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Congratulations to John Myers, YMCA Executive Director on being honored last night by United Way of Southington during their annual meeting! 

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BEN’S FUN RUN – MEMORIAL RACE TO BE HELD AT YMCA CAMP SLOPER MAY 19

Southington, CT- April 18, 2018 – In memory of Benjamin Buckley, who passed away at age 7 due to severe asthma-related health issues, YMCA Camp Sloper and Ben Was Here Inc., will host the 3rd Annual Ben's Fun Run, which will take place on May 19, 2018 at YMCA Camp Sloper. Mark Pooler, Director of Operations at the Southington Community YMCA, comments “The Buckley family has been an inspiration to many in town. The way they have worked to keep Ben’s spirit alive is wonderful. We are happy to support whatever efforts we can so they can continue their generosity and giving back in his name"

 

The 3rd Annual Ben's Fun Run will feature a one-mile race for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders around Sloper Pond located at, 1000 East Street in Southington. The event is open to Southington residents as well as any other towns this year. The goal is to commemorate the life of Ben Buckley while increasing the health and activity of youth in our town. Sign in will start at 8 AM and the first race will take place at 8:30 AM. Please see below for the race schedule. There is no cost to participate in the run; however, donations will be accepted for future trail improvements at YMCA Camp Sloper. Following the run, the Buckley Family will generously provide refreshments for all runners.

 

In regard to the importance of the event, Race Director, Bob Lasbury states “I am proud to be a part of the 3rd Annual Ben’s Fun Run. This year’s race will be another great event as we’ve expanded the race to all local communities. Benjamin Buckley’s spirit drives the excitement and passion of the day!”

 

Run Schedule:

  • 8:30 a.m.– Boys grades 5 and 6
  • 8:45 a.m.– Girls Grades 5 and 6
  • 9:00 a.m.– Boys Grades 3 and 4
  • 9:15 a.m.– Girls Grades 3 and 4

 

Registration is currently open and ongoing. Interested runners are encouraged to register ASAP so they do not get closed out. Registration is limited to the first 250 runners. For more information and to register, please contact Bob Lasbury, Race director at rlasbury@southingtonschools.org or visit http://bit.do/bensfunrun .  If you would like to volunteer to help with this amazing event, please contact: Kristen Curley at englishclassrunner@cox.net.

 
 
About Ben Was Here

Ben Was Here was founded following the loss of their son, Benjamin Buckley after he suffered a severe asthma attack.  In memory of Ben, the Buckley family has started a non­ profit charitable organization (a 501(c)3) in his name to raise asthma awareness and give back to the community.  The purpose of Ben Was Here, Inc. is to:  Provide academic scholarships to students interested in furthering their education in the areas of teaching, creative/fine arts, science, engineering or medicine, provide funding to schools for educational materials and supplies, provide funding to community/youth organizations, provide funding for prescription medication coverage for asthma ­related medication and for research and treatment of asthma and other childhood illnesses. To learn more about Ben Was Here visit http://www.benwashere.org/

 
About The Southington Community YMCA

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across Southington and Cheshire, CT the Y engages men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.  Anchored in our communities, the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs was established in 1928 and has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. YMCA membership, YMCA Camp Sloper, the Learning Center, the gymnastics center and all Y programs and facilities are welcoming, inclusive and open to all regardless of income. For more information, stop by for a tour (29 High St. Southington, CT) or visit Sccymca.org.

 

 

 

 

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Yoga On The Green Sunday, June 3 1pm-2: 30 pm


Roll out your yoga mat and join us as we fill the Southington Town Green with yoga, community, and fun! The YMCA, SoulSpace Yoga & Wellness, and Bloom Yoga Fitness Studios of Southington have teamed up to celebrate health, giving, and positive well-being, through this special community event.


Come enjoy an energizing yoga class right outside on the Town Green, surrounded by fellow yogis and friends. The class will begin with a centering meditation, followed by a 60-minute yoga flow designed for all levels of practitioners. This special event is welcome to all (no yoga experience necessary), and there is no cost to attend! Please bring your own yoga mat or a towel to practice on, as well as a non-perishable food item to be donated to Southington Bread for Life.

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Southington YMCA Gymnastics

Team tryouts

The competitive team at the Southington-Cheshire Community Gymnastics Center ranges from Level 2 and has gymnasts as high as Level 8. The program is designed to help Gymnasts progress at their own rate in a positive and supportive environment. The team has won multiple awards around New England in the USA Gymnastics and YMCA programs; as well as had athletes place at the 2017 YMCA National Championships in Savannah, Georgia and the 2017 YMCA Northeast Regional Championships in Maine.

