In the past this space has been dedicated to how we get more people out attending events and doing things in the city.
It remains a challenge without a lot of clear answers of how to achieve it.
Last Monday Council declared Active Transportation Week in the city for June 4-to-8. ““Active Transportation” refers to any form of travel that is self-propelled, usually walking, cycling, in-line skating, and skateboard,” said Shelia Hryniuk, co-chair of the Yorkton Active Transportation Collaborative.
Certainly in terms of being active leaving the car parked in the driveway and using more active ways to get to work, the movie theatre, or the store is a good first step to being more active.
The benefits of active transportation include those revolving around health, including helping with heart disease, obesity, and adult-onset diabetes.
And as Hyrniuk pointed out to Council, “it reduces noise pollution and congestion … (and) reduces your ecological footprint.”
But instilling an active mentality in people is not easy.
In last week’s edition of Yorkton This Week a sports story noted that there will not be a baseball team in the Midget division this year, and numbers have declined to such an extent there is only one team in Bantam.
One would think baseball would be a natural sport for youth. It is reasonably priced in terms of equipment required, and the season is short enough that parents are not in for a month’s long obligation to get their children to and from the park.
The weather is also generally good enough when you can play baseball players, especially Bantam and older can walk to practice and games if they need too.
Somehow though we are losing our children in terms of organized sport.
In some cases that may be the cost to parents. As housing costs rise, along with gas and groceries, families are left to cut some corners on their costs, and discretionary money for children activities can be high on the list to reduce.
But it’s also a case where video games and computers have more and more children mesmerized to the point of inactivity and disinterest in sports.
That is too bad because Yorkton has excellent parks and sports facilities covering just about every activity one can envision enjoying.
To mark our parks last week Council also unanimously declared June as Recreation and Parks Month in the city.
“Designating June as Recreation & Parks month acknowledges the contributions recreation activities, facilities and parks makes to our quality of life in Saskatchewan. Each year recreation services and parks throughout the country utilize June to celebrate the return of summer programming, to gather their communities together, recognize volunteers, get residents involved in fun outdoor physical activities, and gain support for the parks and recreation sectors,” Lisa Washington told the regular meeting of Council last Monday.
Washington also told Council, “There are many benefits to participating in physical activity and recreation pursuits. Recreation provides personal, economic, social, and ecological benefits to our people, our communities and our province.”
As an example Washington noted “Recreation enhances quality of live, active living and lifelong learning, helps people live happier and longer, develops skills and positive self image in children and youth, develops creativity and builds healthy bodies and positive lifestyles.”
It is for reasons such as those it is sad when you learn youth baseball numbers are in decline, something which follows on the heels of youth lacrosse going all but extinct locally.
Hopefully as a society and community we find a way to get our children back into sports programs and being more active in general.
Perhaps the first step is for we, as adults, to set the example by being more active ourselves.