June 15-21 was slated Recreation Professionals Week in Saskatchewan for the third year!

During the week, we will be highlighting a recreation professional each day who has made outstanding contributions that are beneficial to their community through recreation.

#SKRECWEEK2020

What is recreation?

Recreation is the experience that results from freely chosen participation in physical, social, intellectual, creative and spiritual pursuits that enhance individual and community well-being.

Why are recreation professionals important to your province?

Think of your most enjoyable memory as a kid. Odds are, you’re thinking of something outdoors where you were playing with family or friends. This is natural as our connection to play, enjoyment and general happiness is from memories that involved family, friends and playing.

Now that you have these memories going through your mind, do you remember any person(s) in your life who were always around making sure the spaces and places you were playing as a child were safe. Safe, so that you could simply be a kid enjoying life? These people were likely recreation professionals (although they may not hold that title), they were working in the background of your community making parks, open spaces and recreation facilities safe places for you, your family and friends to play. These opportunities and experiences are made possible through the hard work and passion of Saskatchewan’s Recreation Professionals. This diverse group of professionals includes any person working in the field of recreation and parks in a non-volunteer capacity.

Recreation professionals envision a Saskatchewan where everyone is engaged in meaningful, accessible recreation experiences, that foster:

  • Individual well-being
  • Well-being of natural and built environments
  • Community well-being

Programs and services offered by recreation professionals foster:

  • Active living
  • Inclusion and access
  • Connecting people and nature
  • Supportive environments
  • Recreation capacity

Behind a thriving community and highly valued services are educated, trained professionals that care deeply about the people that they help.

Do you work for a municipality? Please find below some excellent information to share with your administration. 

SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION

Across Saskatchewan, recreation professionals will be celebrated for the positive impact that they have on our province through their passion, dedication, commitment and hard work.

Show your appreciation of a recreation professional/s in your community by:

  • Creating an appreciation post (creative available for download here) on social media and mentioning (@SaskRecProf) on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Use trending hashtag #SKRECWEEK2020
  • Hanging the Recreation Professionals Week ’20 Poster in recreation facilities and bulletin boards

Have any questions about how you can appreciate recreation professionals? Send us an email here. We would love to assist where we can!

RECREATION PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT

Brian Honeywich - 06/15/2020

brian-honeywichBrian Honeywich is originally from Foam Lake and is currently the Recreation Therapist and Volunteer Coordinator at the St. Paul Lutheran Home in Melville. He has been in the recreation field since 1992, when he completed his Bachelor of Physical Activities Studies Degree from the University of Regina.

His love for recreation and helping others is infectious. Music and sports such as hockey, fastball, golf and badminton are a big part of Brian’s life. Early on, he realized inherent benefits of leisure activities.

Brian enjoys breaking down barriers and helping residents try new experiences while reaching their fullest potential. Connection is a main theme in Brian’s life, and he tries to encourage and create connections with local schools, churches, businesses, and other groups to allow the residents the opportunity to contribute, be involved and help strengthen their community. He finds it satisfying and fulfilling to have a job that improves a person’s quality of life.

Since COVID-19, Brian and his team have been working to provide a new normal to their residents by adapting programs to respect physical distancing, along with other precautions. Residents are missing direct connections with friends and family. The staff are helping bridge the gap by facilitating virtual visiting and phone calls between residents and their loved ones.

“Recreation is vital to my community as it, in its different forms, can provide a solution to social, health and personal issues. For every moment a youth is active and engaged is one less moment they have to experience the negative influences and lifestyles. It allows youth to be exposed to something positive, which in many cases, is not something they might not see or experience every day. Youth in the community can be exposed to drugs, alcohol, lateral violence and crime, to name a few. Some of this is cyclical and a result of historical factors, and I strongly believe recreation is one outlet for them to get away from that in a healthy way.”

Chelsea Corrigan - 06/16/2020

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Chelsea Corrigan is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Nipawin. She has worked in the field for more than 14 years since graduating from SIAST Kelsey Campus with a diploma in Recreation & Leisure Management.

Chelsea is actively involved in the professional community and is a member of the Saskatchewan Recreation Professionals Association (S.A.R.P), a member of Saskatchewan Parks & Recreation Association (SPRA) and is the Chairperson for the Lakeland District for Sport, Culture and Recreation. She is an advocate for parks and recreation services and the tremendous benefits that derive from communities with them.

