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GBRC closes gyms for floor refinishing
Oozefest mud volleyball registration ends Thursday
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The gymnasiums at Great Bend’s City Auditorium and the Great Bend Activity Center are closed for the remainder of the month, GBRC board members learned Monday. Both gyms and the exercise area at the Activity Center closed Monday and will remain closed while floors are being refinished by the Great Bend Recreation Commission staff.
Executive Director Diann Henderson reported on the closures during the monthly GBRC board meeting. The floors are refinished at this time each summer, she said.

In action items Monday, the board approved a change in youth soccer rules. Sixth graders will now use a size 4 soccer ball, which is smaller and lighter than the size 5 ball used by adults. Sports Director Chris Umphres said this change was made for the safety of young players. Previously, the size 4 ball was used through fifth grade.
GBRC is now taking enrollments for adult volleyball and for fall instructional youth outdoor soccer, flag football and volleyball. Enroll at the Rec Office at 1214 Stone Street or call 793-3755 ext. 2. Coaches are also needed. Email Umphres,

Teams are still be accepted for the Oozeball mud volleyball tournament that will take place this Saturday, Aug. 16, during Great Bend’s Party in the Park, Henderson said. So far there are 12 teams signed up for the double-elimination tournament at Veterans Memorial Park. Thursday is the last day to register.
This Thursday is also the day GBRC will host the Kansas Recreation and Parks Association executive board. Members from across the state will meet at the Front Door in Great Bend.

Playground plans
Henderson asked the GBRC board to start looking at updating the master plan for Great Bend playgrounds that was adopted four years ago. She suggested board members schedule a tour of city playgrounds and of playgrounds in another community. Hutchinson would be ideal because it just completed a playground at a cost of more than $1 million, she said. Winwoods Enchanted Forest in Hutchinson opened June 20. While in Hutchinson, she also recommended a tour of the Dillon Nature Center.
A Friday in September will most likely be chosen for the tour date, which will be announced as a GBRC board meeting.

Another date to remember is Monday, Dec. 1, when GBRC will host its annual Santa’s Workshop at the City Auditorium.

In addition to Umphres’ report on sports, program directors Garet Fitzpatrick and Megan Hammke gave their monthly reports on leisure, senior citizen and special needs activities. Hammeke also reported on this year’s swim lessons, which concluded Aug. 1. She said there were 307 enrollments over six weeks, divided into three sessions. There were also 51 toddlers enrolled in two weeks of “Mommy and Me” activities at the pool. GBRC employed 23 swim instructors and aides during the eight-week period.

My Cute Pet
Fitzpatrick said the entries are in for the My Cute Pet photo contest. Visit the Great Bend Rec Facebook page and vote for the best photo by “liking” it between now and Aug. 29. The winning entry will receive a free portrait session along with a free 8x10 photo donated by Riggs Photography & Camera Shop. Second place will receive a $25 gift card donated by Great Bend Orscheln Farm and Home Store.

For the month of July, Henderson reported, GBRC had 5,216 enrollments and offered 1,674 hours of supervised activities. There were 18,183 participants, of which 7,770 were spectators.