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YMCA offering new programs for seniors, youth

On the Move, Y Beyond Walls being offered at Shak's World in downtown Barrie

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka is taking another step towards inclusivity and accessibility with their new program, Y Beyond Walls, at Shak’s World Community Centre on Maple Street in Barrie.

Led by qualified YMCA staff and volunteers, it consists of two programs: On the Move (seniors’ fitness class) and Youth Leaders (leadership classes for grades 7 to 8).

The program aims to address two of the strategic directions in the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s new strategic plan, said CEO Jill Tettmann.

“A key focus of our strategic plan is to strengthen the legacy of our Y for future generations and connect people to meaningful experiences where everyone belongs. Innovative new offerings in our community help us do just that,” said Tettmann.

On the Move is a full-body workout that improves strength, balance, flexibility and posture. This program is suitable for older adults and those new to exercise as it includes an educational component that teaches proper forms and techniques to allow for transitions to other fitness programs. This program is available for $4 per class and does not require a YMCA membership to participate.

The Youth Leaders program uses games and challenges to develop leadership skills, build confidence and foster team building. Participants may be given volunteer opportunities and an active role in developing youth initiatives locally. This program is free for participants and also does not require a YMCA membership.

“The concept for these programs,” says Karen Pulla, vice-president of health, wellness and community impact, “is to offer traditional YMCA programming outside of the health, fitness, and aquatic centre in order to allow community members to be able to participate in Y programming our community is asking for.”

Y Beyond Walls was made possible thanks to the City of Barrie sports and recreation grant, which seeks to provide funding support for programming, events, workshops, activities, and facilities that focus on building participation and engagement in recreation and sport to enhance the broader health and well-being of the community.

More information about the Y Beyond Walls programming, including descriptions and dates, can be found on the YMCA website.

The YMCA’s new strategic plan can be found on their website.