Move It Monday: Weekend Walks

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From our friends at #MoveItMonday!

Walking isn’t just a weekday activity. Weekends are a great time to go for a walk. For starters, you don’t have things like work and picking up / dropping off the kids consuming huge chunks of your day.

You also have the time to go for a walk at location that isn’t near your home or office.

See our ideas for a weekend walk.

1st Annual Neighborhood Kickball Tournament is October 5th!

DAL Neighborhood Kickball Tourn Flyer

Portia Langley: Pickleball Pioneer

Portia Langley, Program Supervisor at Ebster Recreation Center, was recently featured as  a Pickleball Pioneer in a Pickleball Newsletter. Here is a copy of her interview.

How and when did pickleball come to Decatur Rec?
Pickleball was started at Ebster Rec. in January of 2015. I was familiar with Pickleball from playing it as recreation sport in college at Fort Valley State University. When I was told I would be allowed to create programs for the gym at Ebster, I immediately thought about pickleball and about how I could get the program into Decatur. I wrote a snippet on our Decatur Active Living blog about pickleball and was approached by a resident who was a member of the USA Pickleball Association. He informed me of a USAPA grant for two free pickleball nets and we applied. Once we received the nets, we began playing once a week at Ebster gym. The Champion newspaper ran a short story about pickleball coming to Decatur and we slowly began to grow. The following year, I was asked to add another day of play and we began playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Ebster gym. Now averaging 30-40 players a month, we added a third day last year. We now play pickleball 3x a week at Ebster. We also added painted lines and barricades to accommodate the growing sport.

Tell us why pickleball and Decatur pickleball players are so special? 
Pickleball was a lot of fun when I played in college. I remember everyone participating and it didn’t matter that it had a funny name.

Being naturally athletic, I enjoyed playing basketball, softball and volleyball, but pickleball was different. You can really talk to your teammate when playing doubles which creates a more relaxed environment, and that’s the case with Decatur Pickleballers as well.

Many of our our players are retired, but we also have 30 somethings on their lunch breaks, visitors in town just for the week, people who have flexible work schedules, and other city employees who join us for play at Ebster. The atmosphere is fun with friendly competition and conversations throughout the hours of play. I think Decatur is unique in that way as well the gym itself. Ebster is a state of the art gymnasium with tinted windows and barricade partitions separating the courts.

How long have you worked for the City of Decatur Recreation Department?

I’ve worked for the City of Decatur for 5 years and was brought in while Ebster Rec. center was under renovation. Ebster Rec. center officially reopened in May 2015.

Are you a native of Atlanta? If not, what brought you here? 
I was born and raised on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I left St. Croix to attend college in Georgia and I’ve been here ever since — in Atlanta for 18 years.

What do you enjoy outside of work? 
Outside of work I enjoy performing on my stilts around town as well as thrifting and photography.
I also play pickleball in my spare time in Clayton County and East Point, GA. I registered for my first pickleball tournament in August and I’m headed to the State championship games in one week.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
People may be surprised to know I enjoy sci-fi shows including Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

Tell us about your family.
My family is mostly back home in the Virgin Islands. I visit my Mom and family at least twice a year if I can. My Dad moved to Georgia from St. Croix and has lived here for over 30 years.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I encourage people to come out and try the game of pickleball. It’s so much fun — once you try it, you’ll want to play again! The sport is for all ages and we love for people to come out to Ebster gym and give it a try.

Pickleball Schedule at Ebster Recreation Center:
Tuesday and Friday, 11 am – 2 pm
Wednesday, 2 – 6 pm ( until 5 pm during youth basketball season)
Residents: Free
Non-residents:  $3

 

 

Healthy Monday: Ease Stress Through Empathy

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From our friends at the Monday Campaigns:

The practice of cultivating empathy — or stepping into somebody else’s shoes — enables us to become more attuned to other people’s feelings and perspectives, especially when their points of view are different from ours. This not only helps others to feel supported, it ultimately benefits our own lives by strengthening our relationships and inspiring collaboration, whether at home or at work.

To reduce stress, find greater meaning in your activities, and strengthen your bond with colleagues and acquaintances try this simple empathy practice.

Couch to 5K Running Group Starts in October

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Have you been thinking about becoming a runner but were intimidated to start on your own? Join Decatur Active Living’s “Couch to 5K” running group and start your training.

The group begins meeting in October; Mondays at 6:30 am and Saturdays at 8 am. Meet at the Decatur Recreation Center and we sure to wear appropriate shoes and bring your water bottle.

The group will then run together in the Run With the Dogs 5K in January.

For more information, contact sara.holmes@decaturga.com or 678-553-6559.

The program is free to the community!

 

Meet Da’Shon Leggette: One of our youth making a difference!

Decatur High School Class of 2018 graduate and Club Ebster teen Da’Shon Leggette joined AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps in August 2019 after learning about the program from Program Supervisor Portia Langley who also served in the program in 2007. AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based, residential service program for individuals 18-24 years old. NCCC members work in small teams on service projects in the areas of disaster relief, energy conservation, urban and rural development, infrastructure improvement and the environment. Da’Shon is stationed in Vinton, Iowa and will serve in the program for 10 months. As a Team Member, Da’Shon will mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, help communities develop emergency plans, and address countless other needs in the North Central region of the United States. In exchange for their service, NCCC Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans after graduating.

The Club Ebster and Decatur Active Living staff and are very proud of Da’Shon for committing to his journey in AmeriCorps. Da’Shon was an avid volunteer at Ebster Rec. center and helped with our Halloween and Valentines dances each year. He was also a basketball scorekeeper with Decatur Active Living’s Athletic department and was known in the community as a positive young man. AmeriCorps NCCC looks for young people who are flexible, want to work hard for communities, are respectful of diversity, and willing to put the needs of communities ahead of their own comforts. Da’Shon embodies these qualities and we look forward to having him back in Decatur with his new experiences on ways to improve his own community when he returns!

Decatur Youth Football Night is September 27

Decatur Youth Football Night

Help Decatur Recreation Center Become LEED Certified

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The Decatur Recreation Center is currently working on becoming LEED certified. One of the things required are completed transportation surveys from community members visiting the center the week of September 16 – 21. This short paper survey takes no more than a minute and asks  what method of transportation you took to the center on that day.

Please take a minute to complete a survey and help us to become LEED Certified.

 

Senior Bike Ride, Friday September 13

Get back on your bike and ride with us!

senior bike rideActive Living staff will lead a ride on mostly level streets and the PATH. This is a no-drop ride and is geared towards those who are just getting back on their bicycles. All levels of cyclists are welcome. Bring your bike and water bottle.

The ride begins at 10 am at the Decatur Recreation Center.

Helmets are required for all city-led rides.

 

Family Bike Ride is Sunday, September 15

Join Decatur Active Living staff for our second Family Bike Ride on Sunday, September 15 at 2 pm.

This time we will begin at the Decatur Recreation Center and ride approximately two miles at a slow, child-friendly pace. Bring your water bottle and join in the fun! Helmets are required for all city-led rides.

Wheels down at 2 pm, so arrive early!

In the event of inclimate weather, check back here or on our Facebook page to see if the event is still on.