March 14, 2020
Every day, we are reminded of the changing landscape as the world deals with coronavirus (COVID-19.) Throughout this period, YMCA Calgary has closely followed guidance from the World Health Organization, Health Canada and the Government of Alberta.
Our YMCA facilities are gathering places for community life all over Calgary and in the Bow Valley. Our YMCA is guided by the core values of honesty, respect, responsibility and caring. It is through this lens we are approaching this evolving situation and working to ensure the YMCA continues to be safe and welcoming.
As a precaution to help limit the spread of the virus and support the community’s efforts to promote physical distancing, YMCA Calgary is increasing its response in the following ways:
Membership Hold Option
- Our flexible membership hold option, which allows members to suspend/place memberships on hold for up to 2 months, has been extended to 3 months.
Health, Fitness and Aquatics
- South Health Campus YMCA location ONLY is closed until further notice. This is a request from Alberta Health Services to limit non-essential access to its facilities. Learn more here.
- We will be reducing capacity in all drop-in classes to maintain appropriate physical distancing for participants.
- We have indefinitely closed all YMCA hot tubs, steam rooms and climbing walls as a precaution.
- We have cancelled all AquaFit and Gentle Fitness classes until further notice as these are popular with seniors, a more vulnerable population to the virus.
- Fitness equipment has been managed to maintain physical distancing. This will mean turning off some pieces of equipment, as an example.
- All birthday parties booked at YMCAs have been cancelled until the end of April. We will be in contact with you to schedule a new date or to arrange a refund. No further birthday party bookings will be taken prior to May 1.
Facility Rentals (including ice, pool, gym, theatre, meeting rooms and Camp Chief Hector YMCA)
- All events over 250 participants (including any spectators) are cancelled. We will be in contact with you to schedule a new date or arrange a refund.
- For events under 250 participants, we have relaxed our cancellation policy for March and April. All rentals may be rebooked without penalty, or cancelled with a full refund.
- Rentals for May and beyond remain unchanged at this time (existing rules apply). This will be reviewed in early April and further guidance provided at that time.
Here at the YMCA we are:
- Encouraging frequent hand washing.
- Encouraging cough and sneeze etiquette.
- Cleaning common areas more frequently and deepening our efforts in cleaning and disinfecting surfaces with hospital grade cleaning products.
- Cancelling all domestic and international work-related travel for YMCA staff.
Please help us by:
- Staying home if you or your family members are sick (this includes if you are taking medications to mask symptoms such as fever, coughing or shortness of breath) and calling 8-1-1 (Health Link.) While COVID-19 is mild in most cases, people with underlying medical conditions are at most risk. While you may be okay, others in our YMCA community may not. We ask that you consider the health and well-being of not only yourself, but those around you.
- Washing your hands before and after entering program areas, after using equipment or before sending your child to a program.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow, and disposing of tissues immediately.
- Placing dirty towels in the towel bins.
- Wiping down machines and equipment with disinfectant before and after each use.
If you would like more information on the Coronavirus, please refer to the Government of Alberta website at https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
Thank you for your commitment and support for our YMCA team members working in our communities every day. We will get through this, and we’ll do it as a community.
Yours in wellness,
President and CEO
This week a plane crash in Tehran, Iran killed 176 people, including 63 from Canada.
YMCA Calgary has since learned that one of the victims, a 19-year-old Western Canada High School student named Arshia Arbabbahrami, was a member of the YMCA Calgary family.
A participant in the YMCA Achievement Program (YMAP), Arshia was a valued and loved member of the program that provides leadership and teamwork opportunities for newcomer youth in our community.
For two years, Arshia faithfully attended every YMAP session and was known as a young man that always made an impact with his smile and positive attitude.
Since learning of this loss, YMCA has provided Arshia’s fellow YMAP youth, volunteers and staff with resources to help them cope with this difficult news.
YMCA Calgary extends our deepest condolences to Arshia’s family and friends and everyone affected by this profound tragedy.
President and CEO
With summer around the corner, many of us will be heading to the water. Whether you or your kids plan to enjoy the lake, river, ocean or your shallow backyard pool, it’s important to understand how to stay safe around the water.
Contradictory to what most people think, drowning victims don’t thrash, wave and yell while struggling. Drowning is unexpectedly quiet and can happen in seconds. Keep yourself and your kids safe with the following water safety tips:
- Learn to swim
Swimming is a life-saving skill and helps give you and your child confidence to be around water. YMCA Calgary has swim lessons for all ages, and each of our swim lesson include a water safety component. Keep in mind, even if your kid has done swimming lessons it does not mean you shouldn’t be supervising them when they are around water.
According to Lifesaving Society, Swim to Survive is the minimum skills you need to have if you accidentally fall into deep water. This standard is the first step to being safe around water. This standard skill sequence includes:
- Roll into deep water
- Tread water for one minute
- Swim 50 metres
- Always swim with a buddy
Even a great swimmer can get in trouble when out in the water. It is important to swim with a buddy as they will be able to call for help if you get in any trouble.
- Use lifejackets and other floatation devices
We recommend always wearing a lifejacket or other floatation device when outside in uncontrolled water. Lifejackets are designed to turn a person over from face-down to face-up. A personal floatation device will keep a person floating, but not necessarily face-up. Please review our video as our Aquatics Risk Specialist demonstrates how to properly fit a lifejacket.
