Recreation Professionals Week Spotlight: Brenda Johnson

During Recreation Professionals Week, June 18-24, 2018, the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) and the Saskatchewan Association of Recreation Professionals (S.A.R.P.) are shining a spotlight on the professionals who make recreation opportunities possible through their hard work and passion. 

Today we'd like to highlight the contributions of Brenda Johnson. 

Brenda attended SIAST Kelsey Campus for the Recreation and Leisure Diploma Program, and began working in Long Term Care at Sherbrooke Community Centre after graduating. Now, over 25 years later, she continues her work in Long Term Care at Parkridge Centre. 

In her free time, Brenda loves to play volleyball, bike, lift weights, practice yoga, hike, and keep active with her husband and 2 dogs. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and loves to travel and spend her summers camping.

At Parkridge Centre, she works in a fantastic department of 4 therapists and 6 coordinators, and although the face of long-term care is changing, she still strives, as a recreation professional, to meet the leisure needs of her clients the best she can. Recreation Therapy is definitely a bright spot in the lives of many who have suffered losses and we try our best to make Parkridge Centre their home.”

We asked Brenda a few questions about what recreation means to her, and why she loves working in the field. Here's what she had to say: 

What does recreation mean to you? 

Recreation to me, is time spent for yourself, outside of work and obligations. It could be ANYTHING that you enjoy, and I believe that everyone needs some recreation in their life to be living a fulfilling one.

What do you love about working in recreation?

I work in long-term care and I have the opportunity to really get to know the people  that I work with. When you work in some of the other areas of Recreation Therapy, you might not get that gift. I feel that we get to know the people as they are now, but also as they used to be, and we get to try and bring those two together and find a way of making their lives as full as possible. I am also lucky enough to work with a great team!

Why do you work as a recreation professional? 

When I got into the field, I was not sure if it was the one for me, but 27 years later, I am still enjoying it and still finding ways to keep it challenging. This year, is the first time, a co-worker and I will be presenting at the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association’s national conference in Nova Scotia. I am a little nervous, but also very excited to be trying something new. I am hoping that others take a little away from our presentation, as I find the conference to be a time of renewal and revitalization to continue on as a practitioner.

Why is recreation so important to communities in Saskatchewan?

No one lives to work. It is the things you get to do outside of work that puts a smile on your face and makes life worthwhile. If the opportunities for recreation aren’t available to everyone, at all levels of community throughout the province, it will affect us as a population very negatively. Everyone needs to blow off steam, otherwise that extra energy can move to areas we might not want, and who doesn’t like doing something that can positively affect both our physical and mental health.

Recreation Professionals Week is June 18-24, 2018 in Saskatchewan.

For more information on Recreation Professionals, visit