The Steadward Centre Logo

About The Steadward Centre
for Personal & Physical Achievement


Through the creation of a holistic program and research environment utilizing a select group of fitness professionals, researchers, and clinical professionals: to provide maximum opportunities for Albertans with a disability to enhance their physical and mental well-being through individually prescribed and group programs of physical activity, fitness-related medical interventions and psychological services. And, through a diverse and carefully planned research program, enhance knowledge in the area of fitness for persons with a disability, Adapted Physical Activity and Sport Medicine for athletes with a disability. And, as a consequence of this structure and process, assist Albertans with a disability in achieving maximum level of physical and mental functioning and independence. And, to enhance public perception as providers of excellent service and health-related opportunities for persons with a disability.

Goals and Objectives

The primary goal of The Steadward Centre is to provide adults with physical disabilities with opportunities to improve their health, lifestyle, physical fitness and / or athletic performance. In an attempt to accomplish this goal, the following objectives have been established:

  • To provide regular fitness evaluations for adults with physical disabilities.
  • To design and prescribe group and individual training programs based on the specific needs, interests and abilities of each individual.
  • To supervise and monitor group and individual programs.
  • To design instructional and resource materials, equipment and techniques used in the assessment and implementation of programs for adults with physical disabilities.
  • To carry out research studies in the areas of fitness, sport training & conditioning and motor performance for adults with physical disabilities.
  • To expose students, coaches, teachers and other interested individuals to the most up-to-date information available in the areas of sport and fitness for individuals with physical disabilities.
  • To promote fitness as an important component in the daily routine of adults with physical disabilities.


Located in Edmonton, Canada at the University of Alberta, The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement provides fitness & lifestyle programs, instruction and research for people with physical disabilities. The Centre is one of the research centres and units under the auspices of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation.

Originally known as the Research and Training Centre for Athletes with Disabilities, The Centre was founded by Dr. Robert Steadward, O.C., LLD (Hons) in 1978. It was originally developed to provide athletes with physical disabilities and their coaches, with technical information in the areas of sport, fitness and training. The Centre also provided a well equipped training facility for the athletes.  Following the Man in Motion Tour, the Centre was renamed the Rick Hansen Centre as a tribute to Rick Hansen's achievement.

In November 2000, the Centre was renamed in tribute to its founder, and is now known as The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement.

Presently, the Centre offers instructional programs and workshops in fitness, lifestyle, and physical activity for groups and individuals who have a permanent physical disability.

Over the past several years, The Steadward Centre has received significant financial support from Alberta Lotteries and the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation. The Steadward Centre also receives support from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta and other granting agencies.

Dr. Robert D. Steadward, O.C., LLD (Hon)

Please follow this link for a detailed profile of Dr. Robert Steadward, O.C., LLD (Hon).


An agreement formalizing the relationship between the Centre and the University was signed recently, whereby The Steadward Centre is overseen a Board of Directors comprised of five community representatives and four from the University.

Board of Directors

Please click on a Board Member's name to see their profile.

Gary McPherson, LLD (Hon), President

Dr. Robert Steadward, Honourary President

Dr. Gerry Glassford, Secretary

Dr. Michael Mahon, Dean, Physical Education and Recreation

Dr. Louis Francescutti, Director

Mr. Rick Gingras, Director

Judge J. Bradford Kerby, Director

Ms Aiko Lawrie, Director

Dr. David Magee, Director

Mr. Neil Pierce, Director


The Steadward Centre is an Accredited Fitness Appraisal Centre (AFAC) recognized by the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology.

All full time fitness staff have graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education specializing in Adapted Physical Activity. The majority of fitness staff members also hold a Certified Fitness Consultant (CFC) or Professional Fitness and Lifestyle Consultant (PFLC) certification.

All materials copyright: The Steadward Centre, 2000 - 2003.

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These pages are located on the University of Alberta's Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation's Web Server.

Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation Logo

A Beneficiary of Lottery Fund Proceeds, through the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation

W1-67 Van Vliet Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6G 2H9
Telephone: 780-492-3182
Telefax: 780-492-7161