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  |  Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 06:00 am

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Women’s-only kickboxing now in St. Albert

A new fitness class in St. Albert looks to kick women’s health into gear.

Foxy Kickboxing offers women’s-only kickboxing classes for all ages and fitness levels.

Owner Jessica Sparrow said she started the Calgary-based company three years ago to train women in a comfortable and empowering setting.

Instead of using a gym, classes are held in community centres, churches and dance halls.

“The sport is intimidating enough as it is. If I go into a gym with a bunch of meathead guys that are six feet tall and 200 pounds it’s not fun,” she said.

All classes consist of rounds of hitting and body weight training, such as push-ups, squats and sit-ups. Every participant has a partner who in turn kickboxes or holds the pads for the other person to hit.

“For part of the class you would be hitting and that gets your heart rate up and then you switch with your partner and your heart rate comes down but it's active rest,” she said.

“It makes it more interesting and makes for a better workout. You’ve really got to pay attention and focus on where to hold the pads.”

Classes run every Monday from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. at the St. Albert Community Hall. Training sessions run for six weeks with the next set of classes starting on June 3.

Sparrow said participants bring water and a yoga mat. All other equipment is included in the $95 admission fee. Anyone wanting to sign up or look up more information can visit the website at http://www.foxykickboxing.ca.

Senior transportation service offers flat rates

Knowing the need of the elderly to remain mobile, Shawn Szydlowski started a senior transportation and accompaniment service out of Sherwood Park three years ago.

He is now expanding and bringing Care for a Ride to St. Albert.

The company helps seniors and those with disabilities get around town by offering individual transportation services.

“We walk with them and beside them and help them with the door and when we go to places like hospitals we always walk them up to their appointments,” he said.

“And then we bring them back home and make sure they are inside their home before we leave.”

St. Albert already has one senior transportation service, Driving Miss Daisy, but Szydlowski said there is a large demand for senior transportation in the community.

His company offers flat rates instead of charging hourly rates. A one-way trip anywhere in St. Albert costs $10. Driving from St. Albert to downtown Edmonton would cost $30.

Szydlowski said most of his clients are between 70 and 100 years old but everyone pays the same rate, no matter how much extra help they require.

He is now looking for a driver to run Care for a Ride in St. Albert but hopes to offer the service within the next month.

Care for a Ride can be contacted at 780-417-2222.

Wildlife tours organized by local couple

A new home-based business in St. Albert offers wildlife travel with a luxurious twist.

World of Wildlife Travel, owned and operated by Shauna and Dean Treichel, sells trips around the globe for those looking for wild animals and comfortable travel.

“A lot of people think with wildlife you’re backpacking it, you are in tents and you’re roughing it,” said Shauna Treichel.

“No, we are looking at minimum four-star accommodations and a lot of our trips, like the African safaris, will be in tents with butlers.”

The couple started offering the specialized service on April 1, after six years of working in the general travel business.

Treichel said most of the trips are organized for couples, families or individuals but there are also organized tours with guides.

Based on individual needs, the couple prepares everything from flights, to accommodation, safaris and special services, such as honeymoon celebrations and spas.

In February 2014, the business is taking its first guided group tour to the Galápagos Islands with a zookeeper from Calgary, followed by a tour to Africa in the summer. In the future, Treichel said they hope to offer at least four guided tours per year.

World of Wildlife Travel can be reached at 587-290-0033 or at http://www.worldofwildlifetravel.com.

Pet Valu celebrates grand opening on Saturday

Holistic lines and an all-natural selection of foods and treats are sold at a new pet store in St. Albert.

Pet Valu is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday. The store differs from others in the city by offering longer opening hours, improved customer service and better products, said assistant manager Chanel Potter.

“We try to stay away from anything that’s not natural,” she said.

“We have a small selection as far as commercial goods go but we try to stay away from anything that’s processed or has too many chemicals in it.”

Aside from pet food, the store sells all kinds of pet supplies, as well as some birds, fish, rabbits, frogs and hedgehogs.

Potter said they now have one cat available for adoption but won’t be selling dogs, as she does not want to leave them in the store overnight.

“We also have a really nice facility for a self-serve dog wash that uses tiles rather than stainless steel so the dogs don’t slip or slide,” he said.

“It doesn’t echo and has stairs rather than a ramp.”

Saturday’s grand opening will be celebrated with face painting, an all-day bake sale and a barbecue. Potter said they will also have Underdogs Rescue, an Edmonton-based dog rescue society, visiting. The dog wash is free to use all weekend.

Pet Valu is located at 140 St. Albert Trail, Unit 205 in the same parking lot as Safeway.

Jobless rates fall in April

Last month, unemployment rates in Alberta dropped to 4.4 per cent, down from 4.8 per cent in March, reported the monthly Labour Force Survey.

That’s nearly 15,000 new jobs offsetting the drop of 11,300 jobs in March.

Canada’s unemployment rate remains at 7.2 per cent. The country added only 12,500 new jobs nationally.

Provincial numbers include workers 15 years and older and reflect seasonal changes. The report said that Alberta’s unemployment rate was pushed lower in April due to strong job creation.

The two categories with the strongest growth were professional, scientific and technical services (plus 6,800) and construction jobs (plus 6,400).

Alberta’s unemployment rate remains the second lowest in the country, with Saskatchewan’s rate at 4 per cent.


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