Funding “Active” Recreation Programs

- July 18th, 2012

Comments by Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Steve Desroches in today’s Pine View Golf Course package were bound to raise the backs of the equestrian community.

And they did.

As a result, we have a bit of debate about what constitutes “active living” and who decides it. Certainly there will be people who question golf as active living if you can use a gas-powered cart to take you around the course.

I’m not going to pretend to know anything about equestrian since my experience riding horses largely amounts to pony rides as a kid, but I’m guessing you would need strong legs and a strong core to balance on horseback.

Then we have this suggestion about equestrian being a “niche” activity compared to golf. If you go by Statistics Canada estimates, it’s hard to argue against it.

There are plenty of people saying the city shouldn’t be in the business of running a golf course. But it’s subsidizing arenas, pools, soccer fields and ball diamonds. If golf is the most played sport in the country — with a higher rate of participation than each of hockey, swimming, soccer and baseball — does it perhaps make sense the city keep golf in its recreation portfolio?

The other side of the coin, of course, is there aren’t many private operators of arenas and sports fields, so the city needs to fill an obvious void.

Maybe the city doesn’t need to operate two golf courses. Maybe a practice facility would suffice.

Categories: Recreation

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