Welcoming back our CHAMPS campers

Now in it's third year, the Children's Healthy Heart Camps in Saskatchewan (CHAMPS) is bringing a special group of kids together for a unique opportunity

The U of S campus opens its doors, green spaces and facilities to many young people over the summer months.  Children have an opportunity to participate in learning opportunities from STEM to drama, medieval history and more.  The College of Kinesiology and Recreation Services offers many activity-based camps and swimming lessons but there is a unique camp running this week in and around the PAC for a courageous group of kids.

The Children's Healthy Heart Camp in Saskatchewan - or CHAMPS - is now celebrating its third year of bringing children with cardiac conditions together in a supportive, safe environment that encourages them to build their confidence and participate in physical activity opportunities.  These kids may have been unable to play sports or engage in physically demanding activities previously due to their individual health circumstances.  However, with careful monitoring, camp gives them a chance to push their boundaries, try new things and surprise themselves with what they can do.  As the only camp of its kind in Canada, we are excited to welcome our CHAMPS campers back again this year.

The origins of CHAMPS began in a multidisciplinary team research grant awarded to Dr. Marta Erlandson and Dr. Corey Tomczak in the College of Kinesiology along with pediatric cardiology colleagues from the College of Medicine here at the U of S and a psychology colleague from the University of Regina.  Each day’s activities are based in a specially designed chronic disease management and prevention program with sessions targeted for children with congenital heart conditions.  In addition to fun games and activities, indoors and out, the campers also have an opportunity to learn about nutrition and managing their emotional responses to health issues. 

Initial funding and continued support for the camp came from the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan but several other supporters have stepped in to ensure that camp continued this year.  The video above highlights some special moments from a day of camp as a thank you to those organizations and individuals who have made an incredible week possible.  Click to view the highlights from a day's events or follow the link to the YouTube channel to catch up on other videos about CHAMPS.

More fun memories from this year's camp have also been shared on the Mending Little Hearts of Saskatchewan Facebook page.

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