Volume 91, Issue 59

Wednesday, January 14, 1998



Campus Rec. kick-starts students' hearts

By Sara Marett
Gazette Staff

Question: What do you get when you mix Campus Police with Campus Recreation? Answer: Increased personal safety and tighter thighs.

These two campus services have received a tremendous student response after teaming up to offer "boxfit" – an aerobics class that is not only a good workout but a lesson in self-defense. The class teaches basic kick boxing moves and also offers a cardiovascular workout, said Elizabeth Elliot, coordinator of physical fitness and sport instruction for Campus Recreation.

Const. Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department said the class promotes self-esteem and assertiveness, especially for females who are concerned about protecting themselves. "The two elements of the classes, those being a physical workout and self-defence mechanisms, really compliment each other," she said.

Campus Recreation fitness instructors received instruction on how to teach kick boxing moves and technique from a trained boxer, explained Elliot. She added Const. Leo Loucks of the London Police Department, who is also a World Champion kick boxer, will be holding additional workshops for the instructors this semester.

"The key [to kick boxing] is to put your entire body weight behind your moves," Loucks said. He added with the proper technique, even a small individual could strike someone quite hard. "It's all about exploding into your target."

Campus Recreation received funding for the new class from Western's Women's Safety Advisory Committee. The organization is given funds from the Ministry of Education to allocate to different programs at universities for the purpose of increasing safety on campus and decided the aerobics class was a worthy candidate, explained committee member Donna Moore.

The response to the classes has been phenomenal, Elliot said. "We had 200 people show up to a class – it has definitely exceeded my expectations." Another advantage to the class is the boost it gives to your self-confidence and body confidence, Elliot added.

She referred to the attempted assault incidents which occurred last week in London where two females experienced a male intruder attempting to enter their homes and in one incident, attack the female physically. "Most females want to be more secure with their physical ability to fight off a potential attacker. Improving your strength, both physically and mentally, makes you a little more confident about what you are able to do," she said.

McGowan and Elliot plan to team up again to offer an evening self-defense course before reading week. "The one thing the [boxfit] class doesn't include is physical contact – we would like to offer something where individuals can practise their moves on other people to test their strength."

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998