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'A one of a kind place': Health centre 'The Nest' opens first phase in downtown Regina

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The newly opened health and wellness centre in downtown Regina, The Nest, is providing residents of the Queen City with resources to live healthier lives.

For Jackson Serna, the first sponsored athlete with The Nest, the facility offers him a place to train.

Serna happened upon The Nest while working for The Gathering Place New Beginnings, located in the same building. He told CTV News that the experience was enlightening.

“Honestly it gave me a new perspective of life and my perspective of like, how homeless people are treated and that they need help,” Serna told CTV News.

When Serna’s not training, he works with the Regina Treaty and Status Indians Services (RT/SIS).

The combination of physical and mental support as well as community outreach makes The Nest a hub for health, according to Serna.

“This is honestly a one of the kind of place,” he said.

“Not only is it because right now it's a gym … but when the mental side comes in and like the sports, physicals and stuff come in, it can be a whole hotspot. Because you got everything in one spot.”

The combination of care is crucial, according to managing director of The Nest, Ankit Kapur.

“You see your doctor episodically every three months or six months but in-between, action on those plans is critical,” he explained.

The new facility has taken over the former home of Regina’s downtown YMCA.

Saturday’s grand opening marked the facility’s first phase.

When The Nest is completely operational, it will feature a pool, chiropractic practices and a pharmacy among other resources.

“Action on those plans, work with personal trainers working to make sure we get mobility making sure we get physio on flexibility, making sure we wrap around [and] cater to populations that aren't necessarily well served in traditional institutions,” Kapur said.

The institution is a welcome sight to the city’s downtown core.

“It's complete health,” Mayor Sandra Masters told CTV News.

“Mental health, the physical and all of the medical in-between. We can't just get prescriptions out for people's ailments sometimes it involves mental health counseling, sometimes it involves physical health.”

Physical health training is helping athletes like Serna prepare for his goal of representing Canada on the Olympic stage of wrestling.

“I want to be Olympic champ. I want to be a world champion,” he said. “I'm not trying to just be okay and average and I want to be the best and this has helped me get there. You know, step by step.”

Serna, who is the ranked fourth in the nation, hopes his journey from Flying Dust First Nation to the Nest will inspire others.

“I'm glad it’s in Regina and where the YMCA used to be,” he said.

“I feel like it's going to be a hotspot for not just city athletes, but for provincial athletes and hopefully national athletes.”

The second phase of The Nest is scheduled to open in fall of 2023.

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