To register for a tryout please email jlagoy@sccymca.org for more information. 

When: April 28th and May 26th

Time: 2:00-3:30pm

Location: Southington YMCA Gymnastics Center

26 Putnam Place

Plantsville CT, 06479

www.sccymca.org/gymnastics

 

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Turning 90 means it’s time to celebrate. We have a full week of activities from May 7th through May 12th. During this week, the Y will be open to the public (open house style) offering a week of themed classes, events, and giveaways. It’s our gift back to the community

Daily themes for the week include:
• Monday, May 7th – Aquatics Day with themed classes and water safety table in the lobby
• Tuesday, May 8th – Senior Day with outdoor picnic and tote bag giveaway
• Wednesday, May 9th – The Birthday Celebration Picnic at the Y’s Learning Center with yard games and a bounce house. Families are invited to bring along a picnic
• Thursday, May 10th – Health and Wellness day with themed classes and giveaways
• Friday, May 11th – Teen day with a special Tw-y-Light night at the Y
• Saturday, May 12th – Sloper Day with special hikes, letterboxing and more Sloper magic.
• Check out our website www.sccymca.org for complete details of each of our birthday celebrations

We also have a whole bunch more 90th birthday celebrations going on for the week including having Hartford HealthCare providing screenings in our lobby and a nutritionist on hand for support and advice.

For those ‘history buffs’, we will have our scrapbooks out that date back to our beginning years. What a glorious trip down memory lane. Feel free to drop by at any time that week.

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Monthly Extended Cycling Classes With A Theme - Lead by Julia and Gina
Each month Julia and Gina lead a 90-minute cycling class unlike any other. Playing to a theme class may be covered in green for St. Patricks day, game ready for Superbowl, or ready to jingle bell rock with other holiday themes. Beyond the themes, these phenomenal classes feature out of the ordinary cycling exercise.


At the conclusion of the March - St. Patrick's Day themed class I arrived to note that the participants were stepping off of the bikes and returning full-size pool noodles to a large box. During the activities, cyclists used the noodles as their jousting lance as they jousted their way to the imaginary castle.

"Gina and Julia are beyond amazing. The effort they put in is tremendous the creativity for these 90-minute classes makes it hard but the positive energy make it fun" Said YMCA Member, Cindy Trifone

An essential component to keeping the energy positive, Gina and Julia teach the class in tandem, both riding in front of the class, taking turns instructing portions of the activities.

Attendees from the March class offered rave reviews including: "They are very creative and they keep it fun" - Eileen
"Julia and Gina are Excellent and motivating" - Jessica

The next 90 minute themed class is April 22. To reserve your bike contact the fitness center at 860-426-9528.

About Julia
A Cheshire native, Julia, and her girls are active members of the YMCA community. Previously working for the YMCA Learning Center, Julia has been a certified Spinning Instructor for 9 years and teaches cycling as well as the ever-popular POUND classes. Click here to see Julia leading a sample POUND class at Healthy Family FunFest. Julia's daughters, Jordan and Jia, are members of the YMCA Leaders Club and help their mom carry supplies from the St. Patrick's Day class.

About Gina
A Southington native, Gina has been a part of the Southington Community YMCA since high school. She was always athletic but it didn't begin to take her fitness seriously until a diagnosis of high blood pressure and the risk of being medicated for it for the rest of her life swayed her to become even more involved with The Y.


In the present day, Gina is a Keiser Certified instructor teaching Barre, Zumba, and HIIT. She can also be found providing personal training and coaching the YMCA Running Crew. An avid runner Gina recently completed her 4th full marathon.

 

   

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Early childhood programs for fall 2018 are enrolling now! Classes for children 2.9 to 5 years old include preschool, nursery school, and pre-k Jumpstart. Contact the YMCA Learning Center to schedule a tour: 860-621-8130

Mark your calendars and bring the kiddos, early childhood open house is April 25 from 6 to 7 PM at the YMCA and YMCA Learning Center! 

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SAVE 10% FOR ONE YEAR 

Refer a new or returning member and you will each save 10% every month for up to one year while you are both members.

Visit the front desk to learn more.  Valid for adult, family, and senior memberships only. Offer expires April 30, 2018.

