Murray Senior Rec Center gets new directorApr 03, 2022 05:05PM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Murray Senior Recreation Center Director Cory Plant and Recreation Coordinator Leisl Morris play a round of cornhole. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
For Cory Plant, there’s no place like home, or in this case, Murray.
Plant, who graduated with Murray High School’s class of 1976, spent 37 years as the Murray City recreation director and accepted the Murray Senior Recreation Center position this past July.
As recreation director, he oversaw all the sports and recreation programs in the city. When he started, the city offered roughly 20 activities. During Plant’s tenure, the city eventually came to offer over 90 recreation programs, including T-ball, soccer, Jr. Jazz, youth track, competitive basketball leagues, learn-to-play programs, tennis lessons, 5K races, triathlons, sports camps and even pickleball.
For the adults, he created sports leagues in softball, basketball, volleyball, kickball and golf, to name just a few.
When he saw an opening for Murray Senior Center director, he applied, interviewed and was offered and accepted the position.
“It has been a great transition. I have enjoyed getting to know the patrons that use our facility. Such wonderful people,” Plant said.
Plant replaces director Tricia Cooke, who had served in the position for five years before retiring. For Plant, it has been an adjustment from his previous post.
“Many people in Murray still do not know we have a senior recreation center,” Plant said. “We are not a care center; we are an activity center where people come to enjoy many of the wonderful programs that we offer. We offer a variety of medical clinics and special services to aid our seniors. There is something for everyone. Perhaps the greatest value is the social aspect of meeting new people and developing friendships.”
The Senior Center is for adults 55 years of age and older. It’s an active center with various services and events designed to enhance quality of life. It costs nothing to join the center. However, there are fees associated with certain activities. It’s open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“One of the unique things we do is have live dances on Thursday nights from 7 to 9:30 p.m., with a one-person live band. People love to ballroom dance. It is well attended,” Plant said.
And if ballroom dancing isn’t your thing, the center has a seemingly endless list of other activities, such as art and fitness classes, ceramics, and card games like bridge, pinochle and canasta.
Seniors can keep active with pickleball, yoga, Zumba and billiards. Plus, they offer daily lunches, day trips, music concerts, bingo, tax preparation, legal consultations and holiday celebrations.
“(The) short-term future of the center is to add additional programs that will attract people to our center and increase the interest level of our community,” Plant said. “We would like to add more fitness classes, which is an important element in helping our seniors stay active, healthy and fit. Perhaps the greatest thing we can do for our seniors is to provide a social resource where people can get to know others and establish relationships. That social element is huge to seniors. People like to be heard and be able to express themselves.”
If given the budget, Plant envisions the center expanding its hours of operation in the evening and a bigger fitness/exercise room. He also would like to build a large game room dedicated to board games, darts and card tournaments.
“I enjoy meeting and talking to the patrons that visit the center. They have so many wonderful experiences they love to talk about. They all have a story to tell. I realize how much experience these patrons have gathered throughout their lives. They have lived successful lives facing all sorts of adversity and trials and yet overcoming those situations to become the people they are. They are kind and appreciative and full of gratitude. I have learned that seniors like to tell you about their families. It is good to hear their personal stories,” Plant said.
The Murray Senior Recreation Center is located at 10 E. 6150 South. Program information can be found online at murray.utah.gov.