Specialized recreation program participant Dave Marsters enjoys Zumba before COVID-19. City of Campbell River photo

Specialized recreation program participant Dave Marsters enjoys Zumba before COVID-19. City of Campbell River photo

City thanks Grieg Seafood for ongoing specialized recreation program support

Even in a pandemic, recreation programs continue to provide safe connections, thanks in part to community sponsors.

The City of Campbell River sent a heartfelt thank-you to Grieg Seafood for their continued financial support, which helps provide specialized recreation programs for people with disabilities.

“For the past six years, Grieg Seafood has provided generous support. This long-standing partnership has ensured that amazing instructors, necessary equipment, and a wide variety of popular programs have been offered,” says Michele Sirett, the city’s recreation manager. “Community sponsorship helps us offer these vital programs that encourage active living, build social connection and a strong sense of belonging, and teach new skills.”

To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, some programs have been postponed while others have been revamped according to public health requirements or moved online.

“People are still able to enjoy Monday evening socials, a singing program, a new coffee and connections group and a social program for youth,” Sirett adds. “Once it’s safe to resume, we’re all looking forward to getting back to programs such as On Stage, Sewing for Fun; our B-Awesome accessible fitness program; and accessible Zumba Dance.”

“Grieg began supporting the Community Centre’s Specialized Recreation in 2014 when we became aware of the program,” says Katie Maximick, Grieg Seafood’s community relations specialist. “The program’s goals resonated with us as we have employees who have children with disabilities, and we wanted to help how we could. We continue to support this program because of how much it means to the many people and their families in the community who access the wide range of classes offered. This is truly a community gift that we want to see thrive.”

Back in February, Maximick joined a Zumba class.

“I’d never seen Zumba before, and taking part and watching how happy the participants were, and how energetic the instructor was, really hit home for me on why this program is so important,” she says.

Grieg supports a lot of community programs, and this is one that has really touched me, and I look forward to meeting even more of the wonderful participants.

Laura Haight, a regular program participant, says, “I LOVE LOVE Zumba for many reasons. I love music. The instructor is awesome and full of energy and gets the crowd pumped for a great 45 minutes of exercise. Even in my chair, I get my heart rate up and am energized along with the crowd. I can feel [the workout] the next day in my arms so I know I got a good workout!”

Dave Marsters, who has attended specialized recreation programs for years, says he likes meeting new friends, and that Zumba helps keep them all in shape.

“I feel really good when I am at the Community Centre programs,” he says.

His favourite program “for sure!” is sewing, where he made a pair of pajamas that he proudly wears. He and his class also made toques, scarves and mitts for homeless people, which “made me feel helpful.”

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