You Make it Happen – Ozgen’s Story

Having a membership at the Canada Games Centre (CGC) is not only about finding the right exercise routine, as Ozgen Yildirim, his wife and two sons quickly discovered; it is also a place to fit in, to belong.

“We feel like part of a big family.”

Immigrating to Halifax seven years ago, the Yildirim’s were struggling to make genuine friendships. They were also struggling to find a place to exercise together. “We like biking, [but] the last time we biked [outside] Cyra fell off his bike and injured himself very badly… Then we tried to run, but it wasn’t very nice because we were running next to the cars fuming gasoline,” recalls Ozgen. “Then we started to find a solution.” With pressure from his wife, Ozgen investigated a family membership to the CGC.

“There are lots of options for payment and I learned that it was not expensive… It is very affordable.” In addition to the value, the variety of activities and safety of their environment, the Yildirim’s began to feel at home. “After becoming a member of the Canada Games Centre, I became a part of a community and a social group… We feel like part of a big family.”

Ozgen aims to maintain a healthy lifestyle for himself and his family. “I always believed that being active is very important. We live in a modern decade, so sedentary lifestyles make people sick, physically and emotionally.” To help reach this goal, Ozgen and his wife take advantage of all areas of the Centre, working out in the Fitness Centre while their boys swim and play basketball. They are also often found playing badminton altogether as a family.

With lots of activities and exercises to choose from, the Yildirim’s found ones they enjoyed that were also beneficial to their self-esteem, strength and overall health. “My wife slimmed down, and is now more energetic and free of joint pain… This increased quality of life for her” Similarly, since starting an exercise routine at the Centre, Ozgen no longer suffers from frequent headaches. He’s gained more muscle, and noticed his sons have gotten stronger too.

The Canada Games Centre is a place that the Yildirim’s have benefited from both physically and socially and now attend six days a week. “[CGC] was great for us because we are now Canadian Citizens, but we are still immigrants and we were struggling to find friends… after CGC, we have lots of friends.”