Chelsea loves working in the recreation profession and enjoys “going to work” every day. She enjoys being part of a professional field where passion, purpose, energy and enthusiasm create healthy, active and vibrant communities.

Due to the pandemic, Chelsea has had to adapt to stay connected with residents by offering new programs virtually, changing the community garden and park spaces and looking at summer programming from a different lens. Continual collaboration with organizations in Nipawin to support families and residents during this time, has been first and foremost.

“As Recreation Professionals, we know that recreation creates vibrant communities and improves the quality of life of all residents. I can’t imagine a community without recreation! Recreation Professionals foster a type of environment with shared values, passions, goals, and interests that better all communities in Saskatchewan.”

Deb Ashby - 06/17/2020

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Debra Ashby will celebrate her 40th Anniversary in November as the Recreation Director for the Town of Bengough. Graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and a major in Fitness, Debra is a trailblazer in the profession.

From an early age, Debra took a liking to participating in organized sport and recreation activities.  She loves working in a small rural community as it allows her to offer a wide range of activities for all age groups.

She finds it satisfying to offer active and fun opportunities for the children, youth, adults, seniors, and families of her community.

Debra has made it her mission to search out programming grants so that her programs are accessible to everyone in the community, regardless of their financial situation.

COVID-19 has been a challenge in Debra’s line of work as her profession is very hands-on. That being said, she has become creative in engaging her community by offering mini-challenges (Chalk Your Walk, Bengough Has Heart, Family Videos, etc.) and has posted active living information on social media and in the monthly community newsletter. They’re currently working on facility maintenance, program planning and operating guidelines so that they will be ready to hit the ground running once Phase 4 is announced.

“Recreation is vital as it contributes to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of community members. It also provides them with opportunities to connect with each other and their environment.  Many young families have returned to our community over the last few years to raise their children. One of the major reasons they moved back is because sport and recreation programming is offered for all ages. This is proof of how important Recreation is to the growth of any community.”

 

Mike Schwean - 06/18/2020

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Mike Schwean is the Parks and Recreation Director for the Town of Moosomin. Graduating in 1988 from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Public Administration, Mike started his career in the recreation industry as the Recreation Director for the Town of Eatonia. After one year, Mike moved into his current position and has been there ever since.

Mike is active in the recreation profession and has volunteered on several boards over the years including: Wild Goose Regional Recreation Association, Pip Pipe Si Cana Regional Recreation Association, Zone 1 Sport Council, Saskatchewan Recreation Facility Association, Saskatchewan Hockey Association, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) and the Saskatchewan Association of Recreation Professionals (S.A.R.P.).

A sports enthusiast, Mike grew up playing sports and yearned to pursue a career where he could remain involved in some way, shape or form. The recreation profession checked all of those boxes and immersed him in a world of adversity and creativity.

He firmly believes recreation is imperative for the vitality of communities in rural Saskatchewan and takes pride in being able to deliver these services. Mike enjoys all parts of his job—but—his favourite is the excitement kids have when taking part in programs. His favourite day of the year is opening day at the pool where kids flood in with smiles from ear-to-ear.

Mike’s profession has had to create a “new normal” with COVID-19 and he is excited to reopen facilities to the public when it is safe to do so. He believes there is no other profession better situated than recreation professionals to reintroduce rural Saskatchewan to all the things they loved about the “old normal”. Mike’s excited about the opportunity to play a significant role in delivering the “new normal” and believes that recreation professionals across the province will “hit it out of the park”.

I have always believed Recreation is as mentally important as physically especially in rural Saskatchewan. The value of recreation in general is obvious but in rural Saskatchewan this is where the community meets, makes fun of the Rec Director, maybe gossips, plan vacations, visit and enjoy the company of the community. Cliché as it is recreation is intertwined in rural Saskatchewan like absolutely nothing else and I really don’t think rural Saskatchewan could survive without all the good that comes from recreation.”

Alicia Dorwart - 06/19/2020

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Alicia Dorwart is currently attending her last year in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Regina. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Studies with a major in Sport and Recreation Management, as well as a Diploma in Business Administration.

