O’LEARY -- If only we had more hours of daylight. We’d visit more, run farther, play longer.
Mary Jo Bernard, from left, and Melia Dunville, Western Region Sport and Recreation Council; Sam Sweet, O’Leary Recreation; Karen Doyle, Tignish Recreation and Katie Lidstone, WRSRC, are encouraging Western P.E.I. residents of all ages to participate in the Longest Day of Play this Saturday evening.
Well, the Western Region Sport and Recreation Council, in partnership with area recreation departments is giving Western P.E.I. residents lots of reasons to get active this Saturday, June 21, by joining ParticipACTION’s Longest Day of Play initiative.
Special activities are planned for between 6 and 8 p.m. this Saturday at local parks and playgrounds.
“We want to turn back the clock a bit here,” said Alison Griffin, executive director of WRSRC, “and see if we can’t get parents, friends, neighbours and their children coming out to the local park or playground and just enjoying being outside and playing.”
Noting that active play is on the decline in Canada Griffin pointed that the two major barriers to spontaneous and outdoor neighbourhood play, as cited by parents, are screen time and parental safety concerns.
Active play is not only fun and enjoyable, but it is also shown to improve a child’s motor function, creativity, decision-making, problem-solving and social skills, Griffin stressed.
There will be free Zumba with Kathleen Bakker at Miscouche School playground pm., cross-training with Bradley McInnis at St. Louis School playground and Kidswest will have activities at Ellerslie School playground. All those activities are scheduled for 7 p.m. There will also be activities at Tignish Bicentennial Park, O’Leary School playground and École Évangéline playground.
WRSRC acknowledges the support of local grocery stores, Tignish and O’Leary Co-ops, Alberton Save Easy and Bloomfield Foodland in providing the ingredients for a free barbecue at the active play locations.
Active Play coordinator, Katie Lidstone, is hoping all the playgrounds will be buzzing with activities. “The Longest Day of Play is just a good opportunity for us to move out of our houses, and the fast paced scheduled lives we live and join in outdoor fresh air and play. It’s a good way to say summer is here, bring on the outdoors!” she declared.
“We want to hear those sounds of chatter and laughter at the playground and get our children away from their phones, (and other devices)”, rallied Griffin.