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The Calgary Flames Foundation is helping create a healthy, positive youth culture.

Calgary Flames Grade 6 YMCA Program – FREE for all Calgary grade 6 students.

YMCA Calgary is proud to be partnering with the Calgary Flames Foundation with a shared vision of creating positive and healthy change for children in Calgary. This partnership allows all Grade 6 students in the city of Calgary to have a free membership and active YMCA youth programming at all YMCA Calgary locations.

The Calgary Flames Grade 6 Membership Program has provided 5, 180 children the chance to learn and grow in a positive and healthy environment over the past two years. Through increasing opportunities for physical activity and engaging in new connections during this critical stage of growth and development, positive behavioral changes can occur for these Grade 6 students that will impact the rest of their lives.

Last year through survey results we heard from our Calgary Flames Grade 6 members, here is what they said: 

  • 94% of participants report they get along well with peers and staff at YMCA
  • 80% of participants feel they know more about healthy living
  • 87% of participants feel more positive about themselves because they can do better than they expected in sports/group activities
  • 84% of participants report feeling more confident in achieving goals they set for themselves
  • 87% of participants report having a better opportunity to get involved in sports/activities they like
  • 86% of participants feel they have become more active

 “Going to the YMCA has taught me lifelong skills about the importance of exercise, which I will use in my life because I know that exercise is more important than computer/video games and exercising with your family, that’s even better.”   ~Calgary Flames Grade 6 Member

 We are gratefule to the Calgary Flames Foundation for continuing to make such an important impact in the community.  We appreciate our partnership as we both work towards the goal of improving the health and wellness of children and youth in Calgary.

To learn more about the Calgary Flames Grade 6 YMCA Program, click here.

 


FRIEND BENEFITS. Get the benefits of working out with a friend.

Reap the benefits of a workout buddy this fall. Along with the social benefits, you’ll get so much more. A friend helps you:

Embrace Commitment Scheduling a workout with a friend helps hold you accountable to your scheduled gym time. Meeting a buddy at the gym not only motivates you to show up, it forces you to complete the intended workout and intensity while you are there.

Brave new things A friend can help take the intimidation factor away from trying something new. You’ll get the support and confidence you need while navigating your way through new skills, new found muscle groups or getting comfortable in unfamiliar parts of the gym.

Push the limits Exercising with a partner pushes you to work the best of your ability. And when you work out with a partner who is stronger or faster than you, it can motivate you to test your limits.

Work out longer Time flies when you’re having fun… and distracted. Having someone to chat with helps focus on your conversation instead of the workout and makes the time go by quickly.

Go back for more If you loved your social time during your work out, you are likely to set up your next work out session before you leave the gym!

Be your friends best motivation, and they’ll be yours.

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Did you know members get free and discounted admission rates for your friends.  Click here for YMCA member benefits.

Want your friend to come more often? Click here for details on our waive the joining fee promotion (a savings of $75!).


A YMCA Global Partner creates global awareness, builds peace and discovers the true YMCA spirit.

Yana, a volunteer with one of our global partners, YMCA Ukraine, participated in the three-month YMCA Youth Peace Network program this summer. Now in Calgary on the last part of her journey, we’ve learned about Yana’s incredible experience.  Here biggest take-away from her time in the program?  “The caring, giving, and dedicated YMCA Spirit was as prevalent in the people from Canada and participating countries as it is in the Ukraine”

The YMCA Youth Peace network program brings youth (ages 19 – 30) together from all corners of the globe to help create global awareness, understanding of other cultures, and to build peace.   Successful YMCA applicants (both volunteers and employees) converge in Vancouver for a summer dedicated to developing leadership, intercultural communication and conflict resolution skills.

As part of the program, participants work as camp counsellors at the local camp. One of Yana’s roles was to teach campers about her country, its traditions, and guide discussions and learning on the differences and challenges in both communities. The goal is to help Canadian youth and families better understand the world and become more effective global citizens.

