From the Centre: Another grand opening at complex

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Remember when I asked you to keep June 26, 2010, free for our grand opening of the community complex? OK, didn’t think so, but in case you missed it, we are having another grand opening! This time it is for our long awaited fitness area, which resides in the indoor track space looking down into the pool. All plans are pointed at Feb. 26 from 1-4 p.m. to see all the equipment and try it out as well as various demonstrations involving health and fitness. Watch for advertisements further into Feb-ruary as well as a mail-out flyer.

It’s not like the track isn’t being used right now — in fact, I am amazed at the overall number of people we see over the day coming up and getting their heart rates up by a bit of quick walking. We also have had a contingent from the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors (TAPS) regularly come up and take advantage of the flat, cushioned floor to get some valuable exercise by taking a half-dozen trips around the track. Now before you scoff at a mere five or six times, remember the majority of TAPS members are over 85, so walking somewhere between a quarter- to a half-kilometre or more can be impressive. Don’t forget that 85 and older earns you a couple of things at the community complex; one is the title golden ager, but more importantly, you get to use the entire place for free because you have probably earned that right. I know I am marking the days off in my calendar to become a golden ager.

Chalk one up for having an elevator along with level entry throughout the facility — once you are out of your car or bus, the highest step you have to make is over a door threshold of maybe a half-inch. Last week we had a fellow of 95 years drop in to see what his tax dollars had purchased and he was duly impressed. It was nice to be able show him the whole facility at his own pace while he made notes of what features he was interested in using in the future. What impressed me is that he also knew everyone in those black and white curling photos dating back to the ’50s on the wall in the curling lounge and related a few stories about the early days of recreation in the valley.

As staff, we discussed the action around the track a few times — generally people walk one way for a while and then switch directions, presumably to unwind. Combined with people of various ages walking at rates from snail’s pace to Olympic power walking, as well as travelling different directions, it can resemble rush hour in New Dehli. Also similar is that we have not had any problems with head on collisions or sideswipes; people are courteous and everyone flows together or around each other while maintaining their pace. It will be interesting when we get the machines in the centre and outside perimeter as to whether this affects flow, at which point we will address any issues. It would be nice to avoid the scenario of old-time public skating where you went clockwise until a burly man with a crewcut and a riding crop blew a whistle and had you change to skate counterclockwise. Others using the track area currently are also those doing a warm up before a fitness class or swim, as well as one strange lady I saw walking backwards and sideways the other day. Turns out that madness was merely a prescribed rehabilitation technique towards knee surgery recovery this former James Ross Memorial Pool lifeguard had. We definitely will see more rehab happening in this area.

We should start seeing fitness equipment coming in over the next couple weeks along with proper setup and followed with the training of both fitness and maintenance staff so that the appropriate knowledge can be passed on to the clientele. Don’t forget your membership entitles you access to everything upstairs as well as downstairs other than registered programs, so there won’t be any excuses for not staying fit.

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.