YMCA announces new spring and summer programs

There’s always something happening at the Tyrone YMCA and as the winter gives way to spring and summer, a whole plethora of new programming will appear on the schedule.
“I think there’s just such an interest, on the public’s part, for different programming at the YMCA,” said Wendi Cushion, program director at the Y. “It’s just a really good time to get people involved. They want to get out of the house come spring time and they want their children in programming over the summer to keep them active.
“It’s an excellent time of the year to put things in,” she said.
The following is a list and brief description of the new programs being offered at the YMCA for the spring and summer months:
Youth Strength Training
The Youth Strength Training program has been designed for youths aged nine through 15.
According to Cushion, the class will contain a variety of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility exercise. Women on Weight instructor Shawna Updyke, will teach the class.
The focus of the program is to learn proper form and technique on various equipment. Both free weights and machine workouts will be taught in the downstairs weight room.
“We are asking that the parents come in and sign their children up,” said Cushion.
The program will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays and will contain eight classes per sessions.
Sessions are March 3-26; April 7-30; May 5 through June 2; June 9 through July 2; July 7 through July 30; and Aug. 4-28. Cost is $30 per session for members and $40 per session for non-members.
Tumbling for Cheerleading
Last year, Cushion received a number of calls from area schools asking if gymnastic instructor Kara Light would be interested in teaching tumbling to the cheerleaders.
When the question was raised, scheduling didn’t allow for the addition of such a class.
But now there’s room available.
Cushion is asking cheerleaders to bring their whole squad to improve their gymnastic skills.
Light will have a knowledgeable assistant in Ashley Conterras, a Tyrone Area High School senior who cheers for the Golden Eagles.
The class is designed to develop the tumbling skills required by today’s cheerleader. Working with a spotter, this class will practice round-offs, back walkovers and back hand springs. Classes begin in June, but class size is limited. Cost for the class is $20 monthly.
Developmental Swim Team
“We have a lot of youths who want to be on the swim team, but aren’t quite ready for competition,” said Cushion. “This program is designed to get their feet wet in the program and learn the basics of swimming competition. When they feel secure enough that they’re ready to go onto the swim team, it’s waiting there for them. They’re already up to speed.”
According to Cushion, any child that can swim a single lap around the pool is eligible for the program.
The coaching staff will work on the basic fundamentals of swimming through the four competitive strokes – breast, butterfly, freestyle and back.
Although a start date has yet to be announced, YMCA staff know the classes will be held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Tyrone High School indoor pool. Cost is $35 monthly for members and $45 for non-members.
Men’s Summer League
Back by popular demand is the men’s summer basketball league.
Cushion said a number adults have approached her since the Y dropped the program two years ago to inquire if another league would ever be formed.
“A lot of the adults around the area would like to stay local with their sporting choices,” said Cushion. “A lot of them would rather just stay here instead of traveling all the way to Altoona.”
This year’s league will be overseen by Basketball Commissioner Jim Kilmartin.
Cushion said YMCA staff are continuing to search for a location for the outside games. When raining, the games will be played inside the YMCA. A start date for the league has not yet been solidified, but the team registration deadline is May 16.
Cost per player is $25 for members and $35 for non-members.
Youth Competitive Basketball League
This is new for the YMCA this year.
Cushion said a number of kids in the community enjoy basketball more than baseball, and when approached by a few groups of youngster interested in summer hoops, she decided forming a league would be a great benefit for the youngsters.
This league is for all kids in grades four through sixth. The registration deadline is May 16 and an organization meeting is scheduled for May 9 for interested coaches.
Cost to participate in the league is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.
Youth Roller Hockey Academy
As more and more attention is being given to hockey-type sports, the YMCA felt it needed to begin including this type of activity into its programming.
Cushion said Galactic Ice of Altoona approached the YMCA to inquire about starting a roller hockey league to get kids to become more involved in the sport.
“We’re really excited about this one,” said Cushion. “There are an awful lot of kids who would enjoy playing hockey and we want to offer a good program for them. This academy will work like a clinic. They’ll learn the basics.”
The location is the Bellwood Roller Hockey Rink. Equipment is required and organizer said each participant must have a helmet with eye protection, a mouthpiece, elbow and knee pads, street or ice hockey stick and roller blades.
The dates of the academy are April 28 through May 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Cost is $36 for members and $45 for non-members. First through Twelfth graders are eligible to participate.
Area varsity hockey players and coaches will instruct the participants, starting with basic skating and progressing to skills, such as forward strides, backward strides, cross-unders, puck handling and shooting skills.
Youth Roller Hockey League
Keeping in line with the hockey academy program, the YMCA has decided to begin a youth roller hockey league, beginning in early June.
Area varsity ice hockey players and coaches will, again, serve as directors, coaches and referees for the league. The equipment noted above is also required for this league.
Depending on interest, leagues will be established for the following groups: Grades 1-3, grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and grades 10-12. Cost is $36 for members and $45 for non-members.
Intro to Golf for Kids
With young people like Tiger Woods and Anika Sorenstan tearing up the golf world, the youth in the country is taking notice. And so is the YMCA.
Beginning in May, the YMCA will offer kids four, one-hour sessions of golf instruction. There will be a total of five sessions over the summer.
The class is being instructed by long-time YMCA participant Lance M. Grimes, a certified golf instructor.
“Golf is a very up and coming sport,” said Cushion, “and we have a lot of kids interested in it. This program will teach them all the basics of the game.”
These basics include learning proper grip, stance, set-up and swing.
Cost is $40 per session and the class is taught at the Tipton Run Golf Course. Class size is limited to six participants. Cushion said instruction for adults can be set-up as well.
Counselor in Training program
The counselor in training program is designed to help mentor teens that are not quite old enough to work. Cushion said most, but not all, kids who participate in this program are too old to attend summer camp, but are still interested in working with other kids.
“This gives them a good avenue to do that,” said Cushion.
Applications must be submitted by May 15. All applicants will be interviews and training is provided for all selected candidates. Attendance for training is mandatory.
Y Youth Group
The YMCA will opens its doors one night each week during the summer for the all new Youth Group program.
“This program is basically to get the kids involved in something rather than just hanging out downtown,” said Cushion. “It’s going to be a lot of fun for the kids and they’ll have a lot of choices for what they want to do.”
The program is slated to include kids aged 11 through 18. The program is free to all children in Tyrone and surrounding communities.
“Once a month, we’ll be taking the group on an outing,” said Cushion, “and this could include anything from swimming to bowling to youth dances. It will be a lot of fun.”
Organizers hope to begin the program by mid-March.
According to Cushion, the YMCA will continue to search the community for interests most important to it. She said she’s already thinking about what new and exciting programs can be added in the fall and winter months.
“We’re definitely going to be putting some new things in for fall and winter,” she said. “If there’s an interest in a specific program that we may not offer at this point, and if someone wants to call in and let me know what they want to do, we’ll do what we can to see a program developed.”
For more information on Y programming or to offer a suggestion, contact the Y at 684-2740.