Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada, Aune Foundation and Selwyn House School kicked off the Brains & Brawn Design Challenge and Gaming Tournament today. The series of events launched with a virtual exercise program featuring a surprise superstar guest, NHL superstar and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid.
“It is so important to stay both mentally and physically healthy during these challenging times that the pandemic has presented us with,” said McDavid. “Take care of your brain, whether you are on the ice, on the field or playing video games. Regular exercise, eating healthy and sleeping well are all very important for being at your best.”
The students then followed Connor through an exercise program led by Ben Velazquez, a world-renowned therapeutic exercise specialist, to start preparing them for the Brains & Brawn event.
On Friday, May 7th at 12 pm, the Design Challenge is available to all Canadian students aged 13-17, who wish to participate. Students can “play” as individuals or in teams of two or three.
The link to register is: p4t.io/impact-sport
The event is free for all Canadian students, courtesy of the Aune Foundation.
The Design Challenge is an event created by a team of passionate tech experts, start-up founders, athletic performance experts and social changemakers, who are passionate about teaching and coaching technology through the power of play. The event will promote the world-changing imagination and creativity of young people from all socio-economic backgrounds.
The goal is of the Design Challenge is to help participating students design new ideas and prototypes that will help maximize the brain health and performance of Canadian students. The best ideas will be eligible for prizes such as NHL tickets, Nike gear and internship opportunities.
“My heart goes out to all students across Canada,” said Selwyn House Old Boy Jonathan Aune ’92, Director of Aune Foundation. “While we can never replace basketball and hockey games or field trips cancelled during the pandemic, we want to help host a fun virtual event for young students, while teaching essential lessons about brain performance that they can apply for a lifetime.”
“Adolescent screen time has doubled during the pandemic,” said fellow Old Boy Tim Fleiszer ’92, Executive Director of Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada (CLF). “Empowering students to improve their brain health and performance is a great gift, especially as we start contemplating the in-person return to school and sports in the fall.”
“Selwyn House School is proud to host the Design Challenge,” said Mike Downey, Headmaster of Selwyn House School. “Students’ brain health is key to their performance. We want our students to venture into uncharted areas and disciplines with the confidence to explore, challenge, and innovate without worrying about the limitations of failure. Being able to share this event with other schools in the Montreal community and across North America is part of Selwyn House’s commitment of teaching students to be ‘True to your world.’”
“This is a great opportunity for our students to be active and recognize that professional athletes are feeling the same way they do,” says Mike Maurovich, Athletic Director, Selwyn House School. “The message from and workout with Connor McDavid will stimulate their competitive spirit which can then be channeled into the Design Challenge.”
“This is an exceptional educational experience for students involving design thinking, engineering, creativity, and teamwork,” says Brenda Montgomery, Director of Academic Innovation & Growth at Selwyn House School. “I am thrilled that this program has launched in Quebec.”
“Our understanding of the impact of exercise on brain health is rapidly expanding. It is my pleasure to share some advanced protocols with Canadian students that, up until now, have only been available to elite professional athletes,” says Ben Velazquez, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist.
It’s been a blast to re-connect with Jon and work with the Selwyn staff,” says Tim Fleiszer. “It feels like coming home.”
"I concur with Tim,” says Jon Aune. “It feels like home. My life has come full circle all the way back to my roots at SHS. I love it.”
Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada
Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada was founded in December of 2012 by Tim Fleiszer to help solve the concussion crisis in Canada. Since that time, CLF Canada has operated prevention, education and awareness events across the country, reaching more than 26,000 Canadians in person and millions of Canadians digitally. CLF Canada received its charitable status in January of 2014. In 2017, CLFC launched the Rowan's Legacy Project in Ottawa, ON to honour the late Rowan Stringer. In March 2018, Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018 (“Rowan’s Law”) was passed with unanimous support from all parties and received Royal Assent.
Established in 2019, the Aune Foundation supports non-profit organizations focused in the areas of brain and mental health, youth development and medical research. We believe these to be key contributors to personal and collective health and that the betterment of education, research and treatment in these areas is essential to improving the lives of Canadians – and people all over the world. Through financial donations and personal commitment, we aim to help passionate leaders with the capacity to effect lasting change.