University partners with 1st Choice Savings to present community events

The University of Lethbridge is thankful for the support from 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union as they partner for a pair of exciting community events taking place on campus in the next week.

On Wednesday evening, 1st Choice Savings is sponsoring the final Canada West home games of the regular season for the Pronghorns basketball teams (games at 6 and 8 p.m.) by presenting a Free Student Night. With a possible home playoff berth on the line for the Horns men’s team, it promises to be a big night in the 1st Choice Savings Centre gymnasium.

During a break in the action, 1st Choice Savings will be making a significant donation to support the facility that bears their name. The 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness is a hub for community athletic events, regularly hosting athletes, coaches and community members from across southern Alberta.

One such event, Play Day, will take place Monday, February 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., inviting families from Lethbridge and area to come out and play.

Thousands of children and parents have converged on the University the past two Family Days, and with an out-of-this-world space theme planned for the third annual event, Play Day promises to reach even greater heights.

“We have a lot of really wonderful events here on campus where we can connect with the southern Alberta community and Play Day just seems to take it to another level,” says University of Lethbridge President and Vice-chancellor, Dr. Mike Mahon. “It’s something I’m always extremely excited about because the concept is so simple, and yet the benefits of bringing families together to engage in play are so far-reaching.”

All this would not be possible without the vision and support of 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union, who partners with the University to host the annual event.

“The opportunity for us to partner with the University in a program that really promotes family and community is very close to the heart of what makes credit unions different,” says Brian Kinahan (BMgt ’79), president & CEO of 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union and a U of L alumnus. “One of our core values is “care for our community” and seeing the smiles on the faces of children and their parents as they come out to enjoy the great facilities that the University has to offer helps us to know how important that value is.”

The activity list for Play Day 2014 includes everything Play Day veterans have come to know and love as well as some exciting new offerings. The ever-popular cardboard box free build returns, as do the physical activity zones such as basketball, floor hockey, gymnastics and the climbing wall. The photo booth and face-painting areas will once again be hives of activity, while the swimming pool is also expected to be busy.

This year’s space theme will integrate itself into a variety of zones, including the Science Zone, where participants can first create and then launch their own rockets. There’s also an opportunity to build a solar system, colonize Mars, program your parent and succeed in space-themed computer challenges. Add in a variety of space games such as Angry Birds Space, Alien Invasion and Lightsabre Wars and Play Day offers a full day of activity.

Admission and parking for Play Day are free and people are encouraged to bring gym shoes, comfortable clothing and a swimsuit to maximize their opportunity for fun.

“I’ve always found that families who encourage play and spend time playing together really strengthen those family bonds,” adds Mahon, whose play research has focused on sports, physical activity and the concept of play among youth in developing countries. “As a University devoted to bettering our community, Play Day is the essence of that spirit.”