As part of the program, participants work as camp counsellors at the local camp. One of Yana’s roles was to teach campers about her country, its traditions, and guide discussions and learning on the differences and challenges in both communities. The goal is to help Canadian youth and families better understand the world and become more effective global citizens.

“I was scared when I first arrived at camp. My English was not where I wanted it to be and I didn’t know how the kids would react to me or if they would understand or accept me.”  Yana was surprised to find the opposite reaction.  “The kids were curious, interested, accepting, compassionate and caring.”  “They took care of me and took a leadership role by helping me learn, communicate and feel comfortable at camp.”  Their cultural and language differences only added to the interest and depth of the experience.

After two weeks spent at camp, the balance of Yana’s time was spent in Vancouver at Global Week. A week of participant-lead sessions brought youth together to learn how other YMCA organizations operate, to learn about other cultures, and to promote respect and peace.

Youth Peace Network participants are expected to apply their learning within their own YMCA and home communities by developing a concrete action plan for use upon return to their respective countries.

Yana is already shown that she is a dedicated citizen responding to the needs of the global community –we know she will continue to make a difference in her community when she returns.

Our biggest takeaway from Yana’s visit?  Yana too embodies the true YMCA Spirit.

 


With the help of PrarieSky Royalty Ltd., YMCA summer camps were fun and beneficial.

With generous support from PrarieSky Royalty Ltd., our summer student helped YMCA campers build fundamental physical literacy skills.

My name is Seann Mahon. I was hired this summer to help facilitate and promote Physical Literacy in YMCA Calgary summer day camps. I have a degree from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta and am going into my final year of my Elementary Education degree, with a specialization in Physical Education, at the University of Calgary.

The implementation of Physical Literacy during YMCA summer day camps was met with tremendous success. Through the support of our leadership team we were able to facilitate opportunities to support our counsellors’ growth in their understanding and implementation of Physical Literacy programming. Children participated in fun games that helped them develop fundamental movement skills. These skills, akin to the alphabet of movement, are necessary to help kids build the confidence to participate in a variety of different sports and activities.

 

 

We began the summer attending the Super Hero Physical Literacy Training at the University of Calgary. This set us up with a framework and understanding of how we wanted to implement Physical Literacy training for our camp teams. Subsequently our counsellors all received a similar training at YMCA’s Camp Riveredge thanks to the support and expertise of our Youth Director Team. This training helped them to understand the importance of Physical Literacy in child development as well as ways to implement these skills into summer camps in a fun and engaging way.

My summer involved facilitating Physical Literacy training sessions for our camp coordinators and our leadership camps, modelling effective programming to counselors at the beginning of the camps season.  Over the summer, I observed over 100 YMCA counsellors during programming and provided individual coaching to each of them.

In addition to my work with summer camps, I developed a physical literacy based multi-sport program for children ages 9-12.  And re-wrote the existing YMCA Active Y program plan for children ages 6-9 to include a physical literacy.

This was a tremendous opportunity for me to further develop my skills in a field in which I am very passionate. Physical Literacy plays an instrumental part in providing children with the platform and opportunity to participate in games, sports, and activities that will support them in leading happy and healthy lives.

I thank YMCA Calgary and PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. for the opportunity to assist them in their mission to promote and implement Physical Literacy and look forward to recognizing the positive impact they will continue to have on Calgary’s children and youth for many years to come.


YMCA Calgary opens two new child development centres in Quarry Park

Our two new child care centres come with big backyards!

Portrait of a little boy holding up a large round magnifying glass to his face, making his eye look humourously large, while playing with friends in a summer park

We’ve been in the child care business for over 20 years and we believe that experiences in the early years have life-long impact.  By adding two new child development centres to our early years offerings, we’re giving young Calgarians more opportunities to have a great start in life.  There are now five YMCA licensed child care centres to choose from.

Our new centres offer quality care, bright spaces and access to multiple opportunities for active, play-based learning and to become school-ready.  Read more about our new centres below.

 

Quarry Park YMCA Child Development Centre – still spaces available.

Located in a stand-alone building right on 18 street in Quarry Park makes for easy and convenient drop-off and pick-up.

