The Irricana Recreation Centre opened on April 1 for limited use during the spring and summer months, and building manager, Charlene Derdall, wants people in Irricana and the surrounding area to know it’s more than just a curling rink.
“There’s a lot of people, they’ve lived here for so many years, and they have no idea what’s in there,” Derdall said. “People don’t even realize that when curling season is [over], we can still do other things.”
Derdall said that the recreation centre will offer support to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a safe way to get some exercise and interact with others.
“We support everyone here and we are a small community, [and] because it is a very difficult time, we can use [the centre] as a sort of support group – with restrictions, of course,” she said.
“We're only limited to a certain amount of things in the [town], and around here there's barely anything other than parks. Parks are very hard for little ones because [the children are] too small or they can’t even sanitize any of the parks, so that right there kind of defeats the purpose of the COVID restrictions.”
Precautionary measures have been put in place to protect those who might use the rec centre from COVID-19, including a limited 15 per cent capacity, mandatory mask-wearing, required indoor footwear and thoroughly sanitizing and containing equipment for 72 hours.
According to Derdall, because of current public health restrictions, the recreation centre is limited in what it can offer the community at this time, but there are several time slots available for bookings, including parent-and-tot activities, a walking group and pickle ball.
“With pickle ball, it’s really not strenuous, and it’s mainly for older people, so it’s not as bad as tennis or dodgeball,” she said. “And then if we’re able to, we plan to do another [activity] like badminton next month.”
Due to limited availability, locals will need to pre-book the facility if they’re interested in one of these time slots, said Derdall.
“We are working on trying to get a link available, so then you can pre-book online, but right now we’re just kind of getting out the kinks,” she said. “I do a post and I say ‘if you’re interested then you contact us’, and it will be on the Town of Irricana [web page].”
“They contact me if they’re interested and then they have to leave their name for contact tracing and an email for contact as well as a phone number and how many people.”
Derdall said that she is hoping to offer more activities at the centre in the near future, pending additional easing of COVID-19 restrictions, but added the spring opening will be a “test run.”
More information about time slots and further changes at the Irricana Recreation Centre can be found at townofirricana.ca/recreation-centre