Welcome! ‘Family’ and fitness begin here

Saanich Access Pass introduces new community connections, new opportunities

Members of the Gordon Head Community Centre’s weekday morning waterfit class share more than fitness – they’re also building valuable community connections.

Five days a week, you’ll find Mavis Stokke flashing her good-morning smile to the receptionists at Gordon Head Community Centre, as she scans her Saanich Access Pass on the way to the day’s waterfit class.

Greeting friends on the pool deck, waving hello to the morning’s instructor, waterfit is about more than fitness for Mavis – it’s about building connections with her friends, neighbours and classmates.

“It’s very important that you get up in the morning and you have something to do,” reflects the retired staffer from the adjacent Lambrick Park Secondary.

“I have a lot of very good friends who I’ve met at the pool,” she adds. “It’s kind of like a family – everyone looks after everyone, and we enjoy hearing each other’s stories over coffee after class. It’s a network for those who don’t have one. You can’t stay home without sending an email out!”

Every six weeks or so, the group even gathers for a coffee potluck party, paying it forward with a small donation for the Saanich Community Kitchen.

Of course, the physical benefits of being active in the pool don’t hurt either, agrees the active retiree.

Offered at both Gordon Head and Saanich Commonwealth Place, the low-impact, drop-in waterfit classes are one of 31 drop-in activities you can enjoy with your Saanich Access Pass.

Waterfit has been a natural transition for Mavis, who when she was working was a regular at the centre for workouts and classes; before that, she brought her children – now in their 50s – for swim lessons!

“I love all the instructors – each and every one of them, and they’re all different,” Mavis says.

That means the classes never get boring, and lots of options are demonstrated for those starting out to those looking for a greater challenge.

For couples looking for activities they can share, the pool is an ideal choice, Mavis adds. If one wants to try waterfit, for example, the other can swim laps, or hit the weight room, followed by a turn in the hot tub or steam room.

And the close-knit environment among regulars is a testament to the inviting, inclusive setting; the message from the participants is: “Welcome!”

***

Access more with your Access Pass

Your Saanich Access Pass lets you choose from 31 different drop-in activities weekly at Saanich’s four community recreation centres – more than 489 hours of drop-in activities each week! And with the pay-by-the-month annual passes, it’s even easier to find a pass to suit your fitness and recreation needs today. Learn more at saanich.ca/recreation

 

The Gordon Head weekday morning waterfit participants celebrate Mavis Stokke’s birthday after class.

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