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Recreation programs on the rebound in Vernon, but still below pre-pandemic levels

Rec services on rebound

Use of recreation facilities in Vernon continues to rebound from the pandemic.

A recreation services fourth quarter report to city council sees user numbers continuing to increase, but still below pre-pandemic levels.

"The fourth quarter of 2022 saw the continued transition to more normalized recreation programs and services with more people returning to participate and the return of longstanding events; some for the first time since 2019," the report states.

"Although numbers continue to trend upwards from 2020 and 2021, it is clear that they have still not returned to pre-pandemic levels."

Stats for the quarter saw 30,871 drop-in swim and fitness centre users, 1,141 participants in swim lessons, and 2,652 sports and league user visits.

Meeting room bookings were down at 2,554 hours, but it was noted that Interior Health used the rec centre auditorium as a vaccine clinic for all three months of the quarter in 2021.

Arena bookings were relatively constant at 2,972 hours, compared to 2,951 in 2021.

Factors contributing to numbers remaining below typical levels included continued COVID-19 restrictions during the first four months of 2022, lack of qualified instructors and staff to maintain historic service levels, a longer than expected shutdown of the aquatic centre for annual maintenance, and an unseasonably warm and extended fall.

However longstanding minor sport tournaments, craft shows, community events, and the annual Remembrance Day ceremony all returned to recreation venues.

Staff at the pool responded to 57 incidents, including two water rescues.



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