The manager of the Murray Park Center welcomes you to the gymnasium

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

No sooner had Murray City released the new Parks and Recreation Master Plan, announcing major expansion plans for the Park Center, that it immediately closed it, temporarily. COVID has forced Murray Park Center manager Marci Williams and her staff to use the break to freshen up the facility.

Being flexible comes naturally for Williams, who is also a fitness trainer, in addition to being a gymnasium manager.

“I entered the field as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. My entry into fitness education was as a ‘Slim & Trim’ instructor in 1980, and I trained with Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons. Since there was no real training for the fitness industry or recreation centers in the 1980s, I collected several degrees and certifications as they became available,” Williams said.

Williams also points out that she is a mother of six children and a grandmother of seven. She came to Murray City as an experienced gym manager in 2002.

“I was able to open multiple facilities with various specialty services,” Williams said. “After 22 years at the Sports Mall, I left to open and consult a new facility focused on wellness education, chiropractic, physiotherapy and alternative health services. In 2002 I was hired as the manager of the Park Center and worked for Murray City for almost 20 years. I was drawn to the special events, water sports and recreational services offered by the department. »

A graduate of Murray High, Williams had to stay on top of the rapidly changing field of athletic fitness. With the advent of spinning in 1995, she became a master trainer and taught the class from then on.

“I like the constant evolution of our services. It is also the biggest challenge. Working to find staff who can handle all ages, recreational skills, aquatic certification and ever-changing fitness trends is like panning for gold. We are blessed to have many. I look at the evolution and the demand for the use of the gym. For example, pickleball was unknown until seven or eight years ago, and it now takes as much as volleyball and basketball. We want to continue this evolution so that we can adapt to ever-changing interests, programs and facilities,” said Williams.

The Park Center is also set to evolve. The new master plan calls for the building to be expanded, “adding features such as family-style locker rooms and restrooms, dry locker rooms, more fitness and studio space, a party room, storage space , a social space or homework room and a potential gymnasium.”

“We have had incredible support from our community, and this feedback has made expanding the center the #1 priority. I hope to see us achieve this priority with proper budgeting and continued contribution from the community,” Williams said.

While new facilities or equipment may be in the Park Center’s long-term future, Williams appreciates a lot of the new things that have popped up at the facility.

According to Williams, “I now see a new ‘wave’ of users, from our existing customer base as well as those who have never used everything we offer. When we had to close our doors in March 2020, I knew we would have a mountain of mental health issues. For many of our users, we are more than just a “gym”, we are family and provide the necessary access they depend on, both physically and mentally.

However, Williams recognizes that the value of the Park Center is not necessarily invested in its fixed assets.

“One of our best kept secrets is our staff,” Williams said. “We have many part-time employees who have been with us since the beginning. Their commitment to the community and what they do is inspiring. Personally, I believe in the value of community. This is what inspires me to be ready to serve every day.


Leave a Comment