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Alberta

“It transformed my life” – Tackling Addiction through Triathlon Training

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A Calgary woman is using the power of athletics to tackle and transform the narrative surrounding addiction, and support youth and young adults on their journey to recovery. 

Vanisha Breault, founder and CEO of the Terminator Foundation, has created a unique avenue for young Calgarians caught in addiction to overcome their struggles and accomplish something great, while smashing stigmas and stereotypes. 

Using her own experiences with addiction as a driving force behind her foundation, Breault is passionate about educating, aiding and supporting youth, young adults and communities affected by the indiscriminate and devastating influences of addiction. The vision of the Terminator Foundation is to “reach all youth and young adults who are impacted by addiction and mental health, and radically transform their lives through sports coaching, peer support, team training, endurance and triathlon participation.”  

The foundation unofficially originated in 2015 as a local 5km run dedicated to raising awareness and supporting discussions surrounding youth addiction and mental health. The Terminator Foundation was officially founded as a nonprofit organization in 2017 with a broader scope, namely to facilitate triathlon training alongside the annual 5km run and ongoing health and education services. “Terminator encompassed everything I wanted the organization to be,” says Breault, “Terminator is strong, it’s resilient, it’s tough. It’s how I see our youth and young adults in recovery, fighting for their sobriety. It’s about overcoming.”

Vanish Breault, Founder & CEO of Terminator Foundation

Breault’s decision to apply an athletic, training oriented approach towards battling addiction came from her own experiences during a difficult time in her life. When Breault’s young daughter turned to drugs and alcohol at the age of 14, Vanisha took every measure possible to help her daughter reach recovery. It was during this time, where she lived in fear for her daughter’s safety and well being, all while coping with her own depression, that she made the decision to complete a half Iron Man. “I didn’t even own a swimsuit or a bike, but I registered in April and 3.5 months later, I completed the Calgary Half Iron Man,” says Breault. “It transformed my life.” 

This experience became the inspiration for the Terminator Foundation’s triathlon training approach. “If this exercise in grueling physical endurance could light up my life in the darkest of times, what could it do for these kids?” She asked, “The youth and young adults also struggling, and feeling lost in their own dark?” The Foundation was launched that fall. 

In recent years, the Terminator Foundation has begun expanding into neighboring provinces while catering to a growing global audience online. Currently, Terminator is preparing to launch its first 5km run in Vancouver, which will take place in September alongside Calgary’s 7th annual run. 

To keep up with growth and the demand for youth addiction and mental health services in Calgary, the Terminator Foundation recently launched their Sponsor an Athlete initiative.
This campaign is the first of it’s kind for the Terminator Foundation, calling on local businesses and individuals to aid in the recovery process for young members of the community. The cost of sponsoring a single athlete is $2500, which helps cover costs for training facilities and equipment, professional coaching and mentorship, transportation and entry fees. “We’ve been grinding this thing out for years,” says Breault, “and we’ve had some amazing people help and support us, but it’s time to take things to the next level, and this is a part of that. Anything helps.” 

Moving into 2021, the Terminator Foundation will continue to function as a source of relief, information and aid for those who need it most. By encouraging discussion and education, Vanisha Breault hopes to address systemic sources of addiction and support prevention, rather than intervention, wherever possible. 

For more information on the Terminator Foundation and how to Sponsor an Athlete, visit https://terminatorfoundation.com. For a list of mental health and addiction resources, visit https://terminatorfoundation.com/resources/

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Michael Hutchinson earns 31-save shutout, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 3-0

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EDMONTON — Michael Hutchinson earned his sixth career shutout, and the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Monday. 

Hutchinson stopped all 31 of the shots he faced as the Leafs (17-4-2) shutdown Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and their teammates for a second straight game.

Toronto also blanked Edmonton 4-0 on Saturday with Jack Campbell in net.

Morgan Rielly and WIlliam Nylander had a goal and an assist apiece Monday, while Zach Hyman also scored for the NHL’s top team.

Oilers (14-10-0) goalie Mikko Koskinen allowed three goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Mike Smith to start the second period. Smith had 13 saves in relief.

Toronto was without Auston Matthews for a second straight game as the team’s star centre recovers from a wrist injury. 

Matthews — who has 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) on the season — is travelling with the team and took part in an optional skate with his teammates on Monday. 

Toronto’s first shot of the night didn’t come until 7:19 into the first period, but it was worth the wait as Rielly put a pass on Hyman’s tape and the forward sent a nifty backhanded shot past Koskinen to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead. 

Three minutes later, Nylander collected the puck off a faceoff and streaked deep into the Edmonton zone. He sailed a backhander over Koskinen’s glove and into the top-left corner of the net. 

A power-play strike rounded out the first-period scoring after Edmonton’s Adam Larsson was called for hooking. 

Rielly uncorked a blast from near the blue line and, while Koskinen got a piece of it, he couldn’t control the puck and it dribbled through his legs and over the goal line, giving Toronto a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission. 

The Leafs came into the game with the league’s top-ranked power play, having capitalized on 32.4 per cent of their chances with the man advantage. 

Toronto was 1 for 4 on the power play Monday. Edmonton failed to capitalize on any of its four chances.

The Oilers had ample opportunities to claw out a goal in the third period, outshooting the Leafs 13-8 across the frame, but couldn’t beat Hutchinson.

The 31-year-old goalie’s last shutout came on Jan. 4, 2020, when he led Toronto to a 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders. 

The Leafs and Oilers will wrap up a three-game series in Edmonton on Wednesday. 

NOTES: Earlier on Monday, the Oilers claimed goalie Alex Stalock off waivers from the Minnesota Wild. … Toronto defenceman Jake Muzzin played in the 600th game of his NHL career. … The Leafs have never lost at Edmonton’s Rogers Place during regulation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

CP NewsAlert: Alberta lifts some COVID-19 economic restrictions, delays others

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EDMONTON — Alberta is lifting more economic restrictions tied to COVID-19 while delaying others.

Premier Jason Kenney says low intensity group activities, like Pilates, can resume in fitness centres, and libraries can open at 15 per cent capacity.

But he says loosening measures for retail shops, hotels and community centres can’t happen yet.

He says COVID-19 cases have plummeted in long-term care homes and hospitalizations have dropped, but cases of the variant are worrisome.

Some medical experts, including the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association, warned the province last week against loosening public-health measures.

This is Stage 2 of a four-stage plan to reopen the economy announced by Kenney a month ago.

In Stage 1, restaurants were able to reopen for dine-in service, gyms were allowed to resume one-on-one fitness training and some restrictions were lifted on youth sports.

The Canadian Press

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