Sponsored: Supporting community during isolation

A springtime shot of Dovercourt Recreation Centre on March 27.
Photo by Trish Stolte.

Dovercourt’s mission statement is “building a healthy, active and engaged community through recreation.” What does that mean in the time of Covid-19, physical distancing and stay home/stay safe?

For the past 30 years, we’ve been a busy hub for our community. We are usually bustling from early in the morning, until the late evening. The morning starts with early fitness classes in the pool and studio and the breakfast club for kids before school. There are daytime fitness classes, swim lessons and visits from local school kids at lunch. Throughout the day, seniors gather to socialize and play cards, parents hang out with their babies and toddlers in our living-room style lobby and then our energetic after-school program kids visit. In the evening, more fitness, art, music and swim classes round out the day.

For now, our building is closed and, on the advice of the City of Ottawa (our landlord), we have “put it to bed” by reducing the temperature and light usage in the facility. 

We’re all wrapping our heads around staying home, keeping our physical distance from everyone and coping with the new “normal” and the overload of daily news and developments.

While our park is still open, please keep in mind the recommendations not to gather. Ottawa Public Health has also advised against playing on play structures in the city.

Members of our management team are equipped to work virtually. The team is busy making sure that our hundreds of part-time staff have a smooth transition away from work and that our thousands of clients are taken care of. We’re trying to stay in touch with our community — we’re posting exercise tips, crafts and activities for kids and families and sharing fun things to lighten your day on our Facebook page and website. 

We’ve been emailing client groups — including Pre and Postnatal Exercise, Rehab Walking and Post-Stroke — to check in and to find out how they are doing. We’ve offered to check on fellow clients, support them with exercises and advice and start email groups. 

Social contact is vital. So whether it’s through video chatting on Facetime, Skype, Zoom, What’s App, Messenger, emails, texts, or good, old-fashioned phone calls, we urge you to reach out to people.  

If community members would like advice on how to stay healthy, active and engaged, please message us through Facebook, or email us at info@dovercourt.org, and we will answer. 

We will emerge from this with a new perspective on, and appreciation for, our lives and the importance of community. We are all really looking forward to seeing everyone again when we reopen!

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