Blyth Kids Club expands to four nights a week this year
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
After a promising first year of offering soccer to the young people of Blyth at Blyth Lions Park, the Blyth Kids Club is expanding with offerings for everyone, making daily use of the Blyth and District Community Centre.
Joe Gahan of Blyth - known to many as “Irish Joe” or the lead singer of The Lucky Charms - heads up the group with his wife Megan Lee-Gahan and Amanda Johnson, says the club, beginning May 1, will be offering varied activities from Monday through Thursday, with a once-a-month kids’ disco night on Fridays. The club is for anyone from Grades 1-8 at a cost of $5 per child, per night, or $18 per family, per night, with no registration necessary. When details for the Kids Disco Party are released, advance tickets for those events will be required.
Monday from 7-8 p.m. is the club’s busiest night, going back to its roots with soccer. On Tuesday nights, there is ball hockey from 6:30-7:30 p.m., followed by board games and arts and crafts on Wednesday nights and open roller skating or rollerblading on Thursday nights.
In an interview with The Citizen, Gahan said that he and his family moved to the community about four years ago now and immediately sought out opportunities for their children. The results were good, he said, but that was right around the time that soccer was dying out in the community due to a number of factors. Gahan and his supporters took it upon themselves to resurrect soccer in Blyth and the results have been positive.
However, in recent months, talk of the potential closure of the Blyth and District Community Centre, whether it be seasonal or altogether, spurred Gahan’s trio to make better use of the centre. It’s hard to argue for its closure if it’s being used every night in both the warm- and cold-weather months, he said.
The formation of the group represents Blyth residents with children attending Hullett Central Public School coming together to create recreation opportunities for area children.
“The whole concept of the Blyth Kids Club is to provide something for our kids in the community, something fun to do, grow their confidence and help them make some friends along the way, all while utilizing the facility we have in this town,” says Lee-Gahan. “I grew up in Blyth and we moved back after over 16 years [in] Toronto, to give our children a childhood like I had here in this amazing community, and the Blyth arena was a huge part of that. The arena was the centre of our community, with dances, banquets, weddings, etc., and some of my core childhood memories are in that building, and we hope to bring back some of that so our children have the same as I did.
“We are running as a fully non-profit, volunteer-based group, and with that we need as much support from the community, be it volunteers to help run the door or help with the games or donations. If you don’t have time to spare, any monetary donations would be greatly appreciated, with any extra money raised, going to help grow this club offering as many activities as we can get the help to do, while keeping costs down for everyone.”
Lee-Gahan says the group is also actively searching for more ball hockey equipment or the funds to purchase more equipment so no child feels left out. In addition, the trio is always looking for volunteers, so, if you have some time to make your community a better place, reach out to them.
For more information, you can find Blyth Kids Club on Facebook, you can e-mail the organizers at email@example.com or call Lee-Gahan at 416-666-5184.