Cowichan Lake Sports Arena to get new fitness studio. (File photo)

Cowichan Lake Sports Arena to get new fitness studio. (File photo)

Cowichan Lake Sports Arena to get new fitness studio

The 1,305 sq. ft. facility will have a wide range of equipment

A new fitness studio at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena will soon provide residents with a dedicated space for weight training and cardio fitness.

The need for such a public space in the Cowichan Lake area has been expressed by residents for years, but it was only recently that funds became available to use existing space without compromising the existing recreation services; which includes skating and curling rinks.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District’s board approved the budget for the purchase of the fitness equipment in March.

The 1,305 sq. ft. fitness studio will include a range of equipment including a rowing machine, treadmill, fitness-power rack, recumbent linear cross-trainer, recumbent bike, elliptical, force-functional trainer, weight bench, weight rack and weights, medicine balls, hand weights, kettlebells, ropes and pullies.

CLR staff, along with the CVRD’s procurement division, will be awarding the contract for purchase, delivery and installation of the fitness equipment in the near future.

“Due to the pandemic, we ended up with surplus funds that went to reserves, and the recreation commission approved spending some of those funds on the fitness equipment needed to finish the studio,” said Linda Blatchford, manager of Cowichan Lake Recreation.

“It’s one of the good things that’s come out of a bad situation, and we are thankful to make this much requested service a reality for our residents.”

Lake Cowichan mayor Bob Day, who is also a member of the Cowichan Lake recreation commission, said the issue of having a new fitness studio in the area was important to the community, and efforts have been ongoing for many years.

“I think it’s great and I think a lot of people will use,” he said.

“A lot of people prefer going to a public fitness studio like this as opposed to private ones mainly because of smaller user fees. We have budgeted for about $65,000 worth of fitness equipment for the new studio, and it will have long hours, probably from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.”

Day said the studio will be located on the upper level of the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena in an area that was used to rent out for events.

“The studio has one wall that is all windows facing the mountain, so the view will be great,” he said.

Residents of the Cowichan Lake area, which includes the Town of Lake Cowichan, and the CVRD’s Electoral Area F (Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls) and Area I (Youbou/Meade Creek), have indicated for years their desire for a dedicated fitness studio at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.

Residents initially identified this need in 2005 during a study of the curling rink, and that desire was reaffirmed in public engagement that occurred more recently in 2017.

“I am so pleased that we are able to add this much-requested offering without sacrificing any of our existing recreation services,” said Thor Repstock, chair of the Cowichan Lake recreation commission.

“We know this is going to be a highly-utilized space once it’s open later this year, and it’s always great news when we can meet the recreational needs of our growing community with solutions that are close to home.”