Skating envy

Joan Butler
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Perhaps C.B.S. should keep up with its neighbours

It is difficult to not compare our town with others, and to feel a little envious when I see some exciting developments in nearby communities.

Several times in recent weeks, I’ve heard or read about a new recreation facility for the east end of St. John’s, fitness and healthy living programs in Paradise and the wonderful new ice skating loop at Bannerman Park in the city.

First, to The Loop, as it is a hit with city residents and visitors, and got me thinking about how we should try and develop a similar loop here in Conception Bay South.

It seems that everywhere I go in St. John’s — where I happen to work, like the majority of us C.B.S. brown baggers — I hear about the new Bannerman Park Loop.   

Just the other day I heard two people talking about what a great addition the skating loop is to the city and that it is amazing that someone did not think of it much sooner.  

The best part of the discussion was how they referred to it as a great place for seniors, families and children, especially those who cannot afford to go to the public skating events at city arenas.

The conversation got me reflecting on how an outdoor skating space would be such a great place for C.B.S.

While we don’t have a park similar to Bannerman Park, there are sports fields throughout the town that perhaps could be transformed into a skating rink.

Our stadium offers only one hour of family skating on the weekend, and several hours of public skating throughout the week when organized sports leagues do not need the ice.

With a new stadium on the horizon, we should have more public access to skating. However, an outdoor skating area would be such a great community gathering space.

The envy and dreaming about what could be for C.B.S. also happened when St. John’s announced the awarding of a contract to build a new recreation facility in Wedgewood Park.

I know we are far from such a facility, as we are still trying to get a new town hall, but it would be nice if we had some type of community centre.

Our new stadium under construction includes a walking track, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that we may get some other services such as a space for fitness and healthy living workshops.

The wishing for some healthy lifestyle services for our town started when I read about our neighbouring town of Paradise offering such for its residents. Paradise has a new community centre and gym and offers programs such as healthy living, weight loss, running and other types of fitness activities.

The town is also getting a new stadium, so undoubtedly there will be plenty of skating opportunities.

Such a community centre for C.B.S. is likely years away, as the stadium and town hall will be two costly endeavours, but it never hurts to have visions of what could be.

Perhaps we can expand or reinvent what we already have.

Our recreation complex has a swimming pool and squash courts. The town used to offer some fitness programs and services, but now allows such services to be offered by the private sector. In fact, right now the fitness space in the town hall is being utilized by a private group which offers a variety of programs.

Our town should look at its neighbouring communities and see that providing recreation and healthy living programs and services are part of what municipalities offer residents. We don’t have to look far for some great examples.

Joan Butler is a lifelong resident

of Kelligrews, Conception Bay South.

She can be reached by email

at joanbutler@ymail.com.

Geographic location: Paradise, Bannerman Park, Wedgewood Park

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