(Posted April 28, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The London Parks and Recreation Department is adding new programs, one designed to appeal to senior citizens and the other to give children something to do during the day.
The first program is an opportunity for individuals 65 and older to attain a free season pass to the municipal pool.
The city has signed on with Renew Active, a benefit offered through United HealthCare, Medicare Advantage and AARP Medicare insurance plans. The city also hopes to sign on with Silver Sneakers, a benefit similar to Renew Active that is offered through Humana, Medicare Advantage and AARP Medicare insurance plans. Both cover free pool passes for eligible members.
“It’s a way that insurance companies incentivize older adults to be active,” said Billie Gore, London parks and recreation assistant.
Gore and Tammy Braskett, parks and recreation director, also see it as a way to put the municipal pool’s racing pool to better use. Participants will have full use of the entire pool facility, but Braskett said the racing pool might be of particular interest because it is adults-only, fenced off, and equipped with steps instead of ladders to make entering the pool easier.
Anyone interested in the programs can contact Gore for assistance and more information.
The pool opens on May 29.
Also new to the city’s recreation offerings is a wiffleball league for children ages 10-14.
“We have kids who just don’t have anything to do during the day. So, we have lots of kids running around town on their bikes,” Braskett said. “By holding the league at Cowling Park, the idea is kids can ride their bikes to the park to participate.”
The league is split into two six-team divisions–a minor league division for ages 10 to 12 and a major league division for ages 13-14. The cost is $200 per eight-person team, which comes out to $25 per person. The deadline to sign up is May 29.
Games will take place at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays at Cowling Park. The first games are scheduled for June 2. The session will wrap up on June 25 with a single-elimination tournament.
“If it’s successful, we might run another session,” Brackett said.
Braskett is working to drum up interest in the adult softball league, a well, which is being reinstated after a year off due to COVID-19.
The co-ed recreational league will play on Sundays. The men’s recreational league will play on Thursdays. Games start the week of May 16. The season will culminate in a tournament in late July. All games are USSSA sanctioned.
The cost is $375 per team. A $100 deposit is required to secure a spot. The remainder of the fee is due by May 14.
The city is offering an American Red Cross life-saving course for lifeguard certification. The course is free to anyone who commits to work for the London municipal pool this summer. Those interested in becoming lifeguards must be at least 15 years old. Course dates and times are June 4-6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the pool.
Braskett said she likes to have at least 15 lifeguards on staff for the pool season. She has 12 lined up now, 10 of which are returning lifeguards.
She noted that lifesaving courses are hard to find these days. That’s why she is bringing the course to London. She also noted that parks and recreation districts everywhere are still feeling the impact of COVID-19 when it comes to lifeguard availability and certification.
“We are in a better position than most because we opened our pool last year and were able to retain those kids because we have a relationship with them,” she explained.
The city is renting 10×10-foot garden plots at Merri-Mac Park. The cost for the season is $10.
For more information
For more information about any London parks and recreation programs, contact Tammy Braskett or Billie Gore at (740) 852-4462. The department’s office is located at City Hall, 20 S. Walnut St., Suite 107. They also can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Information and updates also are available online at www.londonohio.gov/parks-recreation-department and on Facebook (look for “London Parks and Recreation”).