Volunteers of the Month Shae and Tianna

Our volunteers of the month, Shae and Tianna, are both kinesiology students in their last year at VIU. They are busy girls. Besides being full time students, they also run their own fitness company, Vera Fitness in Parksville. Shae also works at a Physiotherapy clinic in Parksville.

Even though they are super busy, they still find time to volunteer at Orca Place. Once a month they put on a low impact fitness class for residents. The class is accessible to all levels of ability and tailored towards stretching and flexibility.

Having been volunteers with ICCS for a little over a year, Shae explains that Sara, the Volunteer Coordinator for ICCS reached out to them. Both had been looking for a volunteer position and the opportunity to teach at Orca Place was the perfect fit for them.

Teaching once a month has been “… really nice because we have gotten to know the same people. It’s always a pretty small group. We just come for half an hour and do some stretches. We can chat and get to know each other. The participants love to chat, which we love. It’s so much fun.” Shae describes her experience of volunteering at Orca Place.

Classes run in the community room or outside in the summer when weather allows. There are usually four or five people in the class, but Shae and Tianna have the capacity to teach more. “Some people think they are not in the right shape to do it, but Tianna and I both specialize in corrective exercise, diverse exercise. So we can adapt a lot of things and it’s very individualized.” Shae explains.

Is there anything that stands out for you I want to know.

“There was one client who was so excited to come in and show us a video of a personal best that he did at the gym over the past month. That was a really cool moment because you could tell how excited he was to show us. And it’s just always nice to see the same people and know a bit more about them and what their life is like and they share their story. It’s just wonderful to have that continuity because I think for clients it is important to be heard and seen.”

Reflecting on her experience at Orca Place Shae adds that “community connections are really important to us and it’s been cool because we live in Parksville and we’ll go out for walks and we’ll see some of the clients and then we are able to say hi and we can chat.”