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2017 Wellness Champions: 

Kata Performance

Pictured are Scott Allen (right) and his kata partner Darren Takao (left)

Living by Seiryoku Zenyo and Jita Kyoei

Our December Wellness Champion is Kata competitor and Judo instructor, Scott Allen. Scott is a faculty member in the psychology department at the University of Lethbridge.

Scott described himself as getting “into the game late” as he has only been involved with Judo for the past 13 years. Scott was actually introduced to the philosophy and sport side of Judo when his son started taking classes at the dojo here at the U of L. Through accompanying his son to his classes and observing them, he found himself more and more interested in Judo. He thought that it “looked fun and was a great form of exercise”. He also noted that he really admired the philosophy of Judo.

Scott explained that there are different forms and ways of expression in Judo. There is the fighting side – Shiai, which he does not compete in, and the more choreographed form – Kata. Katas are meant to demonstrate the principles of judo. Scott explained that “you can also see those principles demonstrated in shiai, but you must have a much faster and more practiced eye.” Scott said when he competes in Kata, he does so with a partner. Through his positive attitude and commitment to both Kata performance and teaching, Scott has earned himself a second degree Black Belt.

Scott first started to get involved with teaching classes when the late sensei, Sensei Yoshio Senda, needed help running classes. Sensei Senda was the reason he got into instructing classes. He began teaching beginners classes and then worked his way into junior classes. Scott earned his NCCP level 2 coaching certification about 5 years ago. He has been running classes for about 7 years now and spends typically 3 – 4 nights a week at the dojo. Scott has also travelled throughout Western Canada to referee judo competitions. Scott said that if a bunch of kids from his club are going to compete in a certain competition, he will tag along to contribute as a referee for the duration of that competition.

Scott said that Sensei Yoshio Senda and his wife, Florence, have both been huge inspirations to him throughout the years. Sensei Senda’s philosophy was “you can better yourself by always showing respect for others, and to always give it your best in whatever you do.” Scott explained that Sensei Senda really believed in producing not only champions, but more importantly, good citizens. This attitude and viewpoint has been one of the main inspirations for Scott.

Scott explained that the two main principles of judo as established by Jigoro Kano who invented Judo in 1882 are: Seiryoku Zenyo and Jita Kyoei. He said that Mr. Senda’s translation of the Japanese was: “Maximum efficient use of mind and body (Seiryoku Zenyo), for the mutual welfare and benefit of all (Jita Kyoei)”. Scott added that “you can see that contributing to your community embodies [both of] those principles.”

It is safe to say that Scott lives by Sensei Senda’s philosophy, by striving to better himself and others through the art of Judo.

Smoke or Shine – Let’s Go For a “Big Ride”

Our November Wellness Champion is the Gran Fondo participant, Joey Grace – Executive Assistant in the President's Office. 

After buying herself a quality hybrid bike, Joey asked her sister Sharon to join her in training for the annual Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo bike raceA Gran Fondo is an Italian term which loosely translates to “big ride,” typically 120 – 150 kms. For their first bike race, Joey and Sharon opted to do the Medio Fondo which was going to be 102 kms, riding from St. Eugene to Cranbrook, Kimberley, Wasa Lake, Fort Steele and back to St. Eugene. The two set out on a two-month training program for the big day. Their training consisted of 3 rides per week, 2 short rides and 1 long ride on the weekend. Between training and the race, Joey and her sister rode over 1100 kms.

During their training, Joey took the initiative to keep track of their progress, while noting their favourite routes. She also used the Strava app, to see elevation gain, average and maximum speed, and as an overall motivation to enhance her training performance.

The race day looked a little different than what Joey and Sharon had anticipated, as the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo was cancelled due to the danger of many fires in the area and poor air quality. As devastating as this news was, Joey and her sister decided that they did not train vigorously for the past 2-months to not complete their “big ride.” They took matters into their own hands and established the, “Joey and Sharon’s Medio – 100 km Fondo in Lethbridge.”  

Joey took to Google Maps and created their own race route. Because the route had to start and finish at Joey's house, and hills had to be included to make it as comparable to the Kootenay's as possible, approximately 40 kms had to be done in the city. “This route is a close as we could get it to what we would have done in the Kootenay’s had we been there, including going up the West side hill at km 80” said Joey. They organized their own schedule and included “pit stops” at three locations with family and friends to refuel and rehydrate.

Their very own race day came, and the ladies finished in 6 hours with pit stops, leaving their final race time at 5 hours and 4 minutes!! They still endured poor air quality in Lethbridge with the smoke, and the heat rising to 33 degrees by noon – all of which did not get in the way of completing their Gran Fondo!

Joey’s rides did not stop there, as she is currently biking across Canada with her hybrid bike and stationary spin bike. She keeps track of her distances using google maps, as well as the Strava app and her biking stats. She’s currently on her way on HWY 1 to Swift Current! This is another indicator to showcase the love that Joey has for biking and remaining physically active.

