New West's rec facilities busy during teachers' strike

New Westminster's recreation facilities were busy entertaining students this week as they sought something to do during the three-day teachers strike.

Queen's Park Arenex, which hosts drop-in gymnastics and trampoline every Tuesday and Saturday, saw a large increase in students attending during the week.

"We had about 40 to 50 students on Tuesday from six to 10 years of age, parents were very grateful," said recreation programmer Valerie Johnson at the Arenex.

Johnson said several students that attend the drop-in program on Saturdays decided to come on Tuesday.

"We called in a 'fun supervisor' to organize activities and to keep the kids entertained," said Eidalia Martin, assistant manager at Canada Games Pool.

The pool regularly holds a public swim on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., but extended the swim until 3 p.m. to accommodate students.

"As a community centre, we must ensure that we have something to offer the public. It was a necessity," said Martin.

The Westminster Savings "Free Swim & Gym" is held on the first Wednesday of the month and was expected to be more busy because of the students.

Moody Park Arena also extended its Loonie Skate until 3 p.m.

Kathy McLellan at the arena said that they brought in three extra staff to monitor the ice, take admissions and help run the concession stand.

"The parents appreciate us, they say that it's great that you're putting on something for us to do," said McLellan.

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