The CrossFit Kawartha team won the coveted Cup for the third year in a row on February 23rd at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre. Hosted by Fleming faculty member Jodi Stevens and students in Fleming College’s Pre-Service Firefighter, Paramedic, Customs Border Services and Police Foundations programs, the event features six-person, co-ed teams that are given eight different first responder fitness challenges to complete over eight hours. The team with the fastest cumulative time over all eight circuits wins the cup.
Photo courtesy Fleming College
“I am blown away by the incredible athletes that battled their hearts out for eight hours in support of mental health,” says Jodi Stevens. “This year’s event was the largest to date and participants surpassed our fundraising exceptions. I am so proud of our students, our volunteers and all the athletes that competed.”
Students initiated the First Responders Cup in 2017 after taking a mental health class that discussed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the policing profession. The students wanted to eliminate stigma around the topic and help bring awareness to the community.
While the event has drawn big crowds in the past, organizers hope this year will be even bigger as they embrace the opportunity to showcase the community’s passion for suicide awareness and mental health to the Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Health, who is expected to be in attendance.
From left to right: Dave Pogue from Team 55, Jack Veitch from CMHA and Jeff Challice from TASSS.
At the opening ceremonies, this year’s special guest will be speaker Neil Sanderson of Three Days Grace. The Canadian band, including the Adam Scott alumnus, is about to embark on a European tour before returning for a Canadian tour in late November.
Friday Night Lights begins September 21st at noon with games and a barbeque, and the Open Ceremonies start at 6 p.m. The main event kick-off is at 7 p.m. For more on Friday Night Lights and Team 55, watch this recent interview we conducted with Dave Pogue on PTBOCanada show…
Dave's son Mitchell took his own life in 2013, and shortly thereafter he decided to start the Team 55 program after approaching the Canadian Mental Health Association local chapter. He had no idea at the time the impact it would have, as the program is going stronger than ever since its inception more than five years ago.
Watch the episode below as Pogue—also President of the Peterborough Petes—talks about Team 55, Friday Night Lights, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Petes and community love...
Recognizing the mental aspect of the game is just as important as the physical, the Peterborough Petes have added a Mental Performance Coach to this year's team, bringing on Brenley Shapiro to their staff.
A Toronto-based Sport Psychology and Performance Consultant, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and Certified Sports Vision Trainer, Shapiro’s program combines theories of cognition and behaviours into mental skills training, along with scientific strategies using state-of-the-art technologies to strengthen neurocognitive processing.
“The mind leads the body,” says Shapiro. “My goal is to teach the players how their mind impacts their performance by providing them with tips and strategies that will build a mindset for success.”
Shapiro has extensive experience and a specialized focus in work with hockey teams and players at every level from minor hockey through to the OHL, KHL, AHL and NHL. She has also been involved with the OHL Combine, U15 Program of Excellence, and sits on the expert panel for the Coaches Association of Ontario. She is a published author, keynote speaker, and the Mental Performance Spokesperson for Gatorade Canada.
On Saturday, January 7th during the Peterborough Pete’s game—dedicated to mental health awareness—Bell Let’s Talk presented YWCA Peterborough Haliburton with a $15,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund. The grant will support the "Saying Yes: Better Serving Abused Women with Mental Health Issues" program at YWCA Crossroads Shelter.
“YWCA is proud to receive a Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant to support the work YWCA Crossroads Shelter does every day to help more women with mental health and addiction issues," says Jen Cureton, YWCA Director of Philanthropy & Communications.
The $15,000 grant—along with a donation from The Peterborough Foundation and other private donors—will support ongoing staff training as they continue to work on “Saying Yes” to women with complex issues.
“Bell Let’s Talk is so pleased to support programs like ‘Saying Yes: Better Serving Abused Women with Mental Health Issues’ and the tremendous work being done by the YWCA Crossroads Shelter,” adds Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “This $15,000 grant to the YWCA Peterborough Haliburton is one of more than 70 2016 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grants made to organizations helping people living with a mental illness in every region of the country.” If you or someone you know needs help, call YWCA day or night at 1-800-461-7656
About 450 people packed into Trentwinds International Centre in Peterborough on Monday night (November 21st) for an Intimate, special night called "An Evening With Landsberg and Friends" in support of Sick Not Weak and Team 55 Tackles Suicide Awareness.
Celebrities such as Michael Landsberg, Theo Fleury, Jennifer Hedger, Andrew Jensen and Clint Malarchuk spoke with raw honesty to the hushed crowd about their mental health struggles, and the need for compassion and acceptance. "People are fighting battles that you know nothing about, so be kind," Malarchuk said.
The event was trending on Twitter in Peterborough, and here are just a few of the tweets that went out last night and today...
One of the guests in attendance, Laura Crann, summed up this powerful night this way:
"It was truly inspiring when the whole room of 450 people quietly listened to each guest share their stories. Every single person in that room truly reflected on their own lives or thought of someone who lives with mental illness."
Perhaps the most impactful line of many on the night came from the resilient final speaker Theo Fleury, who said this: “You can’t help if you don’t have compassion. Please tell someone about what you experienced tonight.”
It was a cathartic night for all in attendance, giving another huge step forward for the mental health movement in Canada. One can imagine this "An Evening With Landsberg & Friends" in Peterborough becoming a sort of travelling roadshow across Canada, having an impact across the country and keeping the conversation going.
Watch these vlogs Landsberg did shortly after the event talking about what this night meant to him...
Learn more about the mental health resources available in the Peterborough area by visiting the Canadian Mental Health Association's local chapter here.