We would like to congratulate Joey on her amazing completion of a Gran Fondo! A truly remarkable achievement of motivation and physical activity.

Until next year's Gran Fondo…

October Wellness Champion

The 18th annual Lost Soul Ultramarathon was held on September 8-9, 2017 in Lethbridge. The trail course runs through the river valley coulees on public and private land. In this event, 320 ultra-marathoners race against each other, the elements and the unrelenting hills in one of three distances: 100 miles, 100 km or 50 km. It is a gruelling course with record high temperatures this year reaching 34 degrees Celsius in extremely smoky conditions from the forest fires. The race attracts runners from all over the world. This year a University of Lethbridge employee Richard Carvalho (Facilities) reached a milestone which only a select group has achieved. He finished his 10th (local) 100 mile race, 16th overall ultra-race. There are only 2 other runners who have achieved this milestone of completing 1000 miles. The completion rate for the 100 mile race is less than 50% every year and in particular this year the finish rate was 33% (19 out of 57). Richard had a strong finish time of 27 hours and 20 minutes which is well below the maximum allowable time of 33 hours. Congratulations to Richard on such an incredible accomplishment!

Richard’s extensive running journey began when he came across someone wearing an Ultramarathon T-Shirt, and thought it was a myth. However, through his own research found this to be true and decided to pursue this personal undertaking. Richard values the Lethbridge community with businesses like, Runner’s Soul encouraging community engagement and running, and the terrain that we are surrounded with, the coulee trails and river-bottom landscape. As Richard describes his running career with a humbling smile, he says that anyone can complete these races. It is all a part of a personal undertaking, with no pursuit of recognition, to fulfill a personal endeavor. It becomes a focus of your mental ability and how you can overcome times of lows, sleep deprivation, and exhaustion. Although Richard has faced his own challenges regarding these lows, he has persevered with the support and encouragement he receives. “It keeps me going,” says Richard.

Richard describes the Ultramarathons as a fortunate and fun experience to challenge your body and mind. His enjoyment stems from the trails and how your foot is placed and how the trails beckon you. He finds himself experiencing a meditative release while occupying the mind and body. Richard has expressed that he will continue on with these races and his running career for as long as he can, as long as it’s fun!

Congratulations on your remarkable accomplishment, Richard. Although, completing an Ultramarathon may not be for everyone, the philosophy to stay active for as long as you can and as long as it is fun – is something I think we all can strive towards!!

Craig Churchward, Dwayne Pepin, Mark Sera, Joel Makin, Gabe Krywolt (missing Dale Jeremias)


We would like to recognize the Financial Services Department for their initiative to have a ‘walking break’ everyday at 2:30 pm over the last 5 years. Although they referred to themselves as the, “Born to be Mild”  group, I hesitate to call their commitment to an active break throughout the day, as mild.

“It started out when more information was coming out about the dangers of being sedentary, so we decided to get up, move around, and stretch from our desks,” said Gabe Krywolt. “At first it revolved around getting food or coffee and then taking the long way back,” Gabe went on to say. “Eventually we ditched the coffee and it evolved purely into a walk and getting back to the desks refreshed,” added Craig Churchward.

The walking breaks, although informal, have become a regular part of their working days, developing campus routes dependent on the seasons. “We have a summer route and a winter route, and we named a route after Dwayne Pepin, called the ‘Dwayne Parkway’ that we take on special occasions,” says Gabe. Poor weather does not limit their walking breaks either, as they will modify to an indoor route.

“Other staff and faculty have approached me saying they have noticed us walking around,” Gabe says. Although the breaks usually consist of 5 – 6 Finance guys, they encourage others in their office or around campus to join. “We are always looking for new members, maybe it will turn into a membership, maybe we’ll get t-shirts,” Craig joked. These informal breaks can be a way to be social with your co-workers and to get up and move around, especially if you are working at a desk all day. It is an important practice we can all learn from the Finance Department. So, if you see them walking around, join them, and hear all about the topic of conversation with the “Born to be Mild” group.



Cindy Matheson (Financial Services- Cash Office) is on a major streak- a running streak.


As of April 26, Cindy has run every day for 1,064 days!

She  runs at least one mile per day and tries to log 14-20 miles a week, along with other activities. 

We asked Cindy about why she started this streak and how she stays motivated.


Why did you set this goal? I love to run & was getting frustrated with myself for taking too many days off.  I heard a story about a runner named Jon Sutherland – who at that time, had run every day for 44 years!! I figured I could commit ten minutes or so each day to run at least a mile.    


What is your motivation to continue with this running challenge?  It is a commitment to being active each day, I’m very grateful every day I get to run!


What if you are not feeling well? When I started my journey, the criteria was if I was in pain, or too sick, I could stop anytime.  So far, I’ve found a way to keep going no matter how I’ve been feeling.


We had a killer winter this year (lots of -30C)- do you take it indoors for those days or brave the cold? Love my treadmill, and get outside more in the warmer weather.  I try to get out to run up & down whoop a few times over the nicer months. 


