By Adam Brown
*Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks, HottyToddy.com is going to bring our readers an inside look at the people in charge of making sure that the Oxford Park Commission runs smoothly.
The Oxford Park Commission is known for providing recreational opportunities for the whole family.
HottyToddy.com caught up with Jared Barkley, the program director for the OPC.
In the spring of 2020, the commission offered close to thirty classes with categories to suit all ages and interests. Some examples include “in-between” gymnastics, Mothers Morning Out and Tiny Explorers.
Barkley said that many programs, especially programs run indoors, had to be put on hold. “Now that the (park commission) is back open with safety protocols given by the board… We’re not going to be allowed to go forward based on the COVID-19 situation.”
According to Barkley, the protocols state that social distancing is required and that wearing masks will be recommended for instructors and participants while performing non-vigorous exercises. The OPC will also be required to disinfect any supplies that might be touched by participants. The protocols and a checklist for what to do when someone has COVID-19 symptoms can be found on any OPC social media page.
“Starting in September, (outdoor classes) will be picked up where they left off in the spring,” Barkley said. “Those classes that we’re moving from indoors to outdoors are karate, intro social dance, fencing and the boxing clinic that we do.”
Any OPC indoor classes moving to an outside setting will be held at the Stone Pavillion Park.
“It is safer than an indoor setting as far as the virus is concerned, and there’s going to be social distancing required and our protocols were approved by our board,” Barkley said.
Any class from the spring that was canceled at its halfway point or over will not require registration as it picks up again in the fall. However, there are a few changes that have been made to classes that are resuming.
The intro to social dance class will go down from two classes to one. Registration is open on the website.
“For the spring we had a great response for that class,” Barkley said. “We had two that were full, somewhere along the lines of 20 in each class. We had Andrew Davies who is our instructor for that, but Tammy Wilson is going to be our instructor for this fall class. That’s just because of her schedule. She’s already in Oxford on Wednesdays teaching one of their other classes.”
Karate will be instructed under Mr. Woods, and classes will take place on Saturday and Mondays. The park commission has schedules ready now.
Another sport that is being offered is lacrosse, taught by Brian Fisher.
“We call it coed recreational lacrosse,” Barkley said. It’s fundamentals of lacrosse starting with the basics like this is a stick, this is a ball. For some people, it is the first time they have heard of it. There are progression lessons that are going to be heavy on the fundamentals of catching the ball, scooping the ball, throwing the ball, running and cradling the ball.
Lacrosse has spots available for max of 20 in the class.
“By the end of the class Brian will try to do small-sided games like three vs. three to give the kids an idea of the action,” Barkley said.
The cost for registration for the class is $40 dollars if students have a stick. It is $60 if a student needs the park commission to provide one that is theirs to keep.