Passion for Play – the Kelly Blackshaw story
Kelly Blackshaw lives for, and works for, health and wellness. Looking at health from a holistic and lifestyle perspective, she knows that healthy living isn’t about the vegetables you eat, the hobbies you enjoy, or the positive habits you maintain – it’s about all of those things, and a whole lot more.
Meet Kelly in person and you’ll be energized by her passion for what she does. Her success and vision starts with an understanding that play and wellness begins at a young age, and grows from there. With a long and rich career in wellness, she has learned that it takes time, practice and good habits to sustain good health for life. She brings this expertise, experience, energy and insight to her role as part of the INLIV Leadership team, and as Business Development Director for Wello.
Kelly believes that healthy communities are built on a three‐legged stool approach – healthy people, healthy organizations and healthy communities – and if one leg is broken, there’s no balance.
Kelly believes that healthy communities are built on a three‐legged stool approach – healthy people, healthy organizations and healthy communities – and if one leg is broken, there’s no balance. That’s why Kelly is also a huge proponent for wellness practices at work. She worked as wellness coordinator for the YWCA in the 1970s – a time when companies barely acknowledged the concept of health. Not letting this faze her, she won Husky as her first client and immediately set out to implement workplace health programs – even if it meant teaching fitness classes in parking garages and cutting furtively through men’s locker rooms.
Firmly believing that play and organized sports provide the perfect combination of physical activity and social opportunity, Kelly earned a spot on the Board of Directors for the Alberta Sport Council. And in 1995, she cofounded Kidsport Society of Alberta – an organization that helps children and families overcome financial barriers and participate in sport.
Kidsport is a shining example of what can happen when kids develop positive habits at a young age.
Kidsport is a shining example of what can happen when kids develop positive habits at a young age. Some kids from the program have made careers out of playing sports, while others volunteer for, donate or contribute to Kidsport and other community investment initiatives today. On top of the invaluable contributions to healthier lives, Kidsport participants also saw improvements in body weight, mood, and overall cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and digestive health. Kelly knows that introducing sports to children at a young age helps to equip them with the skills they need to thrive in their communities and in business too. Through Kidsport, kids learn valuable leadership lessons, a sense of fair play and cooperation, and a drive to always do a little bit better.
Kelly knows that introducing sports to children at a young age helps to equip them with the skills they need to thrive in their communities and in business too.
Now, almost 23 years later, over 100,000 kids have benefited from the Kidsport Alberta program alone, which has grown from simple financial aid for youth sports leagues to a full‐on ambassadorship and mentorship program. Kidsport now has a thriving and vibrant national presence, too.
Using her “three‐legged stool” approach, Kelly continues to create. She does it through her work at Kidsport as well as her work with us at INLIV and Wello. Through her ongoing commitment to lifelong health, Kelly Blackshaw continues developing innovative programs for health and wellness, assisting people of all ages to lead inspiring lives.
If you’re interested in participating in Kidsport, contact your local committee and look into one of the many ways you can contribute, through donations, offering used equipment, volunteering, and much more.
To learn more about Kelly’s latest health and wellness initiative as Wello’s Business Development Director, bringing mobile and online medical assistance to Alberta residents, visit Wello, call (403) 648-2150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.