Try a new sport for free on Saturday


The city of Sault Ste. Marie will host a free Try a Sport Day for community members of all ages at several city-run sports facilities on Saturday, June 4.

The City insists these are not official tryouts for any sport, but “fun first events” designed to keep people physically active.

Try a Sport Day will actually start at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 3 for those who want to try football at Rocky DiPietro Field and will last until 8 p.m.

Throughout Saturday, June 4, the public will be able to test:

  • Pickleball, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Elliot Sports Complex
  • Soccer, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tom Tipton Field
  • Disc Golf, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Penhorwood Park
  • Tennis, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., North Street Courts
  • Ultimate Frisbee, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Rosedale Park
  • Baseball, 1-3 p.m., North Street Field
  • Volleyball, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Center riverain
  • Waterfront Adventure, 10am-4pm, Waterfront Center (must be 14+)

“It’s the first time we’ve done this event. We do this as part of the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge,” said Jari Pihelgas, City Recreation Supervisor, speaking to SooToday.

The ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge runs from June 1 to June 30, cash prizes are available for participating communities with the most active population.

“It’s an event we thought we could do for two reasons,” Pihelgas said.

“Firstly it gets people moving a bit more and secondly it also exposes them more to different types of sports. We promote a few unique sports, like disc golf and pickleball, as well as our more traditional sports like baseball and soccer.

Members of the local sports league and City staff will be on hand to teach.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a problem in the community with fitness, but we’re always trying to promote new activities and new things to do for people in the community,” Pihelgas said.

Pickleball, for example, has grown in popularity with older people — but some in their 20s and 30s have also shown an interest — in recent years.

Similar to tennis, the strokes are the same, such as forehand and backhand. It is played with what appears to be a large table tennis racket, the ball is the same size as a tennis ball, the court is 42 feet long like a badminton court.

The sport is generally for doubles – men’s, women’s and mixed – but also has singles players, with age categories and open categories.

Pickleball players have lightly described it as a scaled-down version of tennis or ping pong on steroids.

“Pickleball is very popular with older people. Sports like disc golf and ultimate frisbee are becoming increasingly popular with young people, so we want to promote those sports as well,” said Pihelgas.

“We just try to get the whole community active.”

The Waterfront Adventure, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, is in partnership with Sault College at its Waterfront Centre.

Unlike other Try a Sport Day activities, there is a $7.50 per hour fee to rent paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes.

Beach volleyball courts are also available at the Sault College Waterfront Center.

“People can just show up for any sport, they don’t need to pre-register. All we ask is that they fill out a waiver and that under 18s have an adult fill out a waiver for them. There were a lot of positive comments on Try a Sport Day on Facebook, a lot of shares on Facebook as well. We’ve had a lot of phone calls and emails about it,” Pihelgas said.

Pihelgas said the city is well equipped with recreational facilities and such an event is welcome after the pandemic shutdowns.

“It’s definitely nice to be able to schedule these kinds of events again. We have resumed regular use of all of our outdoor sports fields. »


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