Staying active in the South Cariboo can be lots of fun – British Columbia, Canada

The soccer fields are situated amongst beautiful marshlands, with the creek close by, and a convenient walking trail or two leading directly from the fields to 100 Mile’s hidden gem, Centennial Park. Raven Nyman photo.

There are a variety of fun ways to stay in shape and have fun at the same time in the South Cariboo

If you’re hoping to get in shape this summer, you may have already considered joining the gym. That’s not a bad idea, and I’m not here to dissuade anyone from such an endeavour, but there are other ways to stay active this summer as well.

Thankfully, we live in one of the best places to partake in physical activity outdoors, and there are actually a variety of fun ways that you can strive to stay in shape all year long in the South Cariboo.

You might consider trying out one of the many organized recreational activities the community has to offer.

From group yoga to old-timers hockey, there is probably an organized, physical activity out there to suit just about everyone. So if you haven’t found yours yet, perhaps you simply haven’t looked hard enough. Or, maybe you just need a little push.

Recently, I decided to give myself a little push, by venturing outside my comfort zone to join in on just a few of the many drop-in sports that 100 Mile House has to offer. I haven’t played on an organized team since university, and have only coached, but not played soccer in the time since.

So far, getting involved again has been an incredibly rewarding decision. Playing sports is a great way to stay in shape, but more importantly, it’s a wonderful way to support your mental health, make friends, and enrich your social life.

Living in town, the OMH soccer fields are a convenient place for a co-ed scrimmage, but they’re also very well kept and pleasant enough to visit just for the surrounding sights. The soccer fields happen to be situated amongst beautiful marshlands, with the creek close by, and a convenient walking trail or two leading directly from the fields to 100 Mile’s hidden gem, Centennial Park. With all the rain we’ve been having, the area has turned green and lush, and there are plenty of birds around to entertain your eyes, too.

The folks who attend drop-in co-ed recreational soccer at the OMH soccer fields on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. play rain or shine. In fact, we’ve played in a thunderstorm or two already this summer, if I’m not mistaken. Thankfully, we called it quits before the hail showed up, just in time for that sacred post-soccer Dairy Queen Blizzard.

Adults of all ages come out to play just for fun on Thursday nights. Some are in their early twenties, some middle-aged, and there are even a few seniors who show up to outshoot the young guns. That’s not just flowery language, either. In fact, the most talented individuals who show up to play are probably the eldest, with the exception of the time that the high-school boys’ team decided to crash our scrimmage. That was short-lived, as even the most eager of us didn’t have a chance at keeping up with the energy of those kids.

Drop-in co-ed soccer costs $35 for the season, but if you don’t want to make the commitment, drop-in games are $5. Soccer isn’t the only drop-in sport that is going on over the summer, either. This Tuesday, I ventured out to the Rolf Zeis Memorial Arena in Lac la Hache to learn how to play something I’d never tried before: pickleball.

My first interaction with pickleball happened by chance, when I was struck with the pickleball itself, during the Seniors Resource Fair in June. That was enough to turn my head, and pique my interest, too. The folks at the pickleball club in Lac la Hache actually informed me that their activity is the fastest growing sport in North America. I had no idea, but I’m starting to understand why.

The game is a bit like a combination of badminton, tennis, and racketball. It’s an energetic activity that can be fast or slow-paced depending on the vigour and skill-level of those participating. If you’d like to give it a try and find out what all the buzz is about, I suggest dropping by for games with the club on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Sundays. You can participate for just $3.50 per day and the club has all the equipment necessary. Just remember to wear your running shoes!

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