New gym could spur on new programs

Letter writer says the options for Agassiz gym users won't expand until there is more recreational space

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the District of Kent Council for taking the progressive and totally necessary step of approving the expansion of the District’s fitness centre.

As a community we are in the enviable position of having a demand by our citizens for a facility to improve their level of fitness beyond our current capabilities.

With today’s North American declining general populous fitness levels and an overall reduction in healthy lifestyles producing such worrisome reports as the recent projection of a shorter lifespan for our children’s generation than that of our own, most other communities would love to find themselves faced with our challenge.

While it has been reported that some local residents are opposed to this project the 75 per cent approval rating in the recent Agassiz Harrison Observer online poll clearly indicates a strong overall community recognition of the value of this project. Those still not convinced seem to fall within two thought groups; a) “It will be too expensive” or b) “It isn?t needed”.

To the former I would direct them to the District staff’s remarkably detailed and transparent cost analysis in a recent Observer issue as well as the current District of Kent website, which shows for even the worst case funding scenario the average appraised home property yearly tax increase to fund the project would be very modest indeed.

I believe this would in fact not truly be a cost at all but rather would better be viewed a property investment as it is bound to make our community a more desirable place for future families to call home.

Addressing the second negative camp I can only assume these folks are neither current users of our facility nor have witnessed the daily morning crush of hopeful fitness class attendees of which there are generally a disappointed group who are unable to participate due to the size limitations of the current facility.

In addition the lack of a true community gymnasium and cultural centre prevents us from even considering additional teen and adult scheduled or drop-in sports activities from basketball to pickleball.

The two new special use rooms could provide a meeting venue for a variety of our local community groups and perhaps inspire the creation of additional craft or hobby clubs. These new opportunities may well encourage some of our youth into pursuing positive and rewarding activities that they can enjoy throughout the remainder of their lives.

I would encourage all local residents of the District of Kent as well as Harrison Hot Springs to make a positive difference in your communities and add your support to this worthwhile project as we move forward; and please consider your participation in our upcoming fundraising projects.

Mal Shephard

Member at Large for

Community Recreation and Cultural Centre Fundraising Committee

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