Photo by Drake Lowthers -- To assist people with low mobility, Pomquet Beach was installed with 148-feet of Mobi Mat. The lightweight, non-slip, portable, roll-out beach access pathway extends off the boardwalk to the high water line.

ANTIGONISH: The Town and County of Antigonish have launched a free equipment accessibility program for all residents to take advantage of.

Due to COVID-19 their typical programs that residents are used to seeing during the summer, including day camps and swim programs were forced to be cancelled.

“The Town and County wanted to come together to provide opportunities for youth and families to have access to equipment in order to still get active and participate in recreational activities,” Marlene Melanson, Antigonish County’s recreation director said.

The equipment can be booked out one week at a time. Equipment will be available for pick-up and drop-offs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m.to 6 p.m. at the Antigonish Arena.

Available equipment includes; outdoor lawn games such as; bocce ball, ladder ball, washer toss, horseshoes, jumbo dice game, bean bag toss, glow in the dark lawn darts, velcro catch game, over-sized Connect 4, and activity fun bags.

Families can also take advantage of accessible equipment including; Hippocampe, Tricycles-FRE DCP16 and Triad TMX T-5, mobi chair, hockey sledges, adaptive lifejacket (PFD-A), life jacket LJ-A.

There are also options for fitness equipment, sports equipment, miscellaneous items, personal floatation devices, bicycles and bicycle helmets.

“Creating recreational opportunities and enhancing our free loan program was crucial this summer,” Melanson said. “Recreation improves one’s overall health and wellbeing and we wanted to be able to offer as much as we could to help people get through this challenging time.”

The first session of bookings opened on June 30 for pickups starting July 7, and the equipment will be cleaned and sanitized between bookings.

Residents can go on-line to www.recreation.antigonishcounty.ns.ca and click ‘Register Here’ and follow the step-by-step guide to book equipment.

Emily Stephenson, Active Living Coordinator for the Town of Antigonish indicated they hope residents can use this equipment to get creative and find fun ways to stay active like hosting outdoor family fun night or a neighbourhood yoga session.

“We look forward to serving the residents of the Town and County in this non-traditional way this summer and we hope the equipment gets lots of use,” Stephenson said. “Whether you’re trying something new or just looking to get outside, this equipment is for everyone to enjoy.”

For more information please contact Antigonish County Recreation at 902-863-1141 or Antigonish Town Recreation at 902-318-4048.