The Summerland family experience

Many opportunities for family fitness, fun, recreation in Summerland.

Moving to Summerland three years ago via Calgary from Hamilton, Ont., was a leap of faith into a new culture.

Most people think of culture shock when we hear stories of people moving from small towns to big cities with populations of millions of people, dealing with rush hours, eight-lane mega highways, lineups for everything and often the cold shoulders of fellow residents.

When I talk to friends and family in Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary I brag about the ease of daily life. I let them know that I can walk to work in 12 minutes and drive to work in two minutes. I only have to go through one four-way stop sign on my route, and people often wave each other on to let them go first.   I explain that in a three-block radius from my office, I can work out, grocery shop, go to my bank, to the post office, drug store, get a nice treat at a coffee shop and hit a cool boutique for someone’s birthday present.   When we drive to a friend’s house in town, it’s not going to be more than a five-minute drive any way you cut it. We have a clean lake and at least four local beaches to enjoy right in town.

Big town dwellers listen with interest to all these scenarios and often sigh at the thought of some of our small town simplicities which I see as luxuries.

There is always a balance between good and not so good in any location.

As newcomers, we had to get used to the possibility of forest fires when we bought our first fire insurance for our home and had to face my fear of bears understanding that bears do live around town.

Although our job market does not match bigger cities, I find a sense of happiness much higher than people’s relative income here.

One of the things we don’t have to sacrifice in our town is the quality and availability of sporting activities.

With summer being over, families now switch over to sports and activities to take us through the fall, winter and spring months.

Thankfully, our small town has much to offer.

The ORCA swim team just completed our registrations for the Fall season start-up.

We are at capacity for our development groups.  As my oldest son is now 5 his world of sports has started to open up.

We don’t want to have him involved in too many sports and activities, but are excited to let him explore his interests. He played soccer in the spring, he wants to play hockey and has joined the ORCA swim team.   The great thing about Summerland is that we have all the opportunities for the arts and sports in town.  Simply check out a recreation guide or local websites.

Upon moving here, I was worried that opportunities for sports would be limited, but I have been so happy with our quality programs available in our community.   Carting your kids off to activities and school can be a challenge in and of itself, and I appreciate the things in our town that are simple. I really appreciate the friendly environment in Summerland with very experienced professionals and coaches leading our sports teams. Sports and arts are not something we have to give up in order to live in a smaller town!   I predict there will be an ongoing trend of families moving here from big cities both to the west and east of us looking to enjoy the conveniences of smaller town life along with affordability, safety, recreation and quality of life.

Joanne Malar is a three-time Olympic Swimmer, Summerland Parks and Recreation Programmer and Orca Co-Head Coach.  This will be her last article for this year before she goes on maternity leave with her third baby.

 

Just Posted

Ash falling in the Okanagan

Reports on social media of ashes on cars around the Okanagan

Highway 3A pot plant pulls application

A controversial cannabis production facility has withdrawn an application

Man dies in Penticton RCMP custody

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

Summerland Steam prepares for hockey season

Coaching team in place, players to be signed to Junior B team

Kelowna Ribfest launch faces animal rights protest

Animal advocates draw attention to abuse suffered by factory farm pigs

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini bobsleigh race

Participants in new race will compete for trophy named after Olympic athlete Justin Kripps

Snowy Mountain fire travelling away from communities

The Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos remains at 13,359 hectares in size

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former Shuswap optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Kelowna developer warns home buyers to look at more than the price tag

Kelowna developer Jeffrey Anderson wants first-time homeowners to look at more than the price tag.

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Most Read