Bright, open spaces, a huge outdoor space, and proximity to the Remington YMCA and Calgary Public Library give children plenty of opportunities for active learning in fun and interesting places.

  • 348 licensed spaces for children ages 12 months – 6 years
  • Expansive indoor and outdoor play spaces
  • Bright, age-specific rooms with natural, Canadian-made furniture and toys
  • An Experience Studio (science experiments, baking projects and more!)
  • Use of Remington YMCA and Calgary Public Library (just around the corner!)
  • Follows the national YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum (aligned with primary school benchmarks and helps children become school-ready)
  • Includes daily physical activity outdoors and regular use of our onsite gym
  • Offers recreational swimming at the Remington YMCA and visits to the Calgary Public Library
  • Offers a healthy morning and afternoon snack program as well as a nutritious lunch
  • Free YMCA Child Membership

 

Remington YMCA Child Development Centre – almost full!

Located right in the new Remington YMCA, this childcare offers lots of opportunities for active time in fun, easy-to-access spaces.

  • 63 licensed spaces for children ages 12 months – 6 years
  • Bright, age-specific rooms with natural, Canadian-made furniture and toys
  • Dedicated outdoor play area
  • Indoor group activity spaces including use of YMCA facility space for physical activity
  • Recreation time in the Remington YMCA pool (children 19 months – 6 years of age)
  • Visits to the Calgary Public Library (just down the hall!)
  • Follows the national YMCA Playing to Learn Curriculum (aligned with primary school benchmarks and helps children become school-ready)
  • Healthy morning and afternoon snack provided
  • Free YMCA Child Membership

All YMCA child care staff have up-to-date security clearances, as well as First Aid and CPR certification.  In addition, they have post-secondary education in Early Childhood Development, are certified by Alberta Human Services and continue learning through ongoing professional development.

Our licensed child care centres are staffed by professional, qualified and experienced caregivers who apply best practices in healthy child development and play-based learning, making your child’s stay both fun and beneficial.

As a child care registrant, your child will receive a FREE YMCA membership with access to all facilities, great discounts on programs and more.  See our program guide online for a list of independent and parent-attended preschool programs.  And stay tuned! – we’ll be offering some new preschool programs in winter 2017.

Looking for a child care that better meets your needs?  Our other child care centres are located at the following YMCA locations:

Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

Saddletowne YMCA

Shawnessy YMCA

Learn more or book a tour today!


Remington YMCA Grand Opening

Celebrating the opening of the new Remington YMCA, the new Calgary Public Library and The City of Calgary’s $480 million investment to improve access to recreational opportunities for all Calgarians.

 

On September 10, 2016, The City of Calgary, YMCA Calgary and the Calgary Public Library celebrated the grand opening of Remington YMCA in Quarry Park. The facility is the first of four new recreation facilities to open to the public as part of The City of Calgary’s $480 million investment to improve the availability of recreation opportunities in underserved areas of the city.

 

Construction of the facility began in the summer of 2014 and opened to the public on Canada Day, 2016.  Two more facilities currently under construction, Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility in the northwest and Seton Recreation Facility in the southeast, are scheduled to open in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

 

The City of Calgary oversaw the planning, design and construction of the 94,000 square foot Remington YMCA, representing an investment of $63 million. The finished facility reflects extensive community research and engagement and was designed with the specific needs of the surrounding communities in mind.

 

“The City of Calgary recognizes that the southeast quadrant is growing rapidly and there is a need for additional community amenities here,” says Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “It’s part of a city-wide strategy to build active, cultural, vibrant and complete communities.”

 

The completed facility features a 25 meter, six lane pool, small leisure pool, hot tubs, steam room, gymnasium, fitness centre, a running/walking track, fitness studios and multi-purpose rooms, childcare and child-minding, food services and a public library.

 

“We’re so pleased to partner with The City of Calgary to make these services available to Calgarians,” says Helene Weir, President and CEO of YMCA Calgary. “It’s part of a shared commitment to give all Calgarians access to quality health and recreation opportunities.”

