Students step up to energetic challenges

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Students step up to energetic challenges

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Published on 6 November 2012

6 November 2012

Students at the University of the Sunshine Coast have taken some interesting steps towards becoming more physically active this semester thanks to an exciting new group on campus called USC Activate.

Seventy students joined the group in August with the aim of providing a range of outdoor activities – both on campus and off campus – that offer physical and social benefits to the University community.

USC Activate is the brainchild of third-year Environmental Science student Brenton Owens who came up with the idea while studying in Norway as part of USC’s Global Opportunities (GO) Program.

“The university I went to over there, Sogn og Fjordane University College, had a well-established group, which I have modelled USC Activate on,” he said.

“Exercise boosts brain power and enhances the capacity for learning, plus we add the all-so-valuable social aspect as well. It’s not about winners and losers. It’s about everyone getting out there and enjoying what the Sunshine Coast has to offer.”

Brenton said USC staff and students had shown plenty of interest in a weekly activity called slacklining – balancing on nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points above the ground.

“This is a relatively new sport in Australia,” he said. 

Off-campus activities have included hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and camping.

“We are also hoping to inspire people to organise some activities on their own,” Brenton said.

“USC Activate has received two grants this semester for the purchase of camping and climbing equipment that will be available to members to use at their own leisure.”

Brenton said his own active lifestyle, coupled with the skills he’d gained as a member of USC’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), had given him the confidence to launch the new group at the start of this semester.

“I enjoy all types of activities where I can be challenged and I love to teach these things and watch people overcome their own challenges,” he said. “I am also able to draw support from my networks across the University.”

USC Activate has its own Facebook page.

— Michelle Widdicombe

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