Her recreation experience with the Regina Rams Football Club and Regina Riot Women’s Football Team is expansive and impressive to say the least. Alicia had many roles with the Regina Ram’s, including: Marketing Team Member, Regina Ram’s Board of Director (second-ever female to join in the history of the club) and Interim Marketing and Events Manager. She then moved to the Regina Riot’s where she was the Game Day Coordinator and later became the General Manager for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons. Alicia was the first-ever GM to win multiple back-to-back seasons with the Regina Riot’s (2015, 2017 and 2018).

Alicia hopes to find a career with a sports team or organization, working in marketing, events, or operations. She wants to pave the way for more women in sport administration roles and be part of breaking gender barriers that women face in the industry.

She grew up loving sports and recreation, being heavily involved in basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, swimming, floor hockey, curling, golf and eventually, football as an adult. As a suicide survivor, Alicia found sports and recreation as a positive outlet.

“Besides the obvious positive impact it has on our physical health, I think it is particularly vital for our mental health. It can help reduce stress, give us an outlet for negative feelings or thoughts, build self-confidence, give us a sense of belonging, be a part of a team and community, and overall enhance our quality of life.” 

Trina Chamberlain - 06/20/2020

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Trina Chamberlain is the Recreation Coordinator at the Parkland Integrated Health Centre in Shellbrook. She has been in the Therapeutic Recreation sector for almost 30 years, which 25 years of that was in the former Prince Albert Public Health Region. Trina completed her Recreation Technician Certificate in 1988 in La Ronge and her Recreation Technology Diploma at Kelsey Campus in Saskatoon in 1989.

Trina’s passion for outdoor recreation and leisure opportunities is linked to her roots in Northern Saskatchewan. Fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, quading, campfires, kayaking and making a difference in the lives of others are on Trina’s list of things she enjoys. In addition, she reads, scrapbooks and plays competitive volleyball.

She has a seasoned skillset when it comes to working on a health care team as a therapeutic recreation professional and she is active in the community. Trina finds her career to be rewarding and enjoys going above and beyond to help improve one’s well-being. She co-coaches the Gentle Persuasive Approach and advocates on the Patient and Family Advisory Committee.

The pandemic has forced “old-school” professionals like herself to think outside the box. Fortunately, technology has been able to provide a virtual reality for her clients and maintain meaningful connections with loved ones. She is continually learning new skills and tricks to share with clients so they can improve their quality of life, regardless of the circumstances.

“People are very much interested in giving back and through this, find that relationships are formed. What may have been organized as a one-time visit or opportunity has now become a regular occurrence as giving back warms the heart. Community engagement and wellbeing benefits all.”

Crystal Longman - 06/21/2020

crystal-longman

Crystal Longman is a Community Consultant with the Prairie Central District for Sport, Culture and Recreation. From the George Gordon First Nation, Crystal has been heavily involved in her community and the recreation profession for over 15 years.

Her passion for spreading the love of sport and helping community has benefited many. Since her convocation from the University of Regina in 2004, Crystal has held roles with organizations such as the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) and the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council. She also volunteered for 5 years as an English Teacher in South America and the South Pacific.

From a young age, recreation has had a positive influence. Crystal recognized the benefits stemming from recreation, which played a major role in her decision to become a recreation professional.

Participating in the First Nation Summer and Winter Games as a teenager, Crystal decided by the age of 17 that she wanted to help other First Nation youth have the same experiences she had. Fast-forward and Crystal found herself working as part of the FSIN and Tribal Council Game System doing just that.

Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19 and recreation professionals across the province are having to adjust and adapt when helping clients live their best lives. Crystal encourages everyone to take care of their spiritual and mental health and understand that its ok to slow down during this transitional period.

Recreation is vital because it adds to one’s quality of life.  It encourages healthy living and provides a sense of belonging and community.  After months of social distancing and the cancelation of many events this year, I know I have missed/am missing/and will miss my favorite activities like attending sport events and powwows.  Recreation is such a large part of our social lives.  While I appreciated being able to go out and do things before, I don’t think I understood how important it was to my overall well-being until I was housebound and couldn’t do anything.  I imagine this awareness is similar to many Saskatchewan residents.”