Kids will have a bit more to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake this fall.
The town is introducing two new children’s activities after the town identified increasing recreational programming for youth as a strategic priority in July.
“I’m so excited for all that’s to come. I have some kids I know that would be - are really ready for this,” Coun. Adriana Vizzari, a mother of four, said at a council meeting Sept. 19.
Couns. Maria Mavridis and Nick Ruller, who both also have kids, were excited to learn of the new children’s activities.
“There are more than just seniors that live in Niagara-on-the-Lake and we need to recognize that,” said Emily Kujbida, the newly hired recreation co-ordinator.
The new gymnastics classes, "Mini, Mighty, & Major Movers" will start Saturday, Oct. 14, at the NOTL Community Centre and will run until Dec. 9.
There will be three different classes for kids three to five, six to eight and nine to 12.
Classes will run for four weeks every Saturday.
The town is using money raised by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Classic Tournament to pay for some gymnastics equipment to help get the new program off the ground.
More details about the fall program can be found on the town’s website, at notl.com/recreation-events.
The second activity is Try !t NOTL, scheduled for select Friday evenings.
The program allows youth, teens, families and friends to try a new type of activity every Friday
Try !t is set to start with ping pong on Oct. 20, followed by card games, badminton, pickleball and gingerbread house making.
The new activities are pilot programs, Kujbida said.
The town hopes to build on the program after gauging the success of the fall session, she said, adding that a “proper planning strategy and proper funding” strategy is needed for children’s activities.
Kevin Turcotte, the manager of parks and recreation, told council there are about 932 kids enrolled in the town’s schools.
“When people say there’s no kids in Niagara-on-the-Lake, I think that stat right there proves everybody wrong,” Turcotte said.
Moving into next year, Kujbida said the recreation department is exploring a variety of family activities, including dance, dodgeball, cooking classes and music lessons.
She said the town is also looking to introduce recreational skating, first aid and babysitting courses and lifeguarding courses.
Registration for fall activities at the community centre is open now.
Evan Loree, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report