Dreydon Thomas (l) and Maryn William at the HUB.

Dreydon Thomas (l) and Maryn William at the HUB.

New sports program for teens coming to the Ashcroft HUB

The program, planned by summer student Maryn William, offers a variety of sports, games, and events for youth aged 13 to 18.

Summer holidays might be starting to wind down, but that means things are starting to gear up for fall at the Ashcroft HUB; and on Wednesday, August 17 a new sports program for teens will begin.

The Teen Sport Drop-In program is for anyone aged 13 to 18 who wants to take part in an evening of sports, scavenger hunts, games, and more. “We got a small Participaction grant from BC Parks and Recreation,” says HUB manager Vicky Trill. “The money is meant for a program to get teens active, so one of our summer students, Maryn William, took this on.”

The program will run from 7 to 9 p.m. on the 17, 24, and 31 of August. “It’s a pilot project,” says Trill, “and we would like to carry on through the winter. We’ll take a break for a couple of weeks after school starts and then hope to start again.”

Soccer, basketball, and floor hockey are three of the sports that will be open to participants, but Trill says it’s up to the youth who attend to decide what they want to do. William agrees that the program is very flexible, although she admits putting things together was a new learning curve for her.

“Deciding what to do was difficult. I had ideas, but when Dreydon [Thomas, another summer student] started on August 2 it was so much easier. Having a second opinion was good, and him being a boy, and knowing what boys wanted to do, helped me.”

William has plans for what she’d like to see, but says the first night will determine where the program goes. Trill says that plans for the evening of August 24, which coincides with the Interior Savings Movie in the Park night, include Olympics-themed activities that will put a fun spin on some traditional Olympic events.

“Instead of fencing we’ll have people trying to knock each other off-balance with water noodles, and we’ll have beach volleyball with water balloons and towels.” That night, unlike the others, will see the program held at the Ashcroft pool park rather than the HUB.

Trill stresses that it’s not a teaching event; more a “come out and play and have fun” event. There will be prizes and refreshments in addition to the sports and other games, and the program is free for all participants.

Trill hopes to add a program for elementary school-aged children in September, to run on Wednesdays from after school until 5 p.m. “Students would be met at the school and brought to the HUB, where they can try various things  like sewing, crocheting, knitting, cooking, crafts, and sports.” She hopes to then continue the teen program on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m., and pickleball is high on her list of things to try.

“It’s the fastest-growing sport in North America,” she explains, describing it as a cross between badminton and tennis, played with a whiffleball, and a racquet like a large ping pong paddle. The HUB has received a grant to purchase equipment and hire instructors, and she’s looking forward to getting that going.

Although William is only at the HUB through the summer, she says she’d like to continue working with it when school is back in session. “I’ll volunteer to help there in September, if Vicky is okay with that.”