 

Remington YMCA is a new community hub in Calgary’s southeast, offering a blend of leisure, recreational and community amenities, including a 9,000 square foot, full-service public library serving as the new location of the Glenmore Square Library.

 

“Co-locating with the YMCA means the new library is part of a larger, multi-use facility and is able to offer more room for programming and community events,” says Bill Ptacek, CEO for the Calgary Public Library.

 

YMCA Calgary is proud to partner with the City of Calgary who strives to give all Calgarians access to Health and Recreation opportunities.

 

For more information on this and upcoming city recreation projects, please visit calgary.ca/recreationprojects. For more information on the Remington YMCA, click here.


We’re making a big impact on Calgary youth through food.

Food is Community.

“Food can be a vehicle for social change.

It brings people together in a way that few other activities can.”

 – Anim Steela

 

In 2015, 141,271 Calgarians received emergency food support through the Calgary Food Bank.   While that number itself is staggering, Food Banks Canada reports that 41% of clients who access emergency food services in Alberta are children.

At Kids’ Hub, we are learning just how critical access to healthy food is and how complex our relationships with food can be! Kids’ Hub is a critical hours program that is part of the Integrated School Support Program at Patrick Airlie School  We have witnessed how food and interactions with food affect more than just a child’s hunger; it affects their ability to cope with challenges, relate to others, and build resilience, both emotional and social.

 

YMCA Kids' Hub

Offering a pre-determined healthy after school snack at a pre-determined time is not sufficient to address the need for positive food relationships at Patrick Airlie school.  This year, we are adjusting our approach to include multiple food choices, times food is offered, as well as student involvement in food preparation.  We’ve found that including participants in food planning and preparation has increased their desire to eat good food themselves and to share it with their friends. We are working to create food champions!

Snacks are offered throughout the day at Patrick Airlie to any student who needs it.  However, there can often be a social stigma attached to eating food provided by the school. As a result of this need, we have partnered with Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids to enhance the snacks being offered during the school day and to engage participants in creating positive food relationships.

Students are developing food planning skills as they research and learn new recipes.  They participate in the shopping for ingredients and have learned important life skills such as understanding public social cues, label reading, and team work.  Twice a week, all participants are invited to help prepare the school snacks for the following week.  The students love this part of their week.

For more information on Kids’ Hub: http://annualreport2015.ymcacalgary.org/integrated-school-support-program/).


Why Your Kids Will Love Our New Childcare Centres

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Are you looking for a safe and affordable place your kids will love to go? Or are you looking for childcare near Quarry Park in Calgary?

We’re excited to announce the grand opening of both the Quarry Park Child Development Centre and the Remington YMCA Child Development Centre!

“Everything that they do at the centre is really fun, ” said Caryl Broen, General Manager, Early Years.

 

Childcare that Provides a Solid Foundation for Learning

The YMCA takes a 3-pronged approach to childcare. Remington YMCA and Quarry Park’s programs offers kids learning benefits, health benefits, and social benefits.

You probably already know about our pools and fitness facilities. We offer recreation time for children 19 months – 6 years of age at the YMCA pool, as well as indoor and outdoor play areas. But our commitment to your child’s health also includes nutrition.

“We provide nutritious snacks for the children. And those at Quarry Park also get lunch that’s prepared, on site,” said Broen. This is important as more parents want nutrition to be a priority in childcare. Quarry Park also has a learning kitchen. And of course, all dietary restrictions and allergies are considered.

 

 

Learning the ABCs and 123s in a Play-based Environment

We also offer lots of outdoor recreational areas for kids to run, jump and learn. In fact, we call the green space at our Quarry Park facility our “Big Backyard.”

Our commitment to your child’s development means we help them learn in the most effective way possible: encouraging them to play.

“We offer a national childcare curriculum called YMCA Playing to Learn™. And that curriculum is based on research on how children develop and how they learn best. Research indicates that children learn best through play,” said Broen.

