Parents urged to unplug for Family Day

Okotoks: Free festivities planned at recreation centre

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 04:08 pm

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Families in Okotoks are being encouraged to unplug their electronic devices and reconnect for Family Day.

As video games, social media and television take up more time in children’s lives, Family Day festivities in Okotoks on Feb. 17 are aimed helping people to ‘disconnect to connect.’

“That is to encourage families and children to disconnect from electronics and reconnect with their families through physical activities, read a book, just do something that isn’t plugged in,” said Mark Doherty, Okotoks community events co-ordinator.

It’s something his family takes to heart. He said it’s a time for his family to spend a day together, usually heading out into the great outdoors. Doherty’s children also earn time to spend on electronic devices by doing chores around the house.

“The onus is on them to do it and if they forget to do it then they lose hours, so they quickly learn,” he said.

Doherty said it’s not just about getting children to put down their video game controls, it’s also about helping them to be more active.

“When we were kids, at basketball courts you’d have to wait to play a game because there’d be so many kids, all the outdoor hockey ice surfaces were filled with people playing shinny, ballparks were filled with people playing pick-up ball, you don’t see any of that any more unless it’s organized,” he said.

The Town is also offering a pizza party for three classes in local elementary and junior high schools where students unplug their devices for the longest time.

The Town is hosting a number of free events at the Okotoks Recreation Centre for Family Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The pool will be open for free public swim and free skating at the Murray Arena. There will be fire pits for people at the Kinsmen Outdoor Skating Rink to keep warm.

There will also be bouncy castles and free entertainment with two local performers each scheduled to do a 45-minute set in the recreation centre.

The Okotoks Tennis Club will offer free tennis lessons in the Shane Homes Gym.

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