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October 28, 2017 2:33 am

Active Living Information on Display

Sunday, September 13, 2015 @ 3:46 AM
Connie Ratkaj provides information on BC Indoor Soccer League. Photos 250News

Connie Ratkaj provides information on BC Indoor Soccer League. Photos 250News

Prince George, B.C. – The City of Prince George has issued its fall and winter Community Active Living Guide which provides plenty of information about seasonal activities in our community.

In conjunction with that, an Active Living Market is set up in the corridors of Pine Centre Mall with booths of more than 30 organizations on hand for your one-stop, information-gathering enjoyment.  We stopped by to get an idea of what interested people are asking about.


Kael Buryn at the Yalenka Ukranian Dancers booth says people “are looking for  class times for different age groups, class costs and maybe just some general information about Ukranian dance and what we teach.  Most of the people that come by are with little kids, like usually around 5,6 to 8 or 9, but we’ve had a couple of adults come up and show some interest in the adult dance classes but the majority is parents with 5 to 9-year-old children.”


At the YMCA of Northern BC booth, Camp and Events Coordinator Stephanie Mikalishen says they are passing out “lots of information for families as a whole.  I think it’s because things are picking up in September, people are looking for a lot of activities for their kids, indoor soccer, indoor activities knowing that the snow is on its way.  Skating has been really popular as well as just-for-fun hockey.  Definitely activities for the children and a few people looking for fitness, indoor classes and things to keep active for themselves.”

She notes that “we run the skating contract for the City so we run skating lessons for 3-year-olds all the way up to 12 and we run just-for-fun hockey programs as well.  We have a Seniors Day at the fitness park coming up on the 15th, information for all our Child and Rec programs, public skates are coming up in October, national Fitness Certification courses coming up, training courses for child care providers coming up, so we’ve been distributing information about all of those things and much more.”


Jeff Elder, the Cultural Coordinator for the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, markets the museums under the Golden Raven Cultural Attractions banner which is ten museums from Mackenzie to Valemount, includes Barkerville and Ft. St. James plus all the museums and galleries in Prince George.

Elder says “it’s interesting being here at the mall because we meet people who are new to Prince George.  They’re coming here to see what’s going on, maybe signing up their kids for programs and so on so a great way to introduce our museums and galleries to people new to Prince George.”

He says the art gallery has a lot of programs for this fall, “things like pre-school, after school care at Exploration Place, weekend events.   Some of them are winding down at the end of September but they all seem to have Thanksgiving, Halloween events as well that we just want to let people know about.”

Elder says “for people with younger children the memberships are a real plus.  Some of them have reciprocal arrangements so that if you go to Science World in Vancouver you get a discount or even a free admission if you have a membership to Exploration Place for example.  So they have a relationship with science centres across Canada, and the art gallery is similar with art galleries, so there’s some real benefits there for people who may want to take out a membership.”

The Prince George Figure Skating Club is on hand, and Assistant Director Barbara Eimer says “the majority of people are coming to ask about our program, what we provide during the season as our Fall and Winter season is starting in October and we’re running our program all the way to March.  We’re taking registrations on all levels and all ages.”

Barbara Eimer says skating of all types is a very popular Canadian activity

Barbara Eimer says skating of all types is a very popular Canadian activity

“We are accepting children who would like to learn how to skate, basics of skating, and most of the people are pretty much knowing already the club and the ones that do not know, they’re main concern is the days and how many days a week the children can skate with us.”  Eimer says the club is offering a competitive price which includes one day “and then they are able to choose out of three additional days, two sessions.  So every week those children will be skating three times a week.”

“Not only are they going to have on-ice program but as well they’re going to have off-ice program included in it.  So they’re having a warm-up, stretching, learning a little bit of flexibility, building strength, that’s what we do on our warm-ups.  And of course the basics of skating: how to balance yourself on ice, how to jump, how to stroke, go farward, do crossovers and from that they can progress further if they wish so.’  She says they take from beginners “all the way up to the sky is the limit.”

“As well I would love to introduce the adult courses to Prince Georgians.  Generally skating is such a Canadian sport and I believe there is no limit for any age to learn how to skate.  Gentlemen for example, they prefer hockey.  We don’t have a problem with that, we’re going to provide hockey sessions or basics to learn how to skate and pass the puck and hold the stick right.  Ladies maybe they prefer a little bit more skating or figure skating so they’ll learn those pretty things, a little bit more feminine elements of skating.”

And she added, “Even gentleman like yourself, you never skated, you’d like to go on ice, we are there, I take your hands and we’ll learn how to stroke.  And people go around the ice, within a few minutes they go by themselves around the ice rink and most of the times it’s just love for the sport.”

Connie Ratkaj, a board member with the BC Indoor Soccer League, says “the season goes from October to March, and it’s Men’s, Women’s and Co-ed leagues, ages 16 and up, it’s an adult league.”  She says interest “has been dwindling in the past few years and that’s why we’re here, just to promote it and get some more interest.”  The league uses the facilities of the Northern Sport Centre at UNBC and the Grand  Masters Division uses the Roll-A-Dome.

Ratkaj says “the men’s division has decreased substantially in the last few years.  The Co-ed division has increased and is probably our strongest league out of the three so there’s more interest in couples or friends wanting to play co-ed soccer than just the men’s and women’s individual leagues.  More of a social thing, right?  We do Thursdays and Friday nights so it’s a time to get out, leave the kids at home and have a good game of soccer and maybe a couple of drinks after!”

To register visit  www.bcisl.com

There is information on so many varied activities through the fall and winter and you can learn all about them at the Active Living Market which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Pine Centre.


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