YMCA childcare also helps your children develop socially as well. Through the YMCA’s core values (respect, responsibility, caring, honesty, and leadership), we help prepare children to become better future citizens with real interactions and socialization.

“They get lots of opportunity to practice social skills and social behavior. And again they’re doing that alongside their educators and caregivers so that means that they can experience success and they can be guided to learn how to conduct themselves in various situations. So as they develop more and more independence, they have a really good and solid foundation,” said Broen.

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Free Membership for all Kids in our Childcare Centres

All children registered in YMCA Child Development Centres receive a complimentary YMCA Calgary Child Membership. This membership provides access to YMCA facilities and registered program discounts.

The Quarry Park Child Development Centre is located at 10702 – 18 Street S.E. Transportation for kindergarten children is available from this centre to Douglasdale School.

The Remington YMCA Child Development Centre is located at 108 Quarry Park Road S.E. Transportation for kindergarten children is available from this centre to Douglasdale School.

Both childcare centres in Calgary are now open and we hope to see you soon! Secure a space for your child now.

 


Fall Programs at Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

Written by: Sydney Taylor, Fitness Director, Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA

 

“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change.

It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice.

It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice a change.

It takes 1 day to decide that you are good enough.”

-Unknown Author

Leading an active lifestyle is easy, but what no one tells you is that it’s hard to get there. From personal experience, it is easy to fall off the fitness bandwagon and feel so much further behind then your peers, regardless of the studio or class you go to. One of my favourite quotes is above; it reminds me daily that improvements are happening, even if I am the only one to notice. Don’t give up, keep pushing yourself and always remember that all of your hard work will pay off, it just might take a bit of time to be recognized. Find people who support you and help you towards your goals. Join a class with like-minded people, all on their own fitness journey, who will help keep you motivated. Enjoy your workouts or at the very least, the feeling when you are done. Take pride in finishing a class, of lifting more weight than last time, of running longer or faster than previous. The little things you do on a day-to-day basis are what get you to your end goal.

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At the Gray Family YMCA, we are here to provide you with encouragement, with classes to help you reach whatever fitness goal you have, and with the knowledge to do it safely. Whether you are an avid yogi or a triathlete, we have classes catered to helping you improve.

Here are some of the exiting classes we’re offering this fall:

  • Level 2 Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Fusion
  • Bollywood
  • Boxer’s Workout
  • Aqua Bootcamp
  • Thai Chi
  • Indoor Bootcamp
  • TRX/Kettlebell
  • Active Older Adults classes

 

You can find a full list of all fall programs we’re offering at the Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA and at all our five other locations across town by checking out our fall program guides.

These classes can easily be signed up for, regardless of whether you are a member of the YMCA. With summer coming to an end and the chilly fall days fast approaching, the YMCA is kicking up our registered programs to bring your training indoors! Classes start September 12th!

Looking forward to seeing you at the Eau Claire YMCA!


YMCA Strong Kids Campaign in the Community

 

If you have ever been to the Gray Family YMCA you know it’s more than just a place to work out.  You will see running groups meeting in the lobby before a run by the river, camp kids playing in the halls and members catching up over coffee in the cafe.

The YMCA is more than just a gym; it is a partner in the community.  The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign aims to provide every child in the community with access to YMCA facilities and programs regardless of their financial situation.  Together we can provide kids with the opportunity to reach their full potential and live healthier, happier lives.

 

EC Superheroes

The Gray Family YMCA Strong Kids Volunteer Committee has been reaching out to surrounding Community Associations, service groups and schools to spread the word about the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and how it can help kids in their community.  Thank you to the Eau Claire Community Association who jumped at the chance to get involved and their recognition of the Gray Family YMCA as a key partner in their community.  We welcome you to join the Eau Claire Community Association and the YMCA as we continue to work together to make every community a great place for kids to be active and grow into productive adults.
To learn more about the Gray Family YMCA Strong Kids Volunteer Committee please contact:

Randy Greene, Strong Kid Committee Chair
Email: rjgreen@nivenfisher.com
For more information on the Eau Claire Community Association please visit: eauclaireca.com

 


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