Friday November 28, 2014

Get outdoors and play a game


While this space normally highlights a board or card game to get people face-to-face across a table free from computer screens and keyboards for some fun, in the summer the last couple of years I have also highlighted several outdoor games.

In Saskatchewan nice summer weather is a fleeting and elusive thing, and we really should make every effort to get outside and enjoy it.

You can do that by attending events such as the summer fair, tractor pulls, or pony chariot races.

You can take up a fishing rod and head out after a pike.

Or, a good book in a lawn chair in the shade of a tree works.

But this is about games, and over the past summers I have touched on most which are easily available, whether it’s in your own backyard playing Kubb, or washers, or getting out to the local horseshoe club, or disc golf course.

The thing is, it seems a lot of the ‘public’ game event options are underutilized, at least locally.

Certainly the local horseshoe club seems as if they are in need of members. I’ll grant the local facilities are fenced, and so only available at set times, as opposed to pitches I noted in a park in Melville recently, but as a summer sport it is one which is easily learned and enjoyed.

I can certainly recall the horseshoe pitches being one of the most popular activities at school picnics, family gatherings, and summer fairs when I was a youth.

Most men seemed to either play, ort hang around the pits for the camaraderie of the sport/game.

And as the years went on, women picked up the sport too.

It is one game that should see more people out to enjoy.

The disc golf course at Patrick Park in Yorkton is also under-utilized. The half mile walk, and aerobic efforts required for a round are healthy.

The cost of discs is low, and rounds after are free.

And as a sport it is growing. There are now 15 courses in Saskatchewan, and more seem likely. Several of the courses in place now are at regional parks, and one can see a course being a nice fit in Saltcoats, Melville, or other area parks looking to add an activity that is fun, and low maintenance.

We have some great local outdoor game options in our city, and of course we could wish for more. It would be great to see an area in a park groomed much like the outfield on a baseball diamond, or even better like a golf green for a full sized croquet court, and a nice large bocce pitch.

There certainly is room for such a spot within the Brodie Avenue to Patrick Park redevelopment, although reasonably we should only expect such additions if we, as a community are using the outdoor options we already have.

In the end, it doesn’t matter so much what game gets you outdoors the last weeks of summer, and into fall, but hopefully everyone will get just a bit more active and enjoy the weather before the snows come again.



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