Despite the biting cold last week, McMaster welcomed nearly 800 kinesiology students from 33 Canadian universities to compete in the hallowed Kin Games.

Having concluded their 14th annual competition, which stretched from March 20 to 22, the Games have never been bigger, with teams generally having 24 members.

The bevy of tank-top and shorts clad kinesiology students joined Cory Heile-Masters who was raring to get the event in full swing after preparing for some time.

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Heile-Masters, a fourth-year Kinesiology student, was lavish in the praise he heaped upon the event, which McMaster won the right to host in Ottawa two years prior and that he’s been planning ever since.

“Kin Games was definitely the most exciting and rewarding thing I’ve ever had a chance to work on. I was able to come in say, ‘Yes, this is exactly what I want to be doing with my time’ every day,” he said.

Participating students engage in both academic and athletic activities, with the coveted “Shoe” trophy going to the team that compiles the highest score over the duration of the competition. Western took home the Shoe this year, with McMaster coming in a close second. McMaster’s highest ever finish since 2004 was made all the more special by the fact that it took place on home soil.

To offset the advantage that teams who recruit varsity athletes to their teams may have, the athletic events are specifically designed to feel foreign.

For example, flag-football bombardment is a variation of the popular intramural sport that introduces dodgeballs into the mix, using them in a somewhat confusing new version of flag-football.

Even the academic events were tailored for fun, with one of them being called “Are you smarter than a kin gamer?” making a riff on the popular game show, Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

Between events, teams could be found pouring into the student centre leaving those who tried to navigate through it to wonder whether McMaster was prepared to host an event of such size.

Heile-Masters said that the university has know about the event well in advance.

“Environmental Occupational Health and Safety office has known about it for 20 months. I went to speak with the Public Relations department over a year ago. My own department knew about it right from the get-go and the McMaster Student Union has known about it for quite some time,” said Heile-Masters.

This year, McMaster organizers added two new events to the fray that took place between events and that Heile-Masters says allowed kin students extra opportunity to network and interact. The Hamilton Convention Centre hosted one of the first ever graduate trade shows for kin students with 20 exhibitors gracing the floor. The academic lecture series also drew big crowds, said Jem Cheng, Social Media director for this year’s Games.

Overall, Heile-Masters and Cheng were thrilled with how things turned out and extended their thanks to everyone that participated.

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