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Seniors can get free membership to senior rec center

Amy Riggins
Contributing writer

Good morning, Shawnee!  If you happen to be aged 55+ or know someone who is, read on to find out about free Senior Happenings!  

Did you know individuals aged 55+ can get a free membership to the Senior Rec Center? That’s right, the Senior Center, which is operated by the Shawnee Parks and Recreation Department, offers memberships to those who would like to participate in our activities. For more information about senior recreation memberships, call 405-878-1528, or better yet, stop by to see things for yourself.  You can get a tour and pick up our current month’s activity calendar, which includes a schedule of our on-going programs, fitness classes, and Pickleball sessions.   

The Senior Center at 401 N. Bell is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  We also offer activities at the Shawnee Community Center at 804 S. Park.  The Community Center is currently only open for our Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. Chair Fitness classes since the Project Heart lunches are only being served on a take-out basis.  You can call 405-275-4530 for more information about the Project Heart luncheon program.  

Each weekday morning, the Municipal Auditorium Gym is open for individuals aged 55+ to walk.  The gym is adjacent to the Senior Center, and walkers must enter through the Senior Center doors.  After we get you checked into the center, then you are free to walk in the gym.  

You may have heard people talking about Pickleball but perhaps wonder if it’s right for you?  Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, with some unique rules of its own. Anyone who can move can probably play Pickleball safely, but just like any sport, there is a learning curve.  For those aged 55+ we offer a free time to play Pickleball in the Municipal Auditorium Gym on Tuesdays, 9-11 a.m. We can even provide you with a paddle and pickleball for use here at the gym. Enter through the Senior Center, check in at the Front Desk, and our staff will direct you.  

Other times for Pickleball for anyone in Shawnee include Wednesday and Fridays, 1-3 p.m. (Open Play - $2.00), Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:15-8:30 p.m. (Paddle Play - $3), Saturdays, 9:15-10 a.m. (Beginners Play - $3), and Saturdays, 10 a.m. -1 p.m. (Paddle Play with Challenge Court - $3).  Monthly and Yearly Pickleball Passes are also available for purchase!

We provide free fitness classes for those aged 55+ at both the Senior Center and the Community Center.  Our fitness classes are taught by certified instructors and are designed for all fitness levels.  Beginners are especially encouraged to come, as the instructor will assist you to adjust the exercises to suit where you are starting out.  In all our classes, the exercises can be completed standing up or while seated in a chair.  For more information about our fitness classes, please contact us at 405-878-1528 or email amy.riggins@shawneeok.org

Other activities at the Senior Rec Center include Gospel Singing, Billiards, Cards, Dominoes, Puzzles, Bingo, etc.  A new TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibility) group meets on Thursday mornings at 9-11 a.m.  A Crochet Group meets each Thursday 1-2:30 p.m.  In addition, the Storytime Country Music Band plays each Tuesday and Thursday 1-2:30 p.m. We hope you come by to see if you can find something you enjoy.

Since we are an indoor public space, masks are required, and we still have a limited number available.  We strongly encouraged social distancing and handwashing to help lower the spread of germs and the coronavirus. For more information about our COVID-19 response and cleaning procedures, please contact us.   

Tune in on Wednesday mornings at 8:30 a.m. for current senior happenings updates during the “Mike in the Morning Show,” found at KGFF on your radio dial at 100.9 FM or 1040 AM.  

As always, thanks for reading, and we look forward to seeing YOU at the Center!