Transforming an empty field into a multi-sport athletic complex means plenty of friendly competition and healthy activities for The Barry Robinson Center (BRC) residents.
The recently completed sports field resulted from a discussion among BRC staff of how to provide more activities for residents. BRC canceled community outings in mid-March due to coronavirus concerns and closures of facilities that residents typically visit.
“The idea came up one day while I was talking to a few folks on campus about the inability for the kids to have extra activities right now,” said Justin Hoover, vice president of administrative services. “I suggested we fix up the field and add some sports equipment for our residents to be able to use it.”
CEO Rob McCartney embraced the idea and gave the go-ahead to move forward. He shared the plans with parents in one of his frequent COVID-19 response updates for them.
“BRC staff are focused, engaged and ensuring the children are safe,” he said. “I’m very proud of their commitment to BRC, to our kids, to our families and to each other.”
Hoover noted the underutilized eight-acre field has lain dormant for a long time. BRC ordered new equipment and graded/lined the field. Now, it has a baseball diamond, soccer field with goal nets, beach volleyball court, and a kickball field. An old baseball backstop and picnic shelter needed some TLC to freshen them for use. And, several coyote decoys perch along the field’s perimeter to help keep Canada geese away.
Playing team sports informally will complement BRC’s already robust therapeutic recreation program. The campus activities building has a full-size gym with an indoor climbing wall and outdoor playground. Residents can participate in activities and games that support their treatment goals and provide healthy outlets for physical exercise.
In spite of intermittent rainy weather and equipment shipping delays, Hoover, BRC maintenance staff and other employees worked hard to prepare the field for use. Since its debut earlier in May, residents love spending free time outdoors playing games.
“We’re fortunate to have such a large, open campus with so much green space and to be able to make these facilities available for our residents,” Hoover said.