By JESSE GAULT
The Spring Sprint, an annual and important fundraiser for the Beaches Recreation Centre (BRC), cannot be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related concerns.
“Given the current situation, we wanted to ensure that when we bring the race back, that the community was ready for it and it was welcomed by all,” said Annikki Desmarais, a member of the Beaches Recreation Centre Advisory Council, in announcing that the 2022 version of the run would not be taking place.
The run also did not happen in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic.
The Beaches Spring Sprint, which usually takes place in early April, annually raises approximately $5, 000 for the BRC.
The run involves four race categories, “a five kilometres run, a five kilometres walk, a two kilometres walk, and a two kilometres run for children.”
Usually the race starts at the Silver Birch Boathouse near the southern end of Silver Birch Avenue. It “goes west along the Boardwalk” then circles back east on the Martin Goodman Trail and ends where it started.
The event requires the help of roughly 80 volunteers.
The reason that the Spring Sprint is needed is that there is a gap in what the city can provide the BRC and what it costs to run the centre. The race generates the funds to fill that gap.
On top of that, the Spring Sprint is the only fundraiser that the Beaches Recreation Centre Advisory Council holds.
“The funds go towards summer camps, senior groups, enhancements to programs and some items to help the centre function,” said Desmarais.
The BRC provides a necessary space for the community including a safe spot to operate and participate in an afterschool program. It’s also an appropriate place for caregivers and children to meet.
The BRC runs a variety of quality programs and offers good facilities at reasonable prices.
It’s likely that a lot of people still want to support the BRC even though the Spring Sprint isn’t going to be held this year. The best way to support the BRC is to spend time using the facilities and take part in some of the programs that the centre runs.
“The centre is a gathering place and over the last couple of years has felt empty,” due to the pandemic, said Desmarais.
“The centre will be celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this fall with events planned in November,” added Desmarais.
The Spring Sprint will be back in April of 2023.
For more information on the Beaches Recreation Centre, please go to the Advisory Council’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Beaches-Recreation-Centre-Advisory-Council-847133108642555/