Nepean Sportsplex hosts its first ever fitness and wellness expo

"The expo brings exposure for people who need a change in their life," said an exhibitor
Photo: Jude Osmond
Coach Aaron Kruger of the Kanata Academy of Martial Arts demonstrates a jab on Feb. 3 at the Nepean Sportsplex.

Down the street from the Algonquin College Woodroffe Campus, the Nepean Sportsplex held its first-ever Fitness and Wellness Expo on Feb 3.

The event hosted various small companies, ranging from a vendor who can help with anxiety and to one that sells underwater fitness to patches that could turn you into a superhero.

“We are trying to find more avenues for smaller companies,” said Sherry Coulterman, managing director of the expo.

Most of the exhibitors knew each other from around the city, especially the two martial arts academies, Rockland and Kanata. The busiest booth at the expo was the Kanata Academy of Martial Arts. Aaron Kruger, a coach with the academy, offered visitors to the booth information about what they do. He also did demonstrations.

Kruger found out about Kanata Academy of Martial Arts when he was in a dark place in his life. He said it helped him find himself, and he hopes the expo can do the same for other people.

“The expo brings exposure for people who need a change in their life,” said Kruger.

The Kanata Academy of Martial Arts held a demonstration for people to try out the academy’s classes, giving them a chance to throw about a dozen punches and kicks, which had a lot of people participating.

Even some older adults wanted to get some kicks in.

A student at the academy, Ray Cote, who dreams about working for the UFC, is passionate about Muay Thai.

“There are only a few ways to bench press, only a few ways to squat,” said Cote. “But there are about a 1000 ways to kick and punch in fighting. That’s what got me into fighting.”

Another popular vendor was the underwater recovery booth with the company Scubapeutics, which is based in Ottawa.

Natalka MacKay, the founder and lead instructor, talked about her goals for the expo.

“My goal for the expo is for people to notice that scuba diving also belongs in swimming pools,” she said.

Other vendors had loftier goals.

“I can turn you into a superhero,” said Dina Elatawi, team associate for the Super Patch company. The company says the super patches can be used for anxiety, strength and speed. They come in all different shapes and sizes.

Elatawi and her team gave visitors a demonstration to see if a patch could prevent a volunteer from getting pushed over. They gave participants one free liberty patch to try for the demonstration and encouraged them to keep it on for 24 hours.

The fitness expo was more of a test to see its results and impact. The event plans to have its second opening this fall.

“The goal is to have multiple a year,” said Coulterman.

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