Building on a longstanding tradition of offering engaging opportunities for Powell River residents to get active, City of Powell River Parks, Recreation and Culture released its Winter 2020 Active Living Guide this week.
Across Canada, physical inactivity is costing billions of dollars each year in health care costs. According to research on the cost of physical inactivity in adults, as of 2009, the estimated direct, indirect and total health care costs of physical inactivity among adults living in Canada were $2.4 billion, $4.3 billion and $6.8 billion, respectively. Physical activity guidelines state that adults should be participating in 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Enhancing the overall health and well-being of residents by making Powell River one of the most active communities in BC is one of Parks, Recreation and Culture’s top priorities. One way the city department does that is to offer a variety of fitness programs that have community-wide appeal.
“We offer a variety of fitness programs that address the many needs of community members and help improve fitness levels, increase mobility, and reduce stress,” says Christine Parsons, health and fitness coordinator for the city.
This winter programs include everything the community has come to expect and love, including skating and swimming, sports and skills development, fitness classes to challenge every fitness level, and a wide variety of community recreation programs designed to provide interesting hands-on learning opportunities, adds sports and recreation program coordinator Alex Craig.
One program he is looking forward to this winter is dodgeball. An adult dodgeball league is being set up that will meet one night a week on Thursday nights from 8 to 10 pm, starting January 9 and running for 10 weeks. Teams of six will face-off against each other at the Oceanview Education Centre gymnasium.
“It’s a great anaerobic workout,” says Craig. “The short bursts of sprinting involved in dodgeball can improve cardio and health while being a lot of fun at the same time.”
The league is registering teams and individuals can also sign up and be assigned to a team.
Again this year, Parks, Recreation and Culture will be offering Island Getaways to Mount Washington for youths aged 7 to 13.
“It’s a way for kids to go over to the island and go snow tubing for the day; afterwards they hop in the wave pool in Comox, grab dinner and then head home,” explains Alex.
Building on the success of the children’s program, this year an adult version is also being offered.
“We started with Island Getaways for the kids and now we’ve added an adult version, which is snowshoeing at Mount Washington,” says Alex. “It's just a nice way to experience certain things with all the planning taken care of for you.”
Another new program for adults this year is a Hunting 101 course taught by experienced local hunter Johnny McDowell.
“This is great for anyone who is wanting to learn about hunting but doesn’t know where to start,” says Alex. “John will offer a step-by-step guide on how to get ready for the upcoming hunting season.”
Staff members are also excited about being able to offer training and leadership programs such as the upcoming Marine Basic First Aid and Bronze Medallion courses. These courses are taught in-house by trained recreation staff. Provided as a training partner of the Canadian Red Cross, the Marine Basic First Aid course meets defined Federal Transport Canada Marine Safety Training Standards for Marine First Aid.
“We’re always looking to offer a variety of new programs that meet the needs and interests of the community,” explains Alex. “We're really trying to engage as many people as possible. If we can offer something that piques people's interest and get them out and active, that’s a success for us.”
Copies of the guide are available at the complex, Powell River Public Library and at city hall.
For more information or to register for programs online, by phone or in person, go to powellriverprc.ca, call 604.485.2891, or drop by the reception desk at the complex.