By Martin Zeilig
For Lieutenant-Colonel Kim Wilton, who works at 1 Canadian Air Division, participating in the annual Spin-A-Thon was, among other things, an active way to support “a great cause” while “getting out of the office” for a while.
LCol Wilton was one of about dozen CAF members pedaling on Kaiser Spin Bikes set up in a semi-circle in a semi-darkened (and lit by strategically placed glow sticks) Building 21 in the late morning of November 17. The Spin-A-Thon is a fund raising event for the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign.
The GCWCC is the largest workplace campaign in Canada and it engages federal public service employees and retirees in a combined effort to raise funds and donate time to those in need, notes the Government of Canada website.
“All the money we raise today is going in support of GCWCC,” said Stefan Dowhayko, CFMWS/PSP sports and fitness instructor, who was taking a break from leading the cyclists through their pedaling workout.
He noted that nine teams from various units across 17 Wing had registered to take part in the Spin-a-thon.
“The idea is to have someone on the bike from nine AM to three PM,” Mr. Dowhayko said, just before he was to take his turn as group leader.
“We constantly want to have someone on the spin bike and accumulate as much distance as you can for your unit as well as encouraging maximum participation.”
He also noted that some prizes were available for most kilometres logged per unit, as well as the most colourful theme for a particular unit’s bike.
“A lot of the units have dressed up their bikes according to a particular theme,” he added.
“This year we wanted to have a glow in the dark theme. So, we’re using a lot of UV black lights and reflective tape and glow sticks. It’s an easy way to change the atmosphere and vibe of the event. It’s been well accepted.”
Some units might have less members available to them, he continued.
“We have a new instructor on the bike each hour,” Mr. Dowhayko said.
“This event in particular is in support of a good cause, and we encourage maximum participation. At the end of the day, the fitness staff will determine what is the best themed bike. There are also some mini games and a fitness challenge this year, all different things members can participate in.”
Meanwhile, Captain Adam White, who works at 17 MSS, said the Spin-a-thon was great for team building, and creating awareness for fund raising and working as a group.
“We don’t get a lot of opportunities to do that stuff,” he said, while slowly doing a cool down pedal.
His spin-a-thon teammate, Sergeant Amanda Hattie, who works at 17 MSS Supply, said the event was a great way to see other units on the Wing.
“We can catch up with people in a fun environment and fund raiser for GCWCC. This is a great effort for everyone on the Wing.”
They were pedaling for fun and charity.