At PARC, people who have suffered spinal cord injury are able to access a unique exercise facility that includes wheelchair-accessible strength-training machines, upper and lower body bikes, and GameCycle ergometers that incorporate popular video games for cardiovascular training. Participants use Smart Cards to track their progress as well as to provide raw data to researchers for analysis. School of Kinesiology students work as exercise assistants and supervisors at the facility, helping clients set up and use the equipment while providing encouragement and support throughout their exercise routine. The program offers practical work experience and professional development opportunities to students from the School of Kinesiology, while providing a valuable service to people with spinal cord injury in our community.
PARC is located on the ground floor of the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. The centre is managed and run by International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), an interdisciplinary research centre focused on spinal cord injury. Researchers at ICORD are dedicated to the development and translation of more effective strategies to promote prevention, functional recovery, and improved quality of life after spinal cord injury. PARC is a valuable resource for researchers, allowing them to observe the progress of clients as they undertake exercise and physical activity programs, under the supervision of Kinesiology students. Kinesiology students played a critical role in enabling the PARC to open in April 2013, and are key to the ongoing day-to-day supervision of the centre. They are our ambassadors and the primary conduit between PARC users and researchers, and are vital to helping us establish the PARC as a model of collaboration between researchers and the wider community.
Donations to PARC will directly support continued student training and professional development opportunities, as well as equipment and space updates to enhance the student learning experience within the Centre. Your gift helps us operate a unique facility for people with physical disabilities, where they can participate in exercise and physical activity while creating high quality hands-on experience for UBC Kinesiology students. Please make your gift today.