Given the strong sense of community on the University of Maine at Farmington campus, it’s no surprise that a simple and innovative idea doesn’t have far to travel to gain immediate traction!
That’s exactly what happened at the turn of the year when Bob Pederson, UMF’s Director of Student Development wondered aloud to his colleagues whether it might not be beneficial to explore ways for faculty and staff to shake off the winter cold, learn some new skills in the exchange and have fun in the process.
And, so it was that Fun, Fitness, Facts and Food was born.
With Jim Toner, Director of Fitness and the Recreation Center and Mike Colella, Coordinator of Group Fitness, Personal Training and Wellness taking up the topic and reaching out to like-minded individuals, an imaginative and informative program was not long in the making.
Launching on Wednesday, January 17, the schedule called for a variety of activities, some of which were approved in advance as Community Events and suitable to satisfy requirements for employees to meet their Wellness Program Level 2 incentives.
Serving both physical and emotional wellness, the program offered everything from nordic skiing, Pickleball, a fitness workout, a volleyball challenge and a nutrition workshop to suicide awareness certification, improvisation, student support techniques, tips on how to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, (SAD), and “Safe Zone” training.
The three-day festival of wellness concluded with a free lunch courtesy of corporate partner Sodexo.
Faculty and staff responded in strong numbers to the mid-winter program and the big idea-turned collaborative venture resonated with colleagues across campus whose testimonials suggest this has the potential to become an annual event:
“Had a fun time and was really executed well. Sessions were developed and implemented to support out various degrees of knowledge on the subject matter or activity.”
“Just this week alone has shown me how important it is to take a step back and make time for my mental and physical health.”
To see the full schedule of events and those who collaborated to bring the program to life, please open the file of the celebration's agenda.
If you would like more information on how your campus can create its own unique approach to fitness, contact your Wellness Champion and learn more about Community Events and Multi-Session Programs in your 2018 Wellness Guide.