Megan Lum

Megan Lum

ACTIVE LIFE: Parks and rec programs target Nanaimo youth

NANAIMO - Kids and teens can take advantage of sports and educational events.

Youth Week in B.C. doesn’t happen until May, but the City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment department has numerous programs to enrich youths.

According to Megan Lum, recreation coordinator, sports are among spring offerings.

“This spring, our sports programs for teens have been going really, really great, so we opened up this year, floor hockey, basketball and badminton all at Oliver Woods (Community Centre) in the gyms and those have been going well,” said Lum.

For parents and teens who want to work out together, there is the Parent and Teen Cardio Circuit program at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, which Lum said is a great way to keep the whole family moving.

There are more than just athletics, according to Lum. There are programs that develop leadership skills.

“We’re going into the 32nd summer of our Leaders in Training and Quest programs, those are popular,” said Lum. “We’re really excited to just have that back up and running again for the summer.

“I know a lots of people really look for that program,” she said.

The leaders program is for 13- to 18-year-olds and a junior program is available for 11- to 15-year-olds.

“That (junior program) is a two-week summer camp-esque program, but still focuses on leadership skills specifically for teenagers, so that one’s really cool as well,” said Lum.

A workplace safety and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System certification class will be offered, which will benefit teens job hunting this summer.

Work is also being done to update the Youth Resource Guide, a centralized database of all manner of youth services in Nanaimo.

“What we’re trying to do this season is expand it beyond just crisis services for teens and recognizing that while there are teens in crisis … there’s also a population of youth in our town that aren’t in crisis and just looking for something to do,” said Lum.

She is hoping that the new guide will launch during youth week as well.

“I just want to see kids in this town be active … I just want kids to know what’s going on, so that they can really get engaged. Be a part of their community and feel like they belong,” Lum said.

For more information, please see the activity guide, which is available at rec centres and online at the parks, recreation and environment tab at www.nanaimo.ca.