Second Annual First Responders’ Cup Puts Participants to the Ultimate Fitness Test

Photo supplied.
Fleming Faculty Jodi van Engen with her spouse Erik Stevens at last year’s First Responders’ Cup in support of mental health.

Teams of emergency responders will battle it out in the ultimate fitness challenge for the First Responders’ Cup taking place on Saturday, April 14 at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre.

This ultimate fitness competition features eight challenges, including a mix of fire, police, paramedic and customs border services physical demands and exercises. Each six-person team, with a minimum of two women, will test their stamina in an eight-hour fitness battle. Every hour, teams will be assigned a fitness challenge and will be timed as they complete it.

Jodi van Engen of Millbrook is the Fleming faculty member hosting this event, along with students in Fleming College’s Pre-Service Firefighter, Paramedic, Customs Border Services and Police Foundations programs.    The event features six-person co-ed teams that complete eight different first responder fitness challenges over eight hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The team with the fastest cumulative time over the eight circuits will win the cup.

Students initiated the First Responders Cup in 2017 after taking a mental health class that discussed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the policing profession. The students wanted to help eliminate stigma around the topic and help bring awareness to the community.  The event does more than talk about mental health.  It also raises funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (CMHA HKPR), and last year contributed over $5500 to the local organization.

Despite the jocular trash-talk amongst students in the various Fleming programs during last year’s event, the top prize in the competition was taken by the team from Kawartha Cross Fit.  Buck up, boys (and girls), you’ll have a chance to redeem yourselves next month.  Take your eyes off those fitbits, direct them to the open road and get training!

Jodi and her students are looking for teams to enter the fitness challenge. While some teams will be fiercely competitive, the event is open to everyone and supports a good cause.  With access to all three gymnasiums at the Wellness Centre, there will be plenty of room for competitors as well as spectators. The cost is $300 to register a team with all funds going to CMHA HKPR. You can register today at or contact Jodi Van Engen for more information at call 749-5530, ext. 1483.

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