of the morning. UToronto lead the way here with a dance inspired by mental illness, a theme common across the weekend with "not all heroes wear capes" and "we are all the same" as taglines for the weekend. 

Sitting in the audience watching these teams from across Canada chanting and cheering each other on, and putting on some spectacular dances, I was struck with the simultaneous thought of "I missed out in University" and "I could never do what these kids are doing all weekend". The energy that struck me when I arrived for the opening ceremony, seeing 700-ish students chanting and fired up about the weekend to come was incredible. 

For those of you that don't know, Kin Games is a national yearly event held for Kinesiology students in Canada. Students compete across a weekend in academic and sport challenges,. functioning on very few hours of sleep and in a perpetual state of recovery, lingering from the previous evenings events and socials. We have all been through similar moments when we were students. Let's admit it! Challenges included an amazing race around the city, swimming competitions, and bubble soccer, just to name a few, with academic quizzing, memorization games, and jeopardy style challenges in between. 

Through the weekend I saw students that were completely swept up in that same energy, those clearly in recovery from the night before, and many of those somewhere in between. Regardless, that invigorating energy lasted the weekend through. As a representative for the CKA, I got to chat with many students and was surprised to find out the majority of them had never heard of the national alliance.. and about the same amount had no idea where they were headed after graduation. This was an important conversation, though short and fleeting, to have. How many of us, working Kins, felt the same in school? I was also struck by how eager, and enthusiastic these students were to learn about CKA and how easy they were to just talk to. It's not often you go to a large scale event like this and have such inspired conversations wherever you go and whoever you talk to. 

Sunday brought the finals for the academic challenge. CKA sponsored the academic portion, and we had gratitude for this expressed everywhere we turned. This is the first time Kin Games has had a major academic sponsor, and everyone was pumped. The final round came down to jeopardy- with questions aimed in a direction the students were definitely not expecting.... insurance, legislation, running a business, and scope of practice. All four final teams struggled through their jeopardy rounds, with members from each team approaching myself and other CKA reps to report back on how much they had learnt following the final round. Many of the 3rd and 4th year students were surprised to find out just how much they still had to learn towards achieving the next steps towards their chosen careers. This to me was another important and inspiring part of the weekend, seeing how hungry these students are for knowledge and how grateful they are for every opportunity to learn. 

By the time the gala rolled around Sunday night, I wasn't sure how these Kins were still standing.. but standing they were, and the energy witnessed in those first few hours at the opening ceremony was still going strong. I can honestly say I've never been to an awards gala where everyone cheered so loudly for everyone else. It was easy to get swept up in the contagious enthusiasm. My overall impression from the weekend was pure pride in the future of Kinesiology. There was undoubtedly hundreds of capable, passionate, and driven future Kinesiologists present over the weekend. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be plenty of that enthusiasm carried over into the "real world" of professionalism, pushing our specialties to achieving higher awareness and a greater impact across Canada. Inspiring is an understatement, when I think collectively about Kin Games 2017. 

Thank you to CKA's Partners for participating: HexFit, Prolink, HumanKinetics, TD Meloche Insurance, BCAK, AKA, OKA, FKQ, NBKA and NLKA.