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Remembering a man born to run

Charity event caps a year of building the David H. Jones Memorial Scholarship
May 13, 2015
By Samantha Costello

Many students in Concordia’s Department of Exercise Science knew David Jones as a dedicated instructor and avid runner. He was a Bruce Springsteen fan whose gentle-but-firm approach inside and outside the classroom inspired colleagues for over 20 years.

David Jones beside his wife Carol at his graduation David Jones accepts his MSc in exercise physiology with honours from Université du Québec à Montréal in 2008, beside his wife Carol.

May 20, 2015, will mark one year since his sudden passing. To honour the date, members of the Concordia community and others are invited to participate in a short charity run at Concordia Stadium on Loyola Campus. The run, called Born to Run will start at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Christina Grace is Jones’s former student and a current Exercise Science laboratory instructor at Concordia. She had the pleasure of working alongside Jones for over 15 years and has been planning Born to Run with the support of the department’s athletic therapy team.

“Dave was one of the most respected lab instructors in our Athletic Therapy program,” says Christina. “He could transmit a quiet confidence to you. He believed in his students even if they didn’t believe in themselves.”

The event’s title, Born to Run — a play on the iconic Springsteen song — epitomizes the subtle sense of humour Jones was known for.

“Dave was indeed a runner, and a big Bruce Springsteen fan,” says Richard Courtemanche, chair of the Department of Exercise Science and long-time friend of Jones. “It’s a fitting response to the challenges brought on by this anniversary.”

Jones presents research on breast cancer prevention David Jones presents research on breast cancer prevention and physical activity at the 2012 American College of Sport Medicine meeting in San Francisco.

Jones was active in both the Canadian Athletic Therapists’ Association (CATA) and La Corporation des Thérapeutes du Sport du Québec (CTSQ). The provincial CTSQ recently inducted Jones into their hall of fame and the CATA is doing the same May 29 at the its national conference in Halifax.

His legacy includes the development of the Concordia PERFORM Centre, a hub of scientific exploration of physical activity, nutrition and lifestyle located on Loyola Campus.

Proceeds from Born to Run will benefit the new David H. Jones Memorial Scholarship in Athletic Therapy endowment. The first scholarship award recipient, announced at the CTSQ banquet on April 18, is Christopher Diktakis.

Immediately before the run, there will be a small gathering for family and friends to witness the unveiling of the David H. Jones Athletic Therapy Lab, located in the classroom where Jones taught for many years. A commemorative plaque will remind Exercise Science students and colleagues of his inspirational approach to teaching, research, athletic therapy and life.

Planning the event has given Grace an emotional run, but she is ready for one more.

“I have been overwhelmed by people’s support, whether through donations or offering their time,” she says. “Born to Run will highlight how much Dave meant to so many people.”

Born to Run will take place at the Concordia Stadium, Loyola Campus, 7200 Sherbrooke St. W., on Wednesday, May 20, at 4 p.m. Free parking is available.

  • To register for the run, please contact Christina Grace at Adults: $20; ages 12-18: $12; children under 12 free.

To contribute to the David H. Jones Memorial Scholarship in Athletic Therapy Endowment, please visit or contact Valerie Roseman, development officer, Community Programs, at 514- 848-2424, ext. 5427.

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