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A refuge from the cold

My Nikkel's Worth column

WEYBURN – As I get out and about a lot in the Weyburn area, I sometimes forget that not everyone can, or does, particularly in the deep freeze that we call January in southeast Saskatchewan.

One of the places that area residents really need to get out to, especially on a cold day where it’s -1000 with a minus-million wind chill, is Weyburn’s Credit Union Spark Centre.

If a person has never been to it, you might be puzzled by the name as it doesn’t give an immediate clue as to what this place is or why it’s so large.

Once you’ve been there, it’s kind of hard to believe that you hadn’t been there before, because there is so much to do.

The best way to describe the Spark Centre is that it’s Weyburn’s rec and culture centre – but even there, it’s got a lot more going for it than that.

The Spark Centre houses the city’s new art gallery, with a pottery studio next door, and classroom space. The fine tradition of the James Weir People’s Choice art exhibition is currently showing and needing the votes of the public, from now until mid-March.

Across the hallway is Mainil Field, which is an indoor sports field that can handle any indoor sport you can think of, including soccer, lacrosse and anything else that could be played on the artificial turf.

When a person first comes in the main doors, the MNP play area is to your right, a two-storey climbing structure for children, including a climbing wall.

You can go up the stairs or take the elevator to the second level and you’ll find game simulators, a small gym for sports, and a walking-running track that goes right around the perimeter of Mainil Field and offers an upper-level view of the sports going on below.

The game simulators are an adventure in themselves, as there is a great variety of games available to play, everything from football, soccer and golf to zombie dodgeball and hockey.

I met one young lady recently who said she had never been in the centre before, and is an example of a person who needs to take a free evening or three or a free weekend, and come in and look around. You can be physically and artistically active here, not out in the freezing cold.

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