The Recope program has operated at the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre since 1976. For the past seven months, it has been closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers are now prepared to resume. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland’s Recope program prepares to resume

Therapeutic program had been shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Summerland’s Recope therapeutic exercise program is reopening at the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre, after seven months of planning and reorganizing.

The program, which serves a largely senior client base, was halted in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the public health order was issued, staff at Recope have been communicating with Summerland and South Okanagan residents who have relied on the program.

Before the pandemic, more than 70 people were participating in the Monday, Wednesday and Friday fitness sessions. The program has operated for the past 44 years.

READ ALSO: Recope participants swim into health

READ ALSO: Recope program a homegrown success

A range of water-based, land-based and health education programs were being offered, and always in high demand from local residents.

“Pre-COVID, we often had more people than we could comfortably accommodate in the pool at one time. Demand for Recope services keeps growing every year” said Jean Munro, Recope’s executive director and occupational therapist.

“We could not meet that demand even then with our limited resources. Now we need to operate differently with physical distancing and fewer people in each class, so we have more than doubled our pool rental time to run multiple pool sessions. Unfortunately, we can still only accommodate half of our former numbers while at the same time our operational costs have gone up over 35 per cent.”

She added that participants in the program have said it has helped with improved mobility, pain management and new inner confidence.

New protocols for Recope to operate safely include smaller class sizes, pre-booking and pre-payment, cohorts and contact tracing, mask-wearing when not in the pool and use of alternate facilities with more space and better ventilation for land-based therapy sessions.

All of this will cost the charity more to survive as its contract with Interior Health only covers 25 per cent of its new operating expenses.

The remainder needs to be raised through participant fees and fundraising. Recope has received grants from the Summerland Health Care Auxiliary, United Way, Community Foundation of the South Okanagan and local service clubs for many years.

There are also a number of donations made by individuals and participants pay a user fee.

To meet the new COVID-19 budget, revenue will increase by more than 35 per cent, organizers say. Session fees have gone up to help cover increased costs but that could prevent some clients from continuing, since many live on small pensions or low incomes or face other barriers.

“Our team is working hard to develop our model so that we can continue to serve our community safely without adding barriers to participation for those that need us the most,” says Linda Carnegie, Recope’s board chair.

“And we can demonstrate that this is still a way more cost-effective option for recovery and prevention than many alternatives, but we will need the community’s support this fall and winter for sure.”

Those wishing to support Recope are asked to contact executive director Jean Munro at or at 250-494-9006.

To report a typo, email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A fund for the family of Steve Dahnert has been set up on GoFundMe. (GoFundMe)
GoFundMe set up for Penticton family of motorcycle crash victim

Steve Dahnert was struck by an SUV that crossed a double-solid line on Oct. 12

A male deer was spotted with an arrow through its back near a Columbia Street home Oct. 19, 2020 in Penticton. (Dave Katt / Facebook)
Deer with arrow through back spotted roaming Penticton

Conservation officers are searching for the animal

Morning Start: Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks

Your morning start for Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

The Penticton Indian Band has elected a new Chief. (File)
Penticton Indian Band elect new chief

Greg Gabriel was elected to replace incumbent Chad Eneas

Junction 3 Coffeehouse in Osoyoos has found a creative way for customers to enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors in their own safe bubble. (Junction 3 photo)
Hangout in your own personal bubble at this Osoyoos cafe

Osoyoos cafe gets creative under COVID-19 restrictions

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Charmaine Scherck with her fiancee, Jason. Friends of the Vernon mortgage broker have started a GoFundMe after a spinal cord stroke left her paralyzed from the chest down Sept. 17, 2020. (Contributed)
Funds raised for Vernon woman who awoke mysteriously paralyzed

Friends are rallying support for Charmaine Scherck, who suffered a spinal cord stroke on Sept. 17

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island residents warned to watch livestock, pets after bear kills llama

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

One of the chairs that was damaged in Peachland. (Brad Johnson - Facebook)
Peachland staff, ArtWalk hopeful art chairs will be back after vandalism

The ArtWalk chairs were found damaged less than a week after installation

Salmon Arm resident Baillie Bridle turned an 80 cent spin of an online slot machine into almost $800,000. (BCL photo)
Salmon Arm woman hits online jackpot, winning close to $800,000

Winner says money may be used to purchase boat

Lumby is proceeding with Halloween fireworks for 2020, but encouraging everyone to stay in their cars or watch from home. (Dale Eurich Photography - 2019)
Halloween fireworks curbed in all but two North Okanagan communities

COVID-19 forces Lake Country, Coldstream, BX, Armstrong to cancel events

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read