Saskatchewan’s cold and brisk winters can make it easy to stay inside and forget to be active, but not for Moosomin’s long-serving Director of Parks and Recreation, Mike Schwean.
For 30-plus years, Schwean has been a visionary and ambassador for recreation, winning the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association President’s Award of Distinction in 2020 for his efforts in enhancing a large recreational presence in Moosomin for years.
Through his tenure, Schwean has successfully administered recreation throughout Moosomin by expanding community facilities and building relationships with local businesses. Schwean’s focus has been on solidifying recreation as an integral role in the social fabric of the community and residents’ quality of life.
Even in a challenging year, Schwean continues to work through indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Peter Nahbholz Circle Skate Way has “iced” the idea of not getting outdoors this winter. Five hundred yards of flooded roadways are now ready and have brought the community together for some physically distanced fun.
Schwean, through his relationships with local businesses and groups, has brought the 12-foot-wide Skate Way to life, giving the residents of Moosomin a fun and easy way to stay active. No matter the skating ability, the path is large enough to accommodate all participants safely.
“[The Skate Way] has been an amazing addition in COVID times,” said Schwean. “The track allows 500 yards for people to skate and socially distance. We have seen skaters from three years old to 73 years old out on the track, which has been awesome.”
The Skate Way has been an overwhelming success so far this winter, with Schwean adding, “We’ve had at least a dozen calls from people asking where they can buy skates because they have not skated in years and wanted to try out the track.”
Check out this engaging video of the Peter Nahbholz Skate Way from the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Facebook page:
Schwean, with help from his counterparts, has also developed the new Prime-Timers Program, which aims to provide low-cost activities for retirees and seniors in Moosomin and the surrounding area. These activities offer safe social interactions that engage residents in physical, recreational and cultural activities. The program runs twice weekly from January through April and will resume later this year in October and November.
“As recreation professionals, we understand the critical importance of ensuring programming for all residents,” said Schwean. “This program is planning for more than a dozen different [activities] for retirees over the coming years. Everything from fitness classes, art classes and multiple “how-to” classes.”
As Moosomin continues to grow, so does the vision of keeping recreational opportunities plentiful this winter. “Staying active is the most important thing we can do for our mental and physical health. If we participate, laugh and have fun, we will be able to stay young.”
For more information on recreation in Saskatchewan, please visit the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association website or check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.