On any day of the week you will find something going on at the Camberley Community Centre, and over the last year things have steadily got busier as more activities and services are made available.
The Hastings District Council-owned facility opened in 2008 and since that time has been a hub for the surrounding community – a safe place to spend time and find support.
Most recently the centre has expanded the number of fitness classes it runs and started up a basketball academy for intermediate-aged children.
It follows the building of a new full-sized basketball court at neighbouring Kirkpatrick Park last year, which is well used both by the community and other visitors.
To date there are about eight academy members who proudly wear their specially-designed uniforms and meet up to train two days a week.
They’re also helping out with another well-supported activity run at the centre during school term time – the kids’ Breakfast Club that feeds about 25 to 45 children five days a week, depending on the season.
As well as enjoying some kai, the mornings are also a learning opportunity with the children set a maths equation to complete when they arrive, they write their names and ages down each day, and they are being taught to tell the time on the clock.
For adults there’s a range of well-attended fitness classes on offer – from the newly introduced Sit Fit on Monday’s to line dancing on Tuesday’s, Tai Chi on Thursday’s, Kori Tinana mo nga Kaumatua on Fridays and more lined up for next term.
On a Wednesday after school you will find the kids all together practising their writing or playing Bingo to recognise letters and numbers at the homework centre.
In the evenings there is always something happening for the community – from bootcamp on a Monday to a women’s group on Tuesday, men’s group on Wednesday, Housie on a Thursday and Youth Group on Fridays.
In addition, there are some new programmes with a learning focus for the tamariki lined up for next term.
A popular feature of the centre with young and old is the technology area with computers that are free to use, and other initiatives include school holiday activities and a community garden.
Opportunities to obtain learner drivers licences will return in August.
When the council worked with the community to create the Camberley Community Plan, which was most recently revised in 2015, the goals set for the area included having a “safe, healthy and beautiful community”.
Group manager council facilities and programmes Alison Banks says the community centre has been a valuable asset to help and try and achieve that over the years it has been up and running.
“People feel safe going there – it’s a welcoming place they can call their own and the fact it is being so well used shows how important it has become.
“Our staff go the extra mile to identify what might be needed or appeal to people and their efforts are really appreciated.”
Hastings councillor and Community Plans portfolio holder Eileen Lawson said it was the people of Camberley who were the heart of the community centre.
“I encourage everyone, no matter what age or stage to pop in and see what’s happening.
“Whether you’re interested in making connections, getting fit, or having a chat about what’s going on in your life, there is something for everyone.
“It’s also exciting that the Community Plan is about to be reviewed, and this will be an opportunity for the community to come together and share their aspirations and ideas for the future.”
The council is keen to hear from any members of the community who would like to be involved in the development of the plan.
Photo: Camberley Basketball Academy team captain Tim Maletino, 13, practices shooting some hoops at the basketball court that was opened last year in Kirkpatrick Park next to the Camberley Community Centre,
10 July 2019
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