Megan Hammeke said bowling continues to be popular with the special needs clients, who participated 229 times in March. They also had a spring dance, craft classes and an Easy Cooking class on potatoes. This month’s cooking ingredient is cheese.
Hammeke also reported on programs for senior citizens, exercise classes and lifeguard classes. March saw people participate in Fit For Life classes 346 times and in three levels of Tai Chi instruction 241 times. Other fitness classes included Mom and Toddler Stretch.
Over spring break, 17 people got their lifeguard certification and 11 more were re-certified. Lifeguard certificates can be earned at age 15, but the Wetlands Aquatic Center at Great Bend only hires lifeguards who are 16 or older, so most local teens wait.
Chris Umphres reported on sports programs, noting adult volleyball will wrap up this month with T-shirts presented for awards. For adult soccer, the men’s league was in March and the women’s league is starting. The crowds of spectators practically triple when the women play, and there are many women who are just learning to play soccer.
Summer baseball and softball drafts start Tuesday. Umphres also reported on GBRC’s decision to join the competitive, traveling Sunflower League. There are five teams each of 11- and 12-year-olds. Those were the only age levels with enough teams to participate in that league.
Garet Fitzpatrick reported on leisure programs, noting the Imagination Playground will be open Wednesday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Great Bend Activity Center, 2715 18th St. This free drop-in activity is recommended for children ages 2 and older, and they must be accompanied by an adult. Turnout at the monthly sessions has been good, but they will not have it in May. Imagination Playground will return for June and July.
Fitzpatrick also said there wasn’t much snow this past winter, so there is no 2015 winner in the annual snow sculpture contest.
Walk Kansas wraps up May 9.
GBRC Director Diann Henderson reported that for the month of March, GBRC offered 1,306.75 hours of supervised activities and had 3,660 enrolled. Total participation was 17,146, of which 8,511 were spectators.
In other news:
• The City of Great Bend and GBRC will again host the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Championship Tournaments for baseball and softball, April 29 through May 3 at the Great Bend Sports Complex. April 29 will be Community Night, and the sponsors are offering T-shirts.
Both tournaments were held there in 2014, marking the first time in conference history that tournaments were held simultaneously at the same location.
• The Kansas Recreation and Parks Association will hold a budget workshop May 14 at the Front Door in Great Bend. Henderson and staff will travel to Kansas City May 5-6 for training on web-based online registration software.
• GBRC Summer Program Guides are scheduled to be mailed April 27.
• Rick Schaffer from the Southwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging will present “Questions to ask Your Doctor,” at 1 p.m. Friday at the Great Bend Senior Center, 2005 Kansas Ave.