Registrations a concern

Participation is plunging for youth sports and that has Lumby area politicians taking action.

Participation is plunging for youth sports and that has Lumby area politicians taking action.

The White Valley Parks and Recreation Committee is concerned that registrations are down for many youth groups such as figure skating and swimming.

“We’re spending more to upgrade our sports facilities but the groups may not be around to enjoy them,” said Rick Fairbairn, committee chairperson.

Presently, $524,525 is being spent on a new liner for the pool and a new condenser and dehumidifier at the curling club and at Pat Duke Arena.

The work received a $400,000 provincial government grant, and the remainder of the budget is being covered by Lumby, rural Lumby and Cherryville taxpayers.

The committee will work with local sports groups in an attempt to increase registration.

“Advertising is one way that could be looked at,” said Fairbairn.

“We need to get the word out to the community that the facilities are available and affordable.”

Fairbairn admits, though, that increasing usage may ultimately require an even larger subsidy from taxpayers.

“It may be time to look at the rental fees,” he said, adding that the cost may present a challenge for some groups and families.

There is also a concern that a lack of recreational activities may lead some families to leave the Lumby area or it may not be attractive to new families, and that could have a negative impact on economic conditions.

“The reason we’re here is to offer programs for the health of the community,” said Fairbairn.