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Women challenged to come out and play

Play time isn’t just for kids any more.

The Women’s Growth Network is holding its fourth annual Women’s Play Day at the St. Clements Outdoor Centre on May 9. In past years, the play day has proven popular with women ranging in age from 20 to 60.

The Women’s Growth Network was started by Brenda Turino four years ago with the goal of educating and empowering women in a fun way.

“The idea is basically for women to be able to try something new in a safe and comfortable environment so they can step outside of their comfort zone,” said event coordinator Lisa Ivaldi.

There are a number of indoor and outdoor sessions for women to participate in. Outdoor activities include high and low ropes, rock climbing, archery and canoeing. Indoor sessions range from stained glass and drum circles to self defence and energy sessions.

“I like the fact that you can try something for an hour and push yourself as hard as you want without committing for a whole day,” said Ivaldi, who has also participated in play day.

One of Ivaldi’s favourite moments happened last year, involving a mother who had signed up for all the same sessions as her daughter, because it was the last day they were spending together before the daughter left for university.

The daughter had signed up for the high ropes and rock climbing, and the mother was less than fond of heights. When she tried the high ropes, she didn’t even make it to the top of the ladder.

“After lunch she did the rock wall and she got almost to the top of the rock wall,” Ivaldi said. “She came down and she was crying and she was laughing, and she said ‘I can’t believe I just did that!’ And her daughter was so proud of her.”

This the second year the play day has been held at the YMCA Outdoor Centre; Ivaldi said the scenic location and the trained staff are the reason the event has returned to the site.

“It offers the opportunity to do the outdoor stuff with trained instructors; things you wouldn’t normally have the chance to do, like archery or high ropes. It is a beautiful location and it’s also an environmental award winning location.”

Registration for play day closes May 5. To register or for more information, contact Ivaldi at 1-866-601-3081 or online at www.womensgrowthnetwork.com.

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