What do you do on the days that are super hectic and a million last minute things pop up? For the most part, I get up early to run before work.  Once I ran at 1:30 AM because I was traveling, and made sure to get my run in that day before we left home. 


How do you motivate yourself on days you are tired?  I think of how far I’ve come, and how disappointed I would feel with myself if I skipped a day & gave up my running streak just for being tired. 


What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?  I love to run, it’s really hard!!  Every time I add another day, or finish a run I’ve entered it just makes me really happy to get to do something I enjoy every day.   


What advice would you give someone who wants to try a similar challenge?  Just go for it!!  If you think of it as committing to 10-12 minutes a day, it doesn’t seem so scary.  All of a sudden it’s something that you don’t’ even think about as it becomes such a habit.  This was my own commitment to being active & healthy.  I don’t compare myself to anyone, it’s all about my love of running.  When I started this journey, at the time it wasn’t a big deal.  Now I’m trying to keep it going for a few more years until my next “milestone” birthday. 

Way to go Cindy!!!

April Wellness Champions - U of L Dragon Boaters heading to New Zealand to World Master Games!

We have some world travellers going to Auckland New Zealand to compete in the World Master Games (Dragon Boating). Here's a bit about our employees (past and present) and alumni representing U of L!

Linda Gilbert, Executive Assistant to the Provost & VP (Academic).
The UofL has provided me with many opportunities of various health-related classes/activities over the years and, in 2009, it opened up the door to competitive Dragon Boat racing.  Since then I have paddled with the UofL Fiat Dux team and various women’s teams. It is not only about training and racing, but more importantly, the team work and camaraderie it creates. I am excited to be competing in the WMG Dragon Boat event in New Zealand, representing the UofL, Lethbridge, and Canada!  Though it is not the Olympics, it will feel like it for those of us that are ‘of age’!

Becky Lore, Manager, Scholarships and Student Finance.
I started dragon boating with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorn Paddlers team in 2013. I never thought I’d like the sport as much as I do.  There is something about being on the water that gives me a sense of rejuvenation.  I’ve never gotten that feeling in a motorized boat, but paddling makes any day a nice day!  I heard about the possibility of a Lethbridge team going to New Zealand and I thought that would be a perfect pairing – a sport I enjoy while travelling to a country I’ve wanted to visit!

Lynn Ambedian, Former Director, Academic Scheduling & Student Records, Arts & Science.  I first tried dragon boating in 2003 when U of L assembled their first team, Fiat Dux, but after a personally disastrous season as the boat’s steersman, I slunk away from the sport.  Then six or seven years ago I rejoined Fiat Dux as the drummer and have been an enthusiastic team member ever since.

When word came out of the possibility of a team going to the World Masters Games in Auckland, I was keen to participate (understatement).  But now I’m INSIDE the boat as a paddler.    Big learning curve, big fun.   What a great bunch of dragons have come together for this, and what an experience we’ll have.

Jean Harrowing, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, BASc (Biological Sciences) 1978. I am honoured to have had so many doors opened to me as a result of being part of the U of L community—first, my extraordinary education as an undergrad student; later as my children attended sports and dance activities as well as undergraduate education; for the last 15 years as a member of the Faculty of Health Sciences; and most recently as a member of the U of L Pronghorn Paddlers! I am excited to be departing shortly for Auckland to compete with my Coulee Classics teammates. I am grateful to U of L for providing pool time for our team to practice over the last 15 months.

Karen Johnson BMgt '86, Senator.  An Alumnus of the U of L, Karen is very proud of the 30+years of career her degree provided her with the City of Lethbridge. In her recent retirement, you can find Karen coaching a group of adventurous paddlers at the Max Bell Pool on Monday nights and Thursdays at noon.
Karen started out with the City of Lethbridge Dragn’ R Butz crew in the first year of the festival, 2002.  She has paddled in various locations in Canada and also has numerous coaching and paddling certifications. Karen is the coach of Fiat Dux and has also has been the race chair of the ATB Financial Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival since 2010.
Karen has many other hobbies and interests and is a very active member and past president of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Sunrise, and a member of the University of Lethbridge Senate, chair of the Outreach Committee.
With all of this paddling "under her belt", Karen is looking forward to paddling in New Zealand taking our crews to another level - World Masters Games!! 
‘Teamwork makes the Dream Work!!’ (unknown)

List of Participants (alumni, and staff)



former Director, Academic Scheduling & Student Records, Arts & Science



B.N. (1999)


Damen (Carey)

B.N. (1987)



Executive Assistant to the Provost & VP (Academic)


(Leah) Gross

B.A. (1980); B.Ed (1984); M.Ed (1996)



B.N. (2000); M.Sc. (2009); former Faculty in Health Sciences



Associate Professor, Health Sciences



B.N. (1982)



B.Mgt (1986) & UofL Senator



Manager, Scholarships & Student Finance



B.A. (1983)



B.Ed (1980)



B.Ed (1985)