Every Thursday, a group of about a dozen seniors meets at the Parkinson Activity Centre gymnasium to play shuffleboard.
But earlier this month the group learned they may not be able to continue playing the game they love.
Agnes Kloster, leader of the shuffleboard group, received a letter April 9 from the Parkinson Senior Society board of directors instructing the group to stop using wax on the hardwood floor in the centre’s gymnasium.
According to Kloster, shuffleboard can’t be played if the wax isn’t used because the pucks won’t slide on the surface without it.
She added the group has always been diligent about cleaning the gym floor before and after they play.
“We mop before, we mop after…(then) I take the mops home and wash them,” said Kloster.
Kloster said she was surprised when she received the letter, especially considering it gave no explanation of why the group was being asked to stop using wax.
“I thought the least they could do was give us a reason why,” said Kloster.
“We shuffled for years at Water Street (Senior’s Centre) and had no problem.”
Initially the group was told to stop using the wax immediately, but Kloster said they have since been told they have to stop using the product by July.
Lori Angus, recreation and business services manager with the City of Kelowna, said the wax being used by the group has already impacted the hardwood floor in a building that is less than a year-and-a-half old.
“You can’t just sweep it up. It starts to make a bit of a film,” said Angus, adding maintenance workers have to use various products and techniques to remove the wax.
“We are concerned, of course, with the maintenance of it and being able to maintain the finish on the floor. But equally, if not more so, we’re concerned with the safety because it creates a slippery surface and this particular floor isn’t used just for shuffleboard.”
Although Angus said she wasn’t aware of any incidents to date of anyone being hurt or injured on the floor, she said the goal is to be proactive and avoid safety risks.
“I’d hate to think we have to wait until something happens to start reacting to it. We’re talking about dance groups and we’re talking about fitness classes…where there is potentially a lot of movement.
“A slippery floor for seniors doing active movement is a potential problem.”
Angus said the intent is to find a way the group can continue playing shuffleboard without compromising the activity centre’s floor.
“We’ve got staff who are going back to the distributor of the particular product they’re using and (will) ask whether or not there are alternatives.
“They want to play shuffleboard, so we want to make sure that they have that opportunity to do it. We’re going to see what we can come up with as far as a solution.”