Parks and Recreation offers plenty to do this winter

By Tom Phelan - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Wed., Jan. 9, 2013
Volunteer coaches capture the attention and energy of first- and second-graders during the first session of instructional basketball at Suffield Middle School. The program starts with 4- and 5-year-old children, and progresses to the youth basketball program offered by the Parks and Recreation Department. Photo by Tom Phelan.
Volunteer coaches capture the attention and energy of first- and second-graders during the first session of instructional basketball at Suffield Middle School. The program starts with 4- and 5-year-old children, and progresses to the youth basketball program offered by the Parks and Recreation Department. Photo by Tom Phelan.

The new year always brings a surge of people interested in making themselves more fit, according to Wendy LaMontagne, Suffield's director of Parks and Recreation. Added to that group is a steady flow of parents looking for winter activities for their young children. Suffield is delivering to both groups with a wide array of sports and leisure and other recreational activities.

Building on the interest in the TV program "The Biggest Loser," Parks and Recreation has scheduled its own TBL to start Jan. 19 at the Unique Fitness Studio on Mountain Road, serving weight loss candidates 18 years and older. It is back on the schedule this year, after a hiatus of a couple of years.

Initial measurements of weight and body composition will be taken on Jan. 19, as the preliminary step to the program's start-up the next day. Participants weigh in weekly, and target nutrition challenges at every session, receiving "fit tips" each week to help them toward their goal. At the six-week midpoint, participants get measured once again. The determination of the program's “biggest loser” comes with the final measurements at the end of the 12 weeks.

There is limited enrollment for “The Biggest Loser,” and the deadline for signing up is Jan. 16. The 12-week program ends April 13.

On Mondays and Thursdays, those who want to work hard on their fitness can take part in Circuit Training classes, which are conducted at Superior Fitness of Suffield (880 Burbank Ave.). The $55-$65 fee gets participants a course of full body strength and conditioning. The class will use as many as 10 stations that target different strength or cardio fitness exercises. Free weights, tubing, rowing machines and other equipment will also be used.

Men's Recreational Basketball if offered 7 to 9 p.m. The program started on Jan. 7 at the Suffield Middle School gym. The last two sessions will use the high school gym. Men 18 and older are required to sign a waiver at the gym each night they participate.

For those who are looking for a more inward training program, Suffield Parks and Rec is also offering Kripalu Yoga at Superior Fitness on Saturday mornings from Jan. 12 through Feb. 16. Kripalu Yoga is a new program this year, and has proven to be very popular, according to LaMontagne.

Certified trainer Mary Callander guides the group through a series of postures that encourage concentration, inner stillness, perseverance and patience. Kripalu Yoga is aimed at teaching balance, control, flexibility and strength.

Also new this year is a seven-week Digital and 35mm Camera Basics Workshop, which LaMontagne said has drawn a lot of interest. Another non-fitness activity is the single-session Make Your Own Cotton Braided Rug class.

The most popular offering this winter is Adult Recreational Volleyball. The eight-week program started on Jan. 8, and enrollment is already full.

For the young people in the family, a dozen programs are available, spanning the kindergarten through fifth-grade age group. These are non-sports activities that range from arts, crafts and science to Lego-building and games.

Youth basketball has already begun, helping children to learn the very basics of the sport or to develop their skill level to begin to play competitively.

Suffield Parks and Recreation programs are open to residents and non-residents. Some programs have passed their sign-up deadlines and/or may be full. For complete details check www.suffieldtownhall.com or call 860-668-3862.


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