Askennonia Senior Centre isn’t just a great place for local seniors to get together with friends and meet new ones.

“Our friendly volunteers and professionals deliver affordable programs that members want and need to maintain or improve health,” explains Askennonia executive director Judy Contin.

Located at the North Simcoe Sports and Rec Centre in Midland, the seniors’ centre serves area residents aged 55 and beyond with a diverse list of opportunities designed by their peers to exercise minds, bodies and spirits.

“We are a great place for people new to North Simcoe to learn more about their home community and to make new friends,” Contin says.

“We are a great place for long-time residents to meet old friends while engaging in fun activities that improve or maintain health.”

Contin says when people come into Askennonia, they are met at reception by wonderful, helpful volunteer ambassadors.

“The majority of our 60-plus weekly activities are volunteer-led by folks who really want to be there,” she explains. “A few of our instructors are hired professionals who work very hard to ensure that classes are fun and fulfilling.”

And the centre’s location is second to none, according to Contin.

“The North Simcoe Sports and Rec Centre is a perfect, accessible location that allows us to expand as needed to serve our growing membership,” she says.

“A top-notch gym, huge community hall and well-equipped program spaces mean that we can offer programs and events that people love and can safely attend. There’s really something for everyone.”

And the list of recreational, educational and social programs to exercise the body, mind and spirit just keeps growing.

Physical classes include daily exercise classes (Zumba, Yoga, etc), line dance, tai chi, pickleball, table tennis and badminton.

Current arts programs include acrylic and watercolour lessons, cardmaking and knitting groups and woodcarving.  They also have card games such as bid euchre and cribbage that will increase as they further open.

“We will start offering bus trips, social luncheons, jam sessions, choir and other programs as it becomes safe to do so,” Contin adds.

The centre traces its roots back more than 30 years.

“In 1987, Calvary Baptist Church petitioned the Town of Midland and the Ministry of Health to support a new ‘elderly persons centre to provide services and supports to local older adults,” Contin explains.

“The church was a wonderful facility for the first 17 years of operation, but moving into the Rec Centre allowed for growth and more visibility.”

Askennonia has always been governed by a volunteer board of directors who hired the first executive director in 1990. In 2005, a second support role was added.

“People are always surprised by the diversity of programs we offer and the joy that permeates throughout the facility,” Contin says.

“Activities like dancing, music, writing, fitness classes, knitting and definitely pickleball make people really happy!”

For 2021, membership is just $10 and open to all.  Members need to be completely vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend.  Classes and programs started in mid November.

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