Strength in numbers
Winterton’s rec committee revamped; triples in size
Recreation in Winterton took a hit after its previous committee in charge of looking after the local community centre disbanded. But with the formation of its new recreation committee, things are looking up.
Formed following a meeting on Feb. 7 with members of the town council, the committee has now grown from a six-person group to a membership of 19, including a seven-person executive.
Committee president Bill Walker said having such a large group will allow for sub-committees, which will help spread work around and get everyone involved.
“ We’re very glad that there was that much interest,” said vice-president Kim Reid, one of two carryovers from the last committee, along with Grace Brinson.
“ Previously, it just kind of slowly went downhill and the members ( left). When it was announced there would be a call for a new committee and then all these members showed up, we were very glad.”
For a community with just over 500 residents, recreation can entail many different things, particularly when taking into account the different ages involved. Like most rural communities in the province, Winterton is an aging town.
“ We’re trying to incorporate all ages; the children, the middle-aged, and the seniors,” said Reid. “ In this community alone, there are a fair number of seniors. There’s not much going on for them at all.”
There is a 50-plus club in the community, but Reid said it only has 12 members.
“ There’s enough people on this committee that we’re covering a lot of age groups,” said Walker, a native of Winterton who returned upon retirement after 40 years abroad. “ We have people from their early 20s right up to people close to 80.”
Along with activities focusing on specific age groups, Walker said it would be ideal to come up with events that can unite them. Reid recalls a local family resource centre once offered a multi-week cook- ing class that piqued the interest of both young people and seniors in the community.
The local community centre, located next to Perlwin Elementary, is an asset Walker hopes the committee will use to its fullest potential. He said rather than have it serve as a building used by a core group of people in the community, the building should play host to events that interest all residents.
“ This is a community centre,” he said. “ This is a place where people should come. You don’t need to go to another community group and have dart nights. We can do that here.”
An application is in to have a pair of summer students hired for six weeks to help supervise activities for youth in the community.
The group should certainly have the ear of the town council, should it be needed. Coun. Lori Hiscock sits on the committee’s executive as secretary, and Coun. Paul Coates is serving as a liaison between the two groups. Council also agreed to cover utility bills for the centre while the new committee waited to get up and running.
Birthday parties, weddings, and revenues from the bar facility will play a part in making the centre self-sufficient, said Walker.
“ We don’t need a lot of money to do this. All we need is money to cover the heat and lights.”
As for what the community needs in terms of recreation, the committee is putting that question to residents through a needs assessment survey. The feedback will be used as a stepping-stone towards planning activities.
“ Let the community tell us what their kids and families want to have from the rec centre, and we’ll bring that back here,” said Walker. “ We’ll get more ideas there than from adults with grown-up kids like me, trying to determine what five or sixyear-olds need.”
Reid said the anonymous nature of the survey will hopefully help people give honest answers to better serve the work of the committee.
Kim Reid (left) and Bill Walker, both members of the Winterton recreation committee, intend to make good use of the community centre in hosting events for people young and old.