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illustration by Mico Mazza

FOR THE PAST 12 years, kinesiology students across Canada have participated in the Kin Games—an annual competiton of academics and sports. This year, March 23–25, the Kin Games will be hosted by  the University of Ottawa human kinetics and the Faculty of Health Science with 25 schools participating.

“Kin Games is a massive student-run event that is growing every year and that involves kinesiology students from all over Canada to compete for ‘The Shoe,’” said Mike Warren, one of the head organizers and a third-yeah human kinetics student at the U of O. “This year is the largest Kin Games conference to date, with 25 other universities and 620 participants staying in Ottawa.”

The U of O put forward a bid to host the games two years ago when the competition was being held in Guelph—the team captains held a meeting and decided it was time to put Ottawa on the map.

“We joked about hosting the games prior to the meeting and thought it would be funny if a pair of first-year students took on the task of hosting this event,” said Warren. “We just wanted to make sure Kin Games was brought to the nation’s capital to bring an amazing event to our school.”

Ryan Murray, the other head organizer of the Kin Games and a fourth-year human kinetics student at the U of O, said the preparations are going smoothly.

“We have a 15-person executive. We’ve been working closely with the Faculty of Health Sciences as well, which has been great,” said Murray.

Both Warren and Murray have participated in the games before, but Warren said organizing the games was an eye-
opening experience.

“The amount of work that has been put into organizing this event is daunting, but overall it has been a positive experience,” he said. “My council has been fantastic throughout, all of them have sacrificed a lot of time to ensure this event is as good as it can be and I cannot thank them enough.”

Warren said they had to cut back on events because it was impossible to fit everything into one weekend. This year, participants will enjoy a spirit rally, a variety of sports—like dodgeball, water polo, indoor soccer, and ultimate Frisbee—as well as a Jeopardy!-style academic challenge and other social events.

“The nights are always a blast for Kin Games and this year is no exception,” said Warren. “Our nightlife is highlighted by the banquet held at the [Ottawa Convention Centre], where we will hand out the awards and get everyone together decked out in their formal wear.”

The ultimate goal is to obtain “The Shoe” and win the games. Although Ottawa hasn’t placed first yet, Warren hopes U of O can win this year.

“There’s the prestigious shoe, which is literally an award with an old shoe on it, and that’s the overall award,” said Murray. “But [the Kin Games are] also an opportunity for students across the country to converse about kinesiology and human kinetics and learn different things.”

—Jane Lytvynenko