The District of Port Hardy’s recreation statistics for January-March of 2021 are in and they are looking quite promising.
Tanya Kaul, director of recreation for the district, noted she had presented the statistics to the Parks, Recreation, Arts and Culture Committee on April 21, “and the committee was really thrilled to see strong participation across the board in all of our areas.”
Kaul wanted to share the statistics with the public to show what the public’s participation level has been at during the pandemic, “and what the attendance numbers show, is that despite COVID-19 restrictions and COVID safety concerns, the public has full confidence in our COVID safety plans and that we are following all of our COVID protocol.”
Swimming lengths in particular were really popular at the Port Hardy indoor pool. Kaul was proud to say there was an average of 373 participants attending monthly for swim lengths.
The indoor pool only has four lap lanes and everyone has to stay in their own lane due to COVID protocols, but due to the pool using a pre-booking system, “it is a manageable system for the lifeguards because we are only allowing four people at a time to do their lengths,” confirmed Kaul, who added the lanes are being “very tightly controlled, and everyone is following the rules quite nicely.”
As for usage of the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena, the district didn’t have a safety plan up and running for family bubble skates in January, but in February there were a total of 234 families that came out to use the arena. March saw 81 families use the arena.
Kaul thinks there are two reasons for the high number of users. “Number one is we are offering a safe and confident plan approved by health authorities, and number two is we are ramping up our advertising,” she said. “We have posters, we have our website, the Port Hardy Recreation Facebook page, a lot more social media, we are reaching out to the public with an e-newsletter that anyone can sign up for where once a month we send out information on what’s happening at the Port Hardy recreation centre.”
Kaul added they have also just completed a hiring process for a community outreach coordinator who will be starting June 7. “The main bulk of that job will be to organize, plan and implement camps and events for children of all ages in the months of July and August.”
As for grants, the district is still waiting to hear back about the funding needed to improve the indoor pool.
“We’re very hopeful we are going to hear by summertime so we can get on with the process of making sure it’s maintained,” Kaul said, adding that Port Hardy is a wonderful place for recreation. “We’ve come a long ways in a short amount of time, and we are looking forward to the months ahead.”