At their annual open house on Sept. 30, Anna Hudson, an activities and rental co-ordinator for Beacon Community Services, flipped through a long list of programs offered to the community, but she said with a laugh that she still gets callers asking, “Are you an old folks’ home?”
Hudson said that about 150 new people join the SHOAL Centre at this event, in part because new members can get 50 per cent off the first year’s fee ($25 for new members, $50 for returning ones). There were tables and displays with information on carving, watercolour classes, silversmithing, ceramics, computer classes, and more.
One of the most popular activities is the bridge club, which boasts at least 300 players each week. Hudson said that the activities are good for recent transplants to Sidney, because they can begin a social network.
Of the more than 60 programs offered by the centre, many relate to physical wellness. New to the SHOAL Centre is a foot care clinic where nurses can do routine cleaning and clipping as well as care for diabetic feet. Each 45-minute session ends with a soothing foot massage.
In January, a former billiards room in the SHOAL Centre was converted into a gym with a treadmill, squat rack, free weights, and resistance bands. Chad Savin, a personal trainer who has been leading group fitness classes like pilates for 3 years, said that the space has allowed him to coach smaller groups and offer one-to-one training sessions.
For more information on programs and services, call 250-656-5537.