Plenty of ‘New’ in Fall Recreation Guide

Dodgeball league just one of over 200 offerings

The City of Campbell River’s Recreation & Culture Department would disagree with anyone who says, “there’s nothing to do here.”

With the Aug 21 release of the Fall 2015 edition of the Campbell River Recreation Guide, Vicki Swan, the City’s marketing and administration supervisor says the city is showing they are responding to community demand for affordable recreational programming.

One of the many exciting new offerings this fall is the formation of a new dodgeball league.

Keeping in mind the results of the public consultation completed last year, which Jennifer Faust, adult programming coordinator for Parks & Culture says exposed some gaps in the city’s recreation programming for adults, the City has been been working expand their “league” offerings.

Seeing the explosion in popularity of their kickball program – which has seen excellent growth over the past few years and had a full slate of 12 teams last season – Faust is hoping more organized leagues can help close some of those gaps.

“People really want to get out in the evenings and have something to do, and meet new people,” she says. “And being on a team makes people a little more committed, too, it seems.”

Like kickball, Faust says, dodgeball is one of those games that brings people back to their childhood. It requires no formal skills training or coaching, and requires less oversight or officiating, so it just feels like a group of friends playing a game for fun, like they used to as kids.

“I think it’s going to be really popular,” she says.

Dodgeball registration requires a minimum of six people per team, but the City is working on a system where individuals could sign up without a full team and be grouped together with others to form one.

“The Sportsplex will be taking names down and we’ll see what we can do about getting teams made from individuals who want to participate, that’s for sure,” Swan says.

The guide has more than 200 programs, classes and leagues, offered in various locations throughout the city for the public to take part in – many at minimal or no cost.

“We’re really interested in hearing from the public about what they want to see offered,” Swan says, adding they always look at attendance numbers for programs on offer and listen to requests from the public to add or drop programs and courses according to the demand.

“One of the most important things for us is to make it affordable for people and match the community’s needs,” Swan says. “There are a lot of things in (the guide) that are really, really affordable – or free. We’ve got a lot of free stuff happening this year.”

One of those free programs is what’s called “Family Gym,” which, according to Swan, “is an open gym situation where kids have access to a bunch of toys, tumbling mats, balls and things like that. It used to cost money, and now it’s free thanks to the ‘Success By 6’ sponsorship, both at the Community Centre and the Sportsplex.”

Another cost saver for families is the new Tots to Teen Pass, which is a $25 book of drop in passes for a variety of kids activities, but can also be used for the child minding facility, Busy Bees.

Right now, all programs and class offerings – other than the “open drop-in” ones like the 50+ Active Living program – require the public to sign up either by phone or in person at either the Community Centre downtown or the Sportsplex in Willow Point, but the City is working on an online registration platform to implement as soon as possible.

Pick up your Fall Recreation Guide in the Aug. 21 edition of the Mirror or at various locations around town, including the Sportsplex and Community Centre, or online at campbellriver.ca.