By Curtis J Phillips
It’s May 4, 2014 Sunday morning 10:45 a.m. pulling up to the Anzac Recreation Centre.
Nice drive in from Fort McMurray.
Walking through the doors of this amazing 112,000 square foot facility the smell of new welcomes you.
After chatting with staff at the front desk, one offers to take me on a tour.
It’s is eerily quiet. A slight electrical hum may be heard.
Aside from the eight or nine staff on hand, the building is virtually empty except for two or three local residents working out.
Kayla Landry, 29, is briskly walking the two lane track that surrounds the field house. Her husband Jamie is instructing someone in the spacious weight room area on the second floor which overlooks the soon to be ready football and soccer fields.
Truly, a state- of- the- art rec centre which is presented by Nexen Energy.
Sitting downstairs near the concession, from which you may view the indoor NHL sized hockey rink, child play and youth areas, I query of one of the staff with one simple question,”It’s nearly noon. Where is everybody?”
The answer supplied is, “The kids around here usually don’t get up until 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. on weekends. It is usually dead around here in the mornings.”
True to their word, the facility starts to come to life around 1:45 p.m. as 14 kids start to file in for the first of two-one-hour soccer clinics put on by members of the Edmonton FC professional soccer club who flew up for the day.
The second session will also have a similar number I am informed.
Not a bad turnout considering the population of Anzac is just around 800.
Kayla Landry, who has taught in the community for three years, agrees that the complex is bigger than she had foreseen.
“When I first heard about it, I figured it would be a small gym for the kids to play in and a small workout area for us to workout in. But this is wonderful to have in such a small community as it gives the kids something to do after school.
“Every day at school, the kids ask me if I am going to the rec centre after school and they talk about different things that are happening there. It is a highlight for them.”
Later posting photos and video of the facility that I had taken, the comments were varied in regards to the Anzac Recreation Centre.
Even with something like 700 memberships, it is evident that the facility, at the present, may be too big for the local populace.
But that is now, not in the future.
Mac Island during construction had the same scenario but look at it now.
Anzac is growing and the local workforce in that area will also be using it. Instead of playing catch-up a few years from now, the powers to be are on the ball and it is great that the facility is in place to meet and greet the future.
Catch you on the rebound.