- Supervise children/adults at all times when in or near water
It is important to always watch your child when around water even if they know how to swim. This means putting down your cellphone, book or anything that might distract you. The Lifesaving Society recommends a supervision ratio of at least 1 adult for every 2 young children, and 1 adult for every infant. One way to help with this is be engaged with your child, come up with games you can play together when near the water.
- Review and discuss risks before entering the water
You might be familiar with one body water from last summer, however, things change during the winter we never know how the water changed. Before entering any bodies of water make sure you walk through the hazards with your children. It is important to look for any river currents, ocean rip currents, the temperature of the water, if the water is shallow or unclear and if there are any underwater hazards such as vegetation and animals.
- Drink plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated
Many people forget to drink water when they are swimming. Even though you are in water, you are still working out, it is important that you are drinking enough water. Dehydration can still occur, which can lead to muscles cramps. This can be dangerous especially when swimming and can lead to drowning.
- Know your limits
Even though you might be a strong swimmer make sure that you are not overworking yourself. Don’t be afraid to stop and take a break if you are starting to get fatigued. This is important for children as well, encourage them to come out of the water for a bit and rest.
- Cover water containers when not in use
Ensure kiddie pools, buckets, and other sources of open water are covered when children can access and there is no supervision.
All information was referenced from the LifeSaving Society and Jen Swail, Aquatics Risk Specialist with YMCA Calgary. To learn more about how to be safe around this summer please go to www.lifesaving.org
We hope you have a fun and safe summer this year!
National Drowning Prevention Week is July 21—27, 2019
Drowning doesn’t look like a splashing call for help. It is deceptively quiet and can happen to anyone – even to the most skilled swimmers.
Join us at the YMCA for the Lifesaving Society’s National Drowning Prevention Week – a week dedicated to raising awareness of the signs of drowning and what you can do to prevent it.
Some of our locations will have special programming during this week. See below for details on programming, locations, dates, times:
Shawnessy YMCA | Life Jacket Fitting & Relay Race
July 24 | 11:30 am (lobby)
Visit our fitting station to learn how to fit a life jacket (PFD) properly, then participate in our fun relay!
Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton | Life Jacket Fitting
July 21 – 27 | 12 – 4 pm (lobby)
Visit our fitting station to learn how to fit a lifejacket (PFD) properly
Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge | Life jacket Fitting
July 24 | 1 – 2 pm and 5 pm – 6 pm (lobby)
Visit our fitting station to learn how to fit a lifejacket (PFD) properly
Remington YMCA in Quarry Park | Wibit Public Time & Water Smart Learning
July 26 | 5 – 7 pm
Enjoy time on the Wibit – our fun water obstacle for ages 5+ – and learn more about water safety
All Swim lesson participants | Water Smart Activities
July 21 – 27 | 9 am – 12 pm & 4 – 7 pm (pool deck)
Swim lesson Participants will learn and practice water safety
On March 8, 2019, join us at these YMCA locations as we celebrate all women in our community. Each of these locations will have unique programming throughout the day for women of all ages.
Here’s an overview of events happening March 8:
For further details on time, registration, or any questions you may have – please contact your branch directly.
Remington YMCA in Quarry Park:
- Women’s only Zumba® – 1:45pm to 2:30pm
- Guided Meditation session – 2:45pm to 3:30pm followed by a Women’s focus Nutrition Tea and Talk time
Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA:
- Women’s only Small Group Training – 11:15am to 12:00pm
- David’s Tea Tasting – 11:15am to 1:30pm
- Various Women’s only group fitness classes (Check the schedule on our app or website for more details)
- Women’s only Yoga – 1:15pm to 2:15pm
South Health Campus YMCA:
- Women’s only Climbing – 9:30am to 10:30am
- Women’s only Yoga – 10:30am to 11:30am
Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge:
- Women’s only Yoga – 9:00am to 10:00am
- Women’s only Zumba® – 10:30am to 11:30am
- Women’s only Zumba® – 6:00pm to 7:00pm
- Women’s only Yoga – 7:15pm to 8:15pm
- U of C Nurses will be on site from 5:30-8:30 taking blood pressure and discussing Cardiovascular Disease Awareness
Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot:
- Women’s only Resistance Training – 8:30am to 9:00am and 3:00pm to 3:30pm
- Made Foods Pop-up and sampling – 11:00am to 1:00pm
- Davids Tea sampling – 1:30pm to 4:00pm
- Women’s only Basketball – 3:00pm to 3:30pm and 5:00pm to 5:30pm
- Women’s only Yoga – 4:00pm to 4:30pm
- Fashion Show – 7:30pm to 8:30pm
- Women’s only Belly Dancing – 8:30pm to 9:00pm
**All events are subject to change. Please check with your branch or view our schedules.
YMCA Kids In Motion & Day Camps Food Drive
August 13, 2018 – August 17, 2018
This summer marks the 18th Annual YMCA Kids in Motion and Day camps Food Drive. During the week of August 13-17, campers will have the opportunity to explore philanthropy and learn the value of getting involved in the community during our Calgary Food Bank drive. Campers will visit local communities to deliver flyers and collect donations for the Calgary Inter Faith Food Bank.
Over the past 18 years YMCA Calgary has raised over 200,000 lbs of food. Last year campers supported local communities by collecting 10,620lbs!
If you’d like your camper to participate in our Calgary Food Bank drive, register them for an August 13-17 camp. This applies to all Camp YMCA camps which take place at all seven health and recreation locations.
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