Alex Jegier recently completed the Recreation North Training Program. Alex lives in Whitehorse, YT and earned a Certificate in Northern Recreation Leadership in December 2020. Alex shared a bit about his experience.
I am grateful to live on the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council in Whitehorse, Yukon. My involvement with recreation is life long. I was first involved in Aquatics in Toronto, moving up from lifeguarding and lifesaving/swim instructor programs before moving into aquatic fitness. I then went on to pursue a Kinesiology and Health Science degree at York University where I completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours as well as an Athletic Therapy Certificate. I was able to move up to the Yukon for a job as a Therapy Assistant in Continuing Care, where I was introduced to other forms of therapy including Recreation Therapy. After several years, I switched gears and started working at ElderActive Recreation Association, first as a Program Coordinator before transitioning into the Executive Director role. Outside of work I continue to be active by biking all season, and trying new winter sports like snowshoeing, kicksledding, cross country skiing, and the occasional downhill ski. I am always up for trying new things, as I welcome the challenge of learning new skills and developing personally.
I liked that the training was all online with regular calls with recreation leaders from across the North. It was always fascinating to check the map of where people were calling from and to hear their stories. Places like Sanikiluaq and Kinngait, NU, and Enterprise and Inuvik, NT. It really expanded my worldview (or should I say Northern Canadian-view). A challenge was keeping up with a full-time job, but the Trainers were really accommodating. I have been exposed to great foundational knowledge in recreation like the various frameworks which I continue to use in my management role. I am also really excited to continue learning in the new Northern Recreation Management Certificate that is being offered.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Continue to work hard and always think about how to use what you are learning in your day to day. That was key for me, always asking the questions: “How can I use what I am learning right now?” “Does what I’m learning apply to my current job? If not, why not and do I think that I could tweak what I am learning to apply to my job?” Chances are there is always something that you can learn and grow from. Asking for help is the key to this, and there are amazing Trainers with a wealth of knowledge and experience that help you make this training applicable to your work. All you have to do is take the first step (register!) and ask.