Wellness Centre at College of the Bahamas Opened

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Minister of State for Youth and Sports the Hon. Byran Woodside and College of the Bahamas president Janyne Hodder cut the ribbon to officially open the Wellness Centre on the campus.

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Students qualified in physical fitness put on a demonstration during the opening ceremonies of the Wellness Centre at the College of the Bahamas on Friday, February 15, 2008. (Photos/Tim Aylen)

By: Lindsay Thompson

NASSAU, Bahamas –
Minister of State for Youth and Sports, the Hon Byran Woodside officially opened the College of the Bahamas Wellness Centre; a modern multipurpose facility on the campus in Oakes Field, during a ceremony Friday.

The centre will also serve to facilitate a national health database for the Ministry of Health and Social Development in its thrust towards a healthy nation.

“This augurs well for the College as it moves towards a University of The Bahamas, as well as towards promoting its athletic programme,” Mr. Woodside said.

He credited Minister of Health and Social Development the Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis with leading the way in respect to wellness and the general health of the population.

“Given his position in challenging our nation to be a healthy nation, I too believe that the health of the nation is the wealth of the nation,” Mr. Woodside said.

He said the establishment of the wellness centre would serve COB for a number of reasons. Firstly, it will be “a wonderful facility” for the instruction of physical education and training for those who are studying to become physical education teachers.

“This facility will also serve the general student population and faculty at the College of the Bahamas. I believe that is important because students and faculty will have a place on campus to which they can come and exercise and generally improve their wellness,” Mr. Woodside said.

The College envisioned the facility close to 10 years ago. The facility emerged from a 10×10 sized room to a 4,000 sq ft structure built at an estimated cost of $1 million. It houses administrative offices, a weightlifting area, storage and equipment room, male and female locker rooms, an area for aerobics classes, yoga, palates, martial arts, dance classes, physical education classes, counselling and monthly sessions on a variety of health matters.

Two weeks ago, a health-risk assessment exercise was performed on over 300 individuals connected to the College. The information is to be used in the establishment of a national health database for the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
Bradley Cooper is Assistant Director of Athletics for Wellness at the centre. Student workers have undergone 16 hours of training to serve as fitness instructors, under the direction of Arlene McPhee. They will also be trained in CPR and First Aid techniques.

COB President Janyne Hodder said of the College that on matters important to the quality of life of the nation, “we want to be a leader.” She also referred the facility as another step in moving towards university status.