University of Calgary

Welcome to Calgary, Kin Games competitors!

UToday HomeMarch 21, 2013

By Don McSwiney

Kinesiology undergrads were in high spirits for last year's edition of the Kin Games in Ottawa.Kinesiology undergrads were in high spirits for last year's edition of the Kin Games in Ottawa.This weekend, more than 700 of Canada’s kinesiology and human movement students will converge on the Faculty of Kinesiology for the annual Kin Games.

These are the 13th annual games, and according to the organizers, they are the largest ever held. Thirty-one teams are coming from across Canada, all competing for what may be the ugliest yet most prized university trophy, the “Shoe Trophy,” a mounted running shoe spray-painted gold.

To win the trophy, teams earn points in a number of complicated contests that measure spirit, athletic prowess and intellectual ability.

This year the sports include lacrosse, “belly baseball” (you have to keep your belly on the base,) ringette and dodgeball.

The Calgary team has made a few changes to thwart overzealous competitors and to make the intellectual component more interesting. “Well this year,” explains veteran Kin Games competitor Mark Brown, “we didn’t announce the sports until after the teams had submitted their lineup, so they couldn’t put together a ringer team. We also changed the format of the academic challenge.”

To see how the competitors think under physical duress, the Calgary organizers transformed the academic challenge into an “athletic academic” challenge, in which the competitors will answer questions while completing physical challenges.

“For example,” says fourth year exercise physiology student Calindy Ramsden, “In round one we’ll be up on the track and you have to complete a challenge before answering questions – running hurdles, or do a spin and bear crawl. If you get a question wrong you’ll have to do push-ups. In round two competitors have to scale the climbing wall to get their next questions.”

One of the highlights of the weekend should be the final of the athletic academic challenge, in which contestants will be in the pool where they’ll be forced to add clothing for every question they get wrong.

“The whole point of the weekend is, of course, to have fun and getting to meet other students from across the country,” says Kinesiology Students’ Society president, A.J. Macaulay. “That’s definitely how we approach it.”

Fittingly, this year’s Kin Games theme is western, and our Calgary team is taking a decidedly different tack. “Let’s just say we’re putting a different spin on human moo-vement,” says Ramsden with a smile.

“I think they’ll be blown away,” says Macauley, of the visitors to Calgary. “Not just by all of our fantastic facilities including the Olympic Oval, the climbing wall, the Jack Simpson gym and the pool, but they’ll be amazed at how centrally located everything is, and how you don’t have to leave the building to access everything.”

The games open Friday, March 22 at 9 a.m. in the Jack Simpson Gym with the parade of teams, featuring choreographed spirit dances from every school. University provost Dru Marshall and Dean of Kinesiology Penny Werthner will officially open the games at 10:30 a.m.

For more information on event times, visit:


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