Virginia Commonwealth Games Kickoff with John Register
Friday, July 1, 2011 - 12:00am
The Coventry Commonwealth Games of Virginia were held in Roanoke from July 15-17, 2011. Jefferson College of Health Sciences hosted part of the kickoff events on Friday, July 15.
The JCHS portion of the Games' kickoff was held in the College's Student Union, The Dog House, at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital. Here, we see our beautiful cake commemorating the event and our partnership with the Commonwealth Games!
JCHS President Dr. Nathaniel L. Bishop began the event by welcoming our guests and the College community.
Over 70 JCHS students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Roanoke community, attended our 2011 kick off.
Dr. Bishop acknowledged that this is the fourth year that JCHS has sponsored the Commonwealth Games and held this kickoff event on our campus.
Next to take the podium was Mr. John Montgomery, Past President and current Board Member of Virginia Amateur Sports, the organization that sponsors and organizes the Commonwealth Games.
Mr. Montgomery—also the Publisher of Play by Play Magazine, which showcases local sports in the Roanoke Valley—thanked JCHS for our continued support of athletes, sporting events and overall fitness in the region.
A wide variety of JCHS students, faculty and staff attended the kickoff event, including members of our Student Affairs Department and faculty from our Health Psychology, Physician Assistant and Nursing Programs.
Our next speaker was Peter Trainer, a senior at Lord Botetourt High School, bi lateral amputee and participant in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Mr. Trainer attended the event with his mother, brother and his track coach, Peter Walton.
Peter uses special adaptive prosthetics to run track, which he was gracious enough to pass around so the audience could see them up close. Here, children from the Roanoke Boys and Girls Club who joined us for this event examine one of the prosthetics.
Peter also let us know that he's interested in a medical career and he was treated to a personal tour of the College from our President, Dr. Bishop, and Dr. Francis Dane, Chair of JCHS Arts & Sciences and Program Director of our Health Psychology Program.
Next up was the featured speaker for this year's Commonwealth Games, Mr. John Register. He was introduced by a video, which told the story of how he had a leg amputated due to an on-the-track injury while he was in the military. He overcame this setback and has since gone on to win several medals in the Paralymics.
Some of our guests from the Roanoke Boys and Girls Club smile for the camera during the video introduction of John Register.
As Mr. Register approached the podium to speak, JCHS President Dr. Nathaniel L. Bishop checked out Peter Trainer's running prosthesis and asks him about it.
Mr. Register then spoke to the crowd, but directed most of his inspirational speech to the kids in the audience.
Speaking to the children, Mr. Register said that we may find many obstacles in our paths throughout our lives, but nothing is insurmountable.
He pointed to his own story and adversities he faced. A track star while in the military, he was bound for the Olympics when he suffered the injury that led to his amputation. But, within months, he had become an award-winning swimmer in the Paralympics and soon took to the track again with the aid of running prosthetics.
Peter Trainer, Dr. Bishop and John Montgomery listen to John Register speak during our 2011 Commonwealth Games kickoff event.
Mr. Register then picked a volunteer out of the crowd and walked off 27 paces, which is the length of his longest medal-winning long jump.
He marked the length with paper plates to show just how far it was. Then, he asked how many people thought his volunteer could jump all 27 feet. Not many thought he could, but with Mr. Register's help—picking him up and carrying him the full 27 feet—he did it. Which just goes to show that you can do anything with a little support and help from family, friends and neighbors!
After he finished speaking, Mr. Register spoke with a reporter from WSLS Newschannel-10, the local NBC affiliate in Roanoke.
He then sat down to autograph some JCHS water bottles for everyone in attendance, including the kids from the Boys and Girls Club.
Finally, we find three of our beautiful attendees enjoying the Commonwealth Games kickoff event, including (left to right) Elizabeth Costa, JCHS Assistant Director of Student Life; Danielle Lusk, Director of Faculty Development and Interprofessional Education; and Sarah Higginbotham, Coordinator of the JCHS VOICE (Violence Can End Program). Thank you to everyone who joined us for this great event on the JCHS campus and be sure to mark your calendars to join us again next year!