VALDOSTA – Though local sporting events have recently been postponed, parks and rec officials said the #funisntcancelled.
This hashtag is used by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority to promote its newest campaign to keep people active during voluntary orders to stay home.
The VLPRA posts video and activities on its Facebook page including ways to transform a parking lot into a tennis court and virtual exercising.
Keith Childree, VLPRA tennis professional, demonstrates the homemade tennis court with a streamer.
In the video, he stretched the material across a small portion of a parking lot utilizing two chairs to create a net. Childree said this same method can be done with caution tape or twine.
Temetrece Brown, VLPRA senior center supervisor, uses canned goods to portray lifting weights in an online video.
She begins with a brief warmup dance and stretch to lively music. She transitions into a workout routine.
Brown then uses the canned veggies to do a shoulder press and other exercises.
Another method of interaction the VLPRA has introduced is its laugh line. People call a local number and can exchange jokes with a VLPRA staffer.
“We guarantee the joke is going to be corny, but it’s still fun just to make that connection with another person who’s at the other end of the line,” said Jessica Catlett, parks and recreation marketing and public relations director.
A sample joke Catlett gave: Where is a pirate’s favorite place to vacation? Arrrkansas.
The line is open 2-3 p.m. Monday through Friday at (229) 300-8152.
Though all of the VLPRA’s centers and playgrounds are closed to the public through April 6, Catlett said the authority will continue to help the community stay active.
“People need an escape. They need an outlet, and they need fun and they are looking for ways to find that,” she said. “It’s our job to provide it, and it’s our pleasure to provide it. If we can bring joy to somebody, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
Community interaction and activities benefit the mental health of people, she said.
George Page, VLPRA executive director, said the coronavirus pandemic has been life-changing.
“Our mission remains the same, improving quality of life,” he said. “We are adapting to provide that through technology and social media.”
With all of the closures, Catlett reinforces the idea that fun is not canceled.
“We can find the fun anywhere,” she said. “Let’s find it together.”