The Recope program has operated at the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre since 1976. For the past seven months, it has been closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers are now prepared to resume. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland’s Recope program prepares to resume

Therapeutic program had been shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Summerland’s Recope therapeutic exercise program is reopening at the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre, after seven months of planning and reorganizing.

The program, which serves a largely senior client base, was halted in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the public health order was issued, staff at Recope have been communicating with Summerland and South Okanagan residents who have relied on the program.

Before the pandemic, more than 70 people were participating in the Monday, Wednesday and Friday fitness sessions. The program has operated for the past 44 years.

READ ALSO: Recope participants swim into health

READ ALSO: Recope program a homegrown success

A range of water-based, land-based and health education programs were being offered, and always in high demand from local residents.

“Pre-COVID, we often had more people than we could comfortably accommodate in the pool at one time. Demand for Recope services keeps growing every year” said Jean Munro, Recope’s executive director and occupational therapist.

“We could not meet that demand even then with our limited resources. Now we need to operate differently with physical distancing and fewer people in each class, so we have more than doubled our pool rental time to run multiple pool sessions. Unfortunately, we can still only accommodate half of our former numbers while at the same time our operational costs have gone up over 35 per cent.”

She added that participants in the program have said it has helped with improved mobility, pain management and new inner confidence.

New protocols for Recope to operate safely include smaller class sizes, pre-booking and pre-payment, cohorts and contact tracing, mask-wearing when not in the pool and use of alternate facilities with more space and better ventilation for land-based therapy sessions.

All of this will cost the charity more to survive as its contract with Interior Health only covers 25 per cent of its new operating expenses.

The remainder needs to be raised through participant fees and fundraising. Recope has received grants from the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary, United Way, Community Foundation of the South Okanagan and local service clubs for many years.

There are also a number of donations made by individuals and participants pay a user fee.

To meet the new COVID-19 budget, revenue will increase by more than 35 per cent, organizers say. Session fees have gone up to help cover increased costs but that could prevent some clients from continuing, since many live on small pensions or low incomes or face other barriers.

“Our team is working hard to develop our model so that we can continue to serve our community safely without adding barriers to participation for those that need us the most,” says Linda Carnegie, Recope’s board chair.

“And we can demonstrate that this is still a way more cost-effective option for recovery and prevention than many alternatives, but we will need the community’s support this fall and winter for sure.”

Those wishing to support Recope are asked to contact executive director Jean Munro at or at 250-494-9006.

To report a typo, email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

In past years, Summerland has launched the festive season with the annual Summerland Festival of Lights. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival has been cancelled. (Summerland Review file photo)
Festival of Lights cancelled in Summerland

Annual November event normally launches start of festive season

Decorate, dress up and eat candy. But consider staying home. Black Press photo
EDITORIAL: Think about staying home this Halloween

Like everything in 2020, it has to be different

BC Wildfire Services is planning a prescribed burn for several months for wildfire management near Naramata starting Nov. 2.
Planned burn near Naramata for wildfire management

Burn will start Nov. 2 and carry on until April 2021

Send your letter to the editor via email to Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Thanks for help clearing driveway

Ice would have been difficult for Summerland resident to clear alone

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

In May 2019, Brennan Joel Metlewsky and Jordan Robert Kupser were charged with attempted murder, robbery and aggravated assault stemming from an incident that took place in Vernon in 2017. (Facebook photo)
Attempted murder charges dropped for pair accused in Vernon stabbing

Brennan Metlewsky and Jordan Kupser will appear in Supreme Court to set a new trial date

Eric Termuende and the Emily Dahl Foundation are presenting a virtual ‘fireside conversation’ on modern happiness from the stage of the Powerhouse Theatre in Vernon Nov. 3, 2020, at 7 p.m. (YouTube)
Mental health advocate joins happiness chat in North Okanagan

Versed public speaker teams up with Emily Dahl Foundation to equip virtual guests with tools to live a happier life

A boat moored at Turtle Bay Marina was reported stolen Oct. 1 and remains under investigation. (Contributed)
North Okanagan crimes remain unsolved

Boat stolen from marina, theft of siding and vehicle break and enter

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Most Read