Recre­ation re­vival in Car­bon­ear

Di­rec­tor pleased with regis­tra­tion for sum­mer pro­gram

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

There is a new en­ergy run­ning through the Car­bon­ear sum­mer recre­ation pro­gram.

Recre­ation di­rec­tor Rob But­ton sees it ev­ery­day.

He can see it on the faces of the in­struc­tors, and he can see it on the faces of each child who par­tic­i­pates ev­ery day.

“There is a new en­ergy in the staff and it’s fil­ter­ing down through the pro­gram,” said But­ton.

The Car­bon­ear pro­gram is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a resur­gence. In its first full week of ac­tiv­i­ties, But­ton said the pro­gram has close to 200 young peo­ple reg­is­tered, which is up from the en­roll­ment of 150 when the pro­gram fin­ished last fall. “We have seen some growth,” he said. Part of the rea­son for that growth may have to do with the pro­gram start­ing a week ear­lier this sum­mer.

Last sum­mer, there was a late start, which may have pre­vented some fam­i­lies from reg­is­ter­ing their chil­dren.

How­ever, But­ton be­lieves the in­crease has to do with a lack of con­struc­tion on the field. “We’re able to of­fer more,” said But­ton. Work for the 2012 New­found­land and Labrador Sum­mer Games, held in Car­bon­ear and nearby Har­bour Grace, was just be­gin­ning to amp up when the pro­gram was set to be­gin.

This meant that cer­tain fa­cil­i­ties, like the soft­ball fields, were un­avail­able to use dur­ing dif­fer­ent parts of the sum­mer.

Some weeks the chil­dren would not have the use of the soft­ball fields, while dur­ing some oth­ers, the soft­ball field would not be avail­able.

How­ever, this sum­mer all fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able from the be­gin­ning, mean­ing a sum­mer’s worth of ac­tiv­i­ties for the chil­dren.

“The pro­gram strug­gled a lit­tle bit be­cause of space,” said But­ton. “It’s been a lit­tle bit bet­ter or­ga­nized and the pro­gram has been able to do what it is sup­posed to do.

“This year we’re able to do what we want to.”

Also, the at­trac­tion of play­ing on the re­fur­bished fields may have helped re­cruit new par­tic­i­pants to the pro­gram.

Be­ing ac­ces­si­ble

But­ton prides the pro­gram on be­ing ac­ces­si­ble to any fam­ily who wants to en­roll their child. Whether that in­cludes a child who will only be in town for a cou­ple of weeks, or is around all sum­mer, But­ton wel­comes all to come out. The cost of reg­is­ter­ing is a flat fee of $50. “Our rates are af­ford­able,” said But­ton.

Chil­dren still com­ing

But­ton said ev­ery­day there are more par­ents sign­ing their chil­dren up for the pro­gram.

The last cou­ple of years, num­bers have been down around 130, but last year and this year, have seen num­bers rise.

With a national push to get chil­dren out of the house and onto the fields, it would ap­pear that sum­mer pro­grams in this re­gion are start­ing to make see a re­vival.

“It seems to be com­ing back,” said But­ton.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Photo by Nicholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Car­bon­ear recre­ation di­rec­tor Rob But­ton.

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