For Saanich youth, community connections start HERE! – Saanich News


While we have all been affected in one way or another by the pandemic, the effects on young people have been significant – from isolation to the cancellation of sports and programs, making those vital community connections has been a challenge.

Saanich Recreation is here to help you with its variety of youth-focused opportunities.

“We know young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” says Maddie Parks, youth programmer at Saanich Recreation. “We want children to be open to entering our spaces, without any barriers.”

Open to people of all genders, sexualities, bodies, ancestries, cultures and abilities, Saanich’s youth programs and three youth centers, open to youth ages 11-17, can help make those connections and tap into the many diverse interests that young people can have, including arts and crafts, sports, board and video games, and more.

In accordance with current public health protocols, registration is now required for all Saanich youth programs, including youth center drop-ins, but it’s quick and easy, and can be done up to at program time, space permitting – register in line or call your local Saanich Recreation Center.

  • At the Gordon Head Leisure Centre, The back door is located next to the skate park and features a full kitchen, XBox, swimming pool, ping pong and foosball table, “and as many art supplies as any kid could want,” says Maddie.
  • At Commonwealth Place Saanich, upside down has a sound studio, video games, kitchen, ping pong table, pool, air hockey and more.
  • At the Pearkes Recreation Center, the Opposite side was recently assigned to the Saanich Fire Department but is expected to reopen with normal operations. “We’re excited to welcome everyone this spring,” says Maddie.

Although Cedar Hill Rec Center does not have a full center for teens, it does offer a variety of programs, including for youth extra sports and activities, racquet sports, the Arts Center and the weight room, for example.

Welcome to all!

In addition to drop-in after-school activities for middle and high school students, planned programming and events also help build connections, including LGBTQ2S+ drop-ins

“We offer a range of activities and everything is free or inexpensive,” says Maddie. At the Upside, for example, there’s Friday night pizza dinner, swimming and a movie, all for $10. And at Pearkes, young people can come and eat a pizza and a skate for $5.

It’s about making sure young people feel comfortable at their local leisure centre, so they can start to make lasting connections and explore some of the many other opportunities available to them, from working as a swimming instructor or lifeguard, to working out in the weight room. .

Indeed, all young people aged 13 to 16 can register for a free orientation session in the weight room. With orientation under their belt, they can then use their Saanich Continuous Access Pass — just $30 a month — to hit the weight room, not to mention skating, swimming, youth-specific free sports, and a variety of other opportunities.

Come get busy today with Saanich Recreation!



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