top of page
Top of Page


The Sun Life Centre for Healthy Communities is a research and community outreach organization housed within the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department at Wilfrid Laurier University active in both the Waterloo and Brantford communities.

The Sun Life Centre for Healthy Communities believes that physical activity is a powerful tool for creating positive change in our communities. Our programs are designed for all  -  from those who love sport, to those looking to learn a new skill and develop friendships.


  • Reduce barriers to access programs by offering free programming, transportation, and adapt programs to meet the needs of different community members

  • Provide information to our participants on healthy living habits and opportunities in our communities

  • Strive to be an inclusive space that provides highly personalized, equitable, diverse, and inclusive programs to our communities

  • Constantly seek to improve our programs by engaging in holistic research

Image by Stephen Baker

What Makes Our Programs Different?

  • Our programs combine physical activity with positive development tools so that our participants gain self-confidence, leadership skills, and the opportunity to connect with others in their community

  • Our programs are developed in collaboration with experts in the field based on research

  • Sun Life Centre for Healthy Communities believes that healthy bodies make healthy minds!


CHC's vision is to provide access to a safe and affordable space for children to be physically active, as well as, to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle. Through our programing, we strive to use sport and physical activity as a vehicle to prevent chronic diseases associated with physical inactivity. We hope to inspire families to become active together while teaching youth to become leaders within their community through physical activity.


Our team of researchers will be at the forefront of research in their field and will gain a stronger understanding of how to improve the overall health-related quality of life for community youth. CHC collaborates with other organizations and community stakeholders to plan, develop, or enhance events, projects and initiatives regarding improvement of physical-activity levels and knowledge regarding active living choices.


We are committed to:

  • Removing barriers or challenges that prevent youth and community members from becoming physically active.

  • Providing various physical activity programs both on campus and in community facilities.

  • Designing activities and games to ensure participants meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth recommendations.

  • Collaborating with researchers in various cognate areas in the development, implementation and evaluation of the physical activity programming to ensure program validity.

Our Team


As the Executive Director of Sun Life Centre for Healthy Communities I believe in the power of sport and physical activity to help youth recognize and achieve their own potential! It is a privilege to work with the staff , volunteers, community members, and expert researchers as we strive to make impactful changes that make our communities healthier in both body and mind.

Dr Alanna Harman

Executive Director


In my role as Program Manager of Sun Life Centre for Healthy Communities I am driven to create programs that inspire our communities to engage in wellness practices that improve overall health as well as create spaces that are inclusive, meaningful, and FUN! I am passionate about removing barriers to access community programming and connecting research with practice.

Nicole Vandermade

Program Manager


Program Lead

Kate Wilhelmus

bottom of page