Ukee rec. creating healthier community

Recreation guide full of opportunities for all ages

Holiday hangovers are wrapping up and Ucluelet’s parks and recreation department is welcoming locals back onto the healthy lifestyle train.

Ucluelet has released its first program guide of 2016.

“It’s full of lots of great programs for all ages and abilities,” said the district’s recreation programmer KK Hodder. “There are lots of new things and lots of popular standards.”

She said January is a busy month for her recreation team as locals revive themselves from the holiday season and look to put their best foot forward into the New Year.

“There is a component of people wanting to create better habits in their lives, making those New Year’s resolutions and just coming back from a holiday and feeling like they want to try something new; it’s a really great time for that,” she said.

“It’s easy in the summer to be outdoors and be active and be at the beach and walking the trails all the time but sometimes in the winter, when it’s gray and rainy out, it’s easy to sit by the woodstove and get warm and cozy inside and go a little inward.”

Free Fitness Week will run from Jan 11-16 to give locals a taste of the Ucluelet Community Centre’s offerings and help them figure out what to commit to this season.

“It’s great to get new people on board to give a sample of what you can be doing and what’s a good fit for you personally. It’s going to be different for everybody but I think we have a variety of programs for youth, adults and older adults so that everybody can find a good fit,” Hodder said.

“January allows a lot of people to peel back the outer layers and really start something new and try something fun.”

She said promoting health and wellness is the cornerstone of the recreation department’s mandate.

“Across the board, it’s about having an active and healthy lifestyle whether that has to do with physical fitness, nutrition, or general day to day habits,” she said. “It’s good for your body, it’s good for your brain, and it’s good for your soul.”

She added it’s important to get kids into being active and to help keep older locals engaged.

“It’s great for kids to come out, be active, try new things and start at a young age to form healthy habits,” she said.

“For older adults, it’s really good to be able to, if you’re feeling like you’re leading too much of a sedentary lifestyle, make those changes and everybody will benefit from activity and exercise no matter what.”

She said recreation is an important community service for the district to provide.

“It’s about creating a healthy community and that’s to everybody’s benefit,” she said.

“That’s to the district’s benefit, that’s to the community’s benefit, that’s to the individuals benefit; it benefits everybody in the community.”