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Exercise science students win student bowl, assist vets

Spring is off to an auspicious start for exercise science students at Colorado Mesa University. March 28–29, members of the Exercise Physiology Research Club (EPRC) won the student bowl at a Denver conference. March 30–April 4, 10 students volunteered at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic (NDVWSC)—the only college students among the volunteers.

The Rocky Mountain chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) hosts an annual meeting featuring two student competitions. “We try to go every year,” said club advisor Brent Alumbaugh. “Some of our students present a poster project—we had three this year. At the end, there’s a student bowl where they ask exercise physiology [and biomechanics] questions in a Jeopardy format.”

Participating club members included Sam Phillips, Ryan Teal, Nate Bachman, Samantha Meinrod, Keonimana Shigematsu and Nicole Brimhall. The team, which was competing against graduate and doctoral students, did not win the poster category but dominated the student bowl, winning the championship. May 27–31, the EPRC will advance to the ACSM nationals in Orlando, Fla. for the third year in a row.

Several members, including Teal and Bachman, joined their classmates in Snowmass, Colo. the following week for the NDVWSC, a world-leader in adaptive winter sports instruction for nearly 30 years.

“It’s the largest event of its kind for winter sports,” said Teal. “It’s free for the veterans with physical or mental disabilities. … They get to ski or snowboard with adaptive equipment, and there’s a variety of alternative activities such as kayaking, adaptive curling, scuba diving and sled hockey. The aim is to get them involved in activities that they can go home and continue to participate in.”

Kinesiology department head Jill Cordova and kinesiology professor Gig Leadbetter have been involved in the program for years, leading to a unique opportunity for CMU students, who were the only college students accepted as volunteers.

“You just can’t compare it to anything else,” Bachman said. “It really can’t even be put into words. The event had been described to me, but once I actually got there it was just way beyond anything I could have imagined. We’re pretty lucky.” •

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