President of Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health Jay McFarlane welcomes Research Chair Heather Mair, a University of Waterloo professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. (Bob Montgomery photo)

Gateway Research Chair To Focus On Recreation And Leisure

The Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health in Goderich has a new research chair.

Heather Mair is a University of Waterloo professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and has been given the title of chair of rural community development and well-being.

Gateway President Jay McFarlane says her previous work has focused on a lot of the social aspects of health, and she has found that there are certain community places that people go to that have a strong impact on their social health and their overall health.

Mair’s research has shown that social or recreation centres, particularly in rural communities help to build stronger communities and reduce isolation.

McFarlane adds Mair listens to what members of a community have to say about their problems and bases her research question on what they’ve told her, rather than making assumptions before talking to people.