Have you met Port Hardy’s new director of recreation?
Tanya Kaul has been living in town for a month now after moving here from Lake Cowichan where she was a recreation programmer for the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
What were her first impressions of Port Hardy? “In terms of the people, they were so welcoming,” she said, adding it’s been “very easy to connect with the locals and I see there’s a lot of interest in connecting with the outdoors.”
Kaul noted she has a Degree in Political Science, a Masters Degree in Public Administration and has been involved in various levels of government. “I also have a background in [figure] skating, and I’m very passionate about healthy lifestyles. I’ve always been drawn to the recreation field, and my education and background lend nicely to this position.”
She said she was intrigued by Port Hardy’s director of recreation position, primarily because of the opportunities the job presented. “Basically it will be taking the programming aspect I did in the Cowichan Valley and taking it to a higher level, doing more community outreach and promoting recreation opportunities.”
Kaul is in the midst of reaching out to the community to see what the level of interest is in terms for instructors for various programs, adding that she would love to get a learn to skate program in the arena, expand pool offerings once COVID-19 is under control, “and maybe a gymnastics program or camp here for younger people, and possibly even yoga classes.”
As for the facilities the district has to offer, Kaul said she thinks the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena and the swimming pool are staples in the community, “and I think it’s really all about getting the word out that we have great facilities here that are well maintained.”
Outdoor recreation is another area Kaul would like to tackle, stating that it really depends on the user group interest that is out there. “I will be working with the NIMBA group, the North Island Mountain Biking Association, to see what their ideas are for expanding mountain biking trails,” she confirmed, while also pointing out that she is a big promoter of physical literacy in general, and wants to help promote getting kids more in tune with fundamental movement skills. “I’ll be reaching out to the schools to help the students realize that the more involved they are in community recreation, the more it will set them up for living a healthy lifestyle.”
She said she’s also excited to help promote joint-use agreements between district facilities and the local schools to offer more activities.
As for her thoughts on COVID-19 and how it’s affecting recreation, Kaul said she thinks B.C. has done a really good job following the provincial orders “and I think we just have to stay the course, stay local, and stay tuned.”
Above all else, she wanted to say a thank you to the surrounding communities for welcoming her so warmly. “I’m really excited about the possibilities and the opportunities that Port Hardy and the surrounding areas offers. I love the outdoors and I’m here to promote healthy lifestyles.”