Kinesiology instructor Kyle Guay reflects on personal experience in undergraduate program
Alisha Samnani // Managing Editor, News Editor
Annika McFarlane // Illustrator
“I’ve always had a passion for teaching. I originally got into the human kinetics program to become a PE teacher,” said Guay. “I realized that my passion lied with educating adults versus high school students—I felt like I could have a greater reach or impact when it came to what they would then go out and do.”
“I’ve been involved in sports all my life,” said Kyle Guay. “Anything my parents would let me—and even some they preferred I not try.” Guay’s accolades include over a decade of AAA minor hockey and the title of Senior Elite/Pro Provincial Cup champion in professional downhill mountain bike racing. “I wanted to know the reasons behind the different mechanisms that allow someone to compete at a higher level, train differently, [and] the benefits from training and sports rehabilitation.”
Guay now uses his extensive sports background in combination with his technical knowledge to help other athletes achieve that same success. “I decided to work with athletes and help them get to where they wanted to be—back to the sport that they love and heightening their quality of life.” During his time at CapU, an instructor helped Guay volunteer at Twist Sport Conditioning in North Vancouver—which eventually led to a job offer from the company, where Guay served as Director of Athlete Services.
“I was able to practically apply the knowledge I was learning in the classroom into practice and be able to make the connection from the theory much easier. It honestly made my learning experience much more real,” explained Guay. “I started working with athletes from trampoline to motocross; mountain biking [and] motorcycle racing to squash athletes. The application is very widespread, which is kind of nice—it allows you to take your toolset and apply it to many different areas.”
Throughout his career, Guay has discovered just how wide-ranging the possibilities are for someone with a kinesiology degree. “It might be a general health and wellness population person that I’m working with: that’s rehabbing a back injury and getting them to partake in life pain-free and with no concern over that injury anymore. It might be an athlete who’s had ACL reconstructive surgery, and we’re getting them back to the sport that they love.”
Guay has worked with numerous professional athletes, including some from the NHL and the CFL. However, the North Vancouver native is equally as committed to his hometown, where he works as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist at Level 10 Fitness. “A good example of that would be an aging population who would naturally lose muscle mass,” said Guay. “If we can get them to regularly partake in a strength training program, we’re going to offset some of that loss. When we offset that loss, they’re going to be able to have a greater quality of life and have a reduced chance of falling—which will obviously keep them happier and healthier for longer.”
Five years ago, Guay decided to impart that knowledge upon students at Capilano University (CapU), as an instructor in the School of Human Kinetics.“When you actually get to have a student on a treadmill and experience the physical assessments that we have in this industry, [and] then be able to link that back to the theory from the class, you really start to see their eyes light up,” said Guay. “Seeing that connection between the content is fantastic and one of the reasons why I love doing what I do at CapU.”
CapU will be expanding it’s program in Fall 2021 to be offering a four-year degree as well as it’s original two-year diploma option. This expansion will be accompanied by a name change for the program—from Human Kinetics to Kinesiology. Students will be able to ladder into the new degree program upon its arrival.
“Our students should be graduating with not just base level information, but relationships with people in the industries that they might be interested in going into,” said Guay. “They’re better aware of the steps that they need to take to be successful in a specific job because of discussions or projects where they’ve had to communicate with industry professionals. All students will have to participate in those classes—it’s not just an elective that you can choose to take.”