Physical and Health Education Canada Leadership Conference

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Physical and Health Education Canada Leadership Conference

A Reflection on the 2011 PHE Leadership Conference

The Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE) Leadership conference in Bancroft (ON), has left a significant impression on its attendees. According to conference sources, a number of education students commented that the attending the conference provided them with invaluable skills for their upcoming teaching careers.
Among the attendees at this year’s conference were four current undergraduate students from the department of Kinesiology along with Joanna Sheppard, a former masters student and conference mentor and three undergraduate students from the Recreation and Leisure Department.
Nikki Cameron, a third year student in the Concurrent Physical Education (BPhed/Bed/INSR) program attended the conference, and was willing to shed some insight into the experiences and opportunities that the conference had to offer. Here is what she had to say:
When I received an email from Professor James Mandigo with information about Physical & Health Education (PHE) Canada’s Student Leadership Conference (SLC), I decided on a whim to apply. When I received an email asking me to confirm my attendance, I realized how little I really knew about PHE Canada or the SLC. While I researched the conference a little bit, I based my decision to attend on very little information but decided there is no harm in attending the conference.
When it was time for the conference weekend in September, I was pretty nervous and still unsure of what to expect. To be honest, I was expecting a weekend full of trust games, crossing the falls and the human knot, and I wasn’t looking forward to doing these activities for the millionth time in my life. However, as I travelled to Bancroft with 3 other Brock Physical Education Students, I realized that my apprehensions were shared by the other students, and we began to get excited, convincing one another that it would be a good weekend.
The minute the conference began, I knew it was going to be an experience unlike any other leadership camp or class that I had attended. All of the student participants were like-minded and passionate about health and physical activity which led to the instant formation of friendships and bonds. The PHE Canada mentors were from all different health and physical education backgrounds from teachers to policy-makers to coaches. There was even a past student conference attendee, now in the role of a mentor. They were inspirational and motivating yet accessible and friendly. I have formed friendships and connections that will last a very long time with not only my peers but also my mentors. We are all joined through PHE Canada . Through email and facebook, we use each other daily to bounce ideas around, receive advice and just to talk to like-minded friends.
While at camp, we did exciting activities like mountain biking and canoeing as well as a variety of group work, teambuilding, leadership and trust activities. The enthusiasm for health and physical education that our leaders and peers brought to each activity gave it a genuine purpose and value. Each day was packed with ideas about how to be a better teacher, learner, leader and person; all of which I find myself drawing upon daily.
It took a very long time to verbalize the overwhelming experience that I had at the PHE Student Leadership Camp, and as I continue to reflect upon the experience, I realize that it is impossible for me to put into words the phenomenal weekend that PHE provided. What I can say is that the weekend undoubtedly helped me to become a better teacher and person. I left feeling valued as a future physical educator, proud to belong to PHE Canada and energized to spread the health and physical education love. The ideas, inspiration, contacts and friends are endless and invaluable. If I haven’t made it clear already, for anyone who is thinking about attending the conference whether you are a future teacher, in recreation and leisure or just love physical education, GO! Apply, Register and become part of the PHE Canada family!



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