I know it has not been business as usual for all of you within Saskatchewan’s recreation industry. The social distancing, and facility closures required to flatten the curve of COVID-19 have challenged us all, forcing us to adapt our programs, adjust our delivery models and find new ways to engage and connect with others to ensure that recreation maintains a place in their lives throughout this crisis.
You’ve all had to shift your operations, some dramatically, almost overnight. I’m inspired by the new and innovative ways that you are finding to keep your communities connected to each other, and stay active in your homes. In some instances, organizations and recreation departments are stepping up to the front lines of this crisis, offering things like childcare for essential service workers or transforming recreation facilities into testing centres to support the Saskatchewan Health Authority. All of us at SPRA want to thank you for remaining committed to your community's needs, and the health and safety of everyone in the province.
We have heard your questions about the future, and we understand the uncertainties you are facing. Will your campgrounds be open for visitors this summer? Will children be able to return to playgrounds and splash pads? When can recreation centres be re-opened? The solutions to these questions are complex, and all of us are in the same place, making and adjusting plans, reviewing options, consulting with our local public health offices, seeking solutions without having all the details to be able to answer them at this time. Like you, we are also searching for answers that will address the challenges faced by the entire recreation community, working diligently with our provincial and national partners to find options, supports and solutions as quickly as possible, and help navigate our industry through this crisis.
No one has all the answers, but if we stay focused on what is most important, continue to count on and support each other, we will not only find the answers that we seek, but will realize that our connections to each other are stronger than ever, setting us up to ride the next wave of opportunity when it arises.
We have an active and engaged network of professionals and volunteers across this province, each of them bringing a passion for the people they serve, and a wealth of knowledge about creating and sustaining quality of life for our communities through recreation. It is what sets us apart as community builders. Years from now, as we look back on this time, we will recall how much we learned from and inspired one another. We will think about how this time changed our perspectives, reminded us to stay curious, and about all the innovative approaches and adaptations that were made in order to solidify recreation as a valued and respected builder of our communities.
Now, possibly more than ever, people need recreation.To give them a sense of relief. To impact their personal and emotional wellbeing.To give them a sense of hope related to what is waiting for them at the end of this experience: Welcoming physical and social environments, opportunities to connect with nature and the outdoors, and a support network that connects, engages and inspires!
We are all in this together (while staying apart), so if SPRA can support you, please reach out to us.