As the coronavirus pandemic marches on, the Town of Stettler has introduced an innovative method of getting residents involved in sports activities in a virtual manner.
The Stettler Recreation Centre (SRC), the large multi-use facility that includes ice surfaces, public library and seniors centre among other assets, recently had subscription-based “LiveBarn” technology installed, according to Brad Robbins, manager of Recreation and Culture, who gave a report to town council at their Oct. 6 regular meeting.
Robbins showed councillors how the technology works.
Several LiveBarn cameras are installed in the SRC including over ice surfaces, which allow users to watch events in several different ways as video feed is available to spectators via their computer or mobile device.
The cameras use motion sensing technology to track the action, noted Robbins, showing video feed of the LiveBarn cameras following a hockey practice at SRC.
Robbins also stated the cameras have an extreme wide angle ability that allows the entire ice surface to be viewed at once, including all the action it’s holding.
Of course, with pandemic protocols still in place, there are serious limitations from the provincial government on how many people can be in the SRC at one time, whether spectators or athletes.
Robbins noted the LiveBarn option will help the town manage pandemic protocols involving maximum occupancy, as event spectators won’t have to come to the SRC to watch events.
Coun. Gord Lawlor asked how the LiveBarn option was being received.
Robbins noted he and his staff have received only positive feedback about it and everyone he knows who’s been using it has liked it.
“People are pretty excited it’s in there,” said Robbins.
He noted recordings of various sporting events held at SRC will be available on-demand via LiveBarn for up to 30 days.
Robbins predicted the video option is going to get very popular once the minor hockey and figure skating seasons get into full swing.
A press release from the Town of Stettler noted LiveBarn users must subscribe, however.
“We are very excited about our partnership with LiveBarn and the benefits it will provide to our user groups such as the Stettler Minor Hockey Association, the Stettler Figure Skating Club, Stettler Minor Lacrosse Association and the Stettler Lightning,” said Brad Robbins, Manager of Recreation and Culture.
“With the ever-changing dynamics of our community and some parents working away, this will ensure they never miss their child’s great moments, while at the same time giving coaches an added resource in their tool box to assist with player development.
LiveBarn will also enhance our major event experience, such as Provincial Championships, giving subscribers the opportunity to watch any event within the Stettler Recreation Centre,” concluded Robbins.
Robbins said the recreation department is asking people to please stay away from the facility if they are not directly involved in an activity.
He also noted floor curling is supposed to get going at SRC soon.
“So it’s getting busier all the time,” he added.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter