The Seven Oaks Wellness Institute is probably the most popular facility in north Winnipeg.
This world-class, not-for-profit fitness and wellness hub is a beehive of activities. Serving a large and growing membership of over 6,300, the centre quietly goes along its business of assisting residents with illness prevention, fitness activities and quality lifestyles.
Established in 1996, the huge (80,000 sq. feet) multipurpose building is an extension of the Seven Oaks Genera Hospital, located at 1075 Leila Ave.
Since 2003, to meet the growing and diverse wellness needs of the community, the state-of-the-art facility has had three major renovations and upgrades. Improvements included additional health education rooms and a rehab clinic.
"We are very proud to be the leader in health and wellness in our community," said Casie Nishi, executive director of the Seven Oaks Wellness Institute.
The Wellness Institute has a broad range of over 200 pieces of exercise equipment and several rooms for classes. The centre presents up to 100 classes every week, including strength training, diabetes prevention, smoking cessation, mental health information and nutrition. Many of these are free to the public.
A unique feature of the centre is the sports component. The basketball, pickle-ball (a blend of tennis and table tennis), badminton courts and the running track are very popular with the younger members and guests.
The Wellness Institute is receiving global recognition. It recently signed a partership agreement with a Chinese organization to reproduce its Seven Oaks model of chronic disease prevention and management for 20,000 hospitals in China.
Ruben Latour joined the Wellness Centre last October, and attends four times a week.
He does brisk walks on the oval track but he says his favourite activity is playing pickle-ball.
"I never felt better. I should have joined years ago," Latour said.
For more info, visit the website — wellnessinstitute.ca — or phone 204-632-3900
Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org