Co-op student a medal winner

March 24, 2005, vol. 32, no. 6
By John Grant

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When Klara Schwab left for Calgary to begin her second co-op work term, she never imagined she'd be returning home eight months later with three medals from North America's largest amateur sporting event.

The fifth-year kinesiology student worked as a kinesiologist/exercise therapist for Calgary's CBI physiotherapy and rehabilitation centre.

She assisted clients one-on-one with their rehabilitation needs and occasionally acted as the nutrition guru providing information about healthy eating choices.

Schwab also provided job search and resume tips to clients who were unemployed as a result of injury - information she obtained from co-op workshops.

Four months into her placement, CBI entered the Calgary Corporate Challenge. In the corporate olympics, more than 200 organizations and approximately 18,000 athletes compete against each other in fun, yet challenging sports.

Schwab, who claims not to be an avid athlete, competed for the company in the triathlon, 3-on-3 basketball, and the traditional tug-o-bus relay. She laughs as she recalls nearly drowning in the frigid waters during the 800-metre swim of the triathlon, even while wearing a wetsuit.

“The water was unbelievably cold. I had trained for a month beforehand in a pool, but it could not prepare me for the shock of the 10°C lake water.” Despite the cold, she managed to help her team win a silver medal in a field of nearly 200 competitors.

While her team won gold in the 3-on-3 basketball competition, Schwab notes the most challenging (and peculiar) achievement was being on the gold medal team that pulled a Calgary transit bus.

For Schwab and her co-workers, many of whom did not know each other previously, the events drew them closer.

“I met lots of people, did some incredible networking, even while pulling the bus, and it was great teambuilding,” she says. Reflecting on the experience, Schwab grins and says: “I went for a co-op job, and wound up doing so much more in the end.”

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