Art and Cherie Wright and Iryna Samofalova and Nick Skyba took to the pickleball courts Aug. 16, making them the first users of the newly-refurbished S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena and Community Centre.

The centre has opened to the public for the first time with people able to book appointments to use the pickleball and basketball courts as well as the walking track.

Director of community services, Craig Belfry, said it was good to finally get the building opened.

“We’ve worked towards this for so long and to have the window open to be able to do this right now is encouraging. It’s good to get the community in here to finally do what they love to do. It’s a good day.”

Belfry said they were also in the middle of making ice.

He said with the public emerging from almost two years of a global pandemic, and it being mid-August, it was a quiet first day.

“Hopefully as the fall comes we get more uptake. We know we’re getting high demand for the ice, which is good to see.”

The fitness room is not yet up and running. A new request for proposals for fitness equipment will come before a September council meeting. Belfry said the other outstanding item is design of the snack bar.

He is encouraging people to book the facilities and ice time.

“It’s a little different. You do have to pre-book so we can do contact tracing. But just come on out.”

Samofalova gave it two thumbs up, saying “this is so nice. It’s gorgeous.” And Cherie Wright added, “it is going to get a lot of use.”

Pickleball is Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Basketball is Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors. The walking track is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free. All activities are offered in one-hour time slots and people must wear clean indoor shoes. Pre-registration is required. See mindenhills.ca/recreation.

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