Today I want to talk about a business that has been in operation for 140 YEARS! Their mission to their customers is simple- build strong kids, strong communities and strong families. I’ll give you another hint- they just underwent a huge renovation back in the fall of 2010 to add 27900 square feet including a pool with a moving floor to lower for deep water and raise for shallow, multipurpose areas and of course state of the art fitness equipment. I am talking about the new Ruddy Family YMCA located at 265 Centrum Blvd.
The YMCA offers many different programs including the Y Kids Academy, Strong Women, Aquatics, Strength and Conditioning and many more.
As we know and hear in the news, children are becoming more sedentary, less active and more focused on computers and video games. One of the programs the YMCA offers is the Y Kids Academy. It is a free program offered to students in grade 6. The program runs for 12 hours and teaches students things like building the foundation for healthy eating and living, proper use of the fitness equipment and promotes independence and goal setting, all done in age appropriate activities. There are new classes starting every 4 weeks.
Last year, 637 grade 6 students took part in the program at various YMCA locations. Our Ruddy Family YMCA graduated 200 students. Once students finish the program, they not only have they gained higher self esteems and leadership skills, they also will receive a free year membership to use at the facility.
Another really great program is the Strong Women Program aimed to assist women with chronic pain, or who are at risk of chronic pain. Chronic pain can stem from depression, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and more. All classes are offered in group settings and are done in partnership with the Ottawa Hospital. The program educates women on healthy living, goal setting and nutrition.
The last item I briefly want to touch on with the YMCA is that they are a charitable organization dedicated to building healthy lifestyles for adults and children alike. With many different services not only on the health and fitness side, but also programs geared to job employment and newcomers’ services, housing and accommodations and outdoor camping and education.
Their four core values – caring, honesty, respect and responsibility – form the foundation of all Y programs.