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Athletes and parents will sometimes ask, “What should I do outside of training at the SPC?”. One of the main goals at the SPC is to teach our athletes how to train smart even when they aren’t with us. This means having a balanced program that provides them with the right inputs in order to achieve the desired adaptation. If an athlete wants to get stronger and faster, does it makes sense to only do curls and bench press on an "upper body" day? Obviously no, yet that is what many male high school athletes do on their own. If a female athlete is looking to become more agile on the field, but only runs long distances and lifts 10lb dumbbells, the carryover will be minimal.

When writing a program, a few major components are essential in order to ensure the greatest impact. This is where the 80/20 rule really comes into play. Say I have 5 exercises in a lift: heavy deadlift, bicep curl, plank, push up and a 1 arm kettlebell overhead press. If I could only do one, which one would give me the most bang for my buck? The answer is the heavy deadlift. If I have other qualities I want to develop like speed, rhythm, power, mobility and work capacity, why would I waste my time with the other 4 exercises?

Following this concept, we start with 4-6 warm-up exercises that prep the athletes to use their hips, shoulders and stabilize their core. All of our warm-up movements carry specific purpose related to our training. Then we move to the dynamic warm-up which doubles as our agility and rhythm practice. These 3-4 drills elevate the athlete’s body temperature and work on coordination and agility. Next comes conditioning or power work. For efficiency, we only use 1-2 exercises with a specific time or number to reach. Our last category is strength. Depending on the athletes' needs, some will spend more time with 2-4 strength exercises while others may have more work capacity incorporated.

There is a lot to accomplish in the 45 minutes we have to train. You could follow a bodybuilding template that some jacked guy in a magazine got paid to sell to you, or you could train what is specifically going to carry over to your sport. Which makes more sense spending 1.5 hours working on arm exercises or just 45 minutes and still have time to work on skills if needed? Next time you go to train ask yourself, “Do I have a good warm up, dynamic speed portion, maybe some conditioning, and a few good strength exercises…or am I just doing bicep curls in the squat rack?”

If this is something you or your team need help with, email me and we can brainstorm some ideas!

Till next week!

Coach Tommy
tsienkowski@sccymca.org
860.426.9536

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Southington, CT and Cheshire, CT – February 15, 2018 - Registration for YMCA Camp Sloper began on Saturday, February 3rd with tons of parents taking advantage of online registration at 8AM to get their child signed up for their favorite camp program this summer. “We had the most registrations in the first day ever” stated Justin Hubeny, who will lead YMCA Camp Sloper as the Camp Director for his 1st season this summer. “We took in more than 1400 registrations the first day and over 1500 by the end of the first weekend. We are very lucky and fortunate to have wonderful YMCA Camp Sloper Families that support us.  For me as Camp Director, I couldn’t ask for more”, Hubeny stated.

 

“I am pleased to announce that Eli Rosin wins the award for first camper to register for 2018” says Hubeny. Eli Rosin was the first official camper to register at 8:03 AM on Saturday morning.  “I like doing all the different activities, but my favorite activity is archery” stated Eli who will be attending Sloper for his 3rd year this summer.  Eli says one of his favorite moments at camp is” seeing the other kids when Camper of the Day is said.” Eli will be attending STEM Camp this summer at YMCA Camp Sloper.

 

When asked what he thought about his counselors from last year Eli said “The counselors are all fun and funny, I like making nicknames for them.”  Eli is looking forward to being in STEM Camp this summer with his friends, going to archery, and he is very much looking forward to trying out the New Ninja Warrior Course that will be built this spring. “Maybe I can be a tester for the Ninja Warrior Course,” Eli said.

 

Dad, Pat Rosin and Mom, Bethany Rosin, were asked why they felt YMCA Camp Sloper was a good choice for Eli, “We send Eli to camp because we know he will be engaged in exciting activities outside, surrounded by great role models.” stated the Rosins.

 

“We have received over 1,800 registrations to date, which is way ahead of last year’s registration. Last summer we had most of our specialty camps fill up and many of our traditional camps fully enrolled. The Sloperian program for Kindergarten and First grade is also very popular. It is a great introduction to a full day of activities, much like they will experience in full-day kindergarten” stated Hubeny. “We have room now, but we encourage parents to put down a deposit now and reserve their spot for the summer,” stated Justin Hubeny.

 

YMCA Camp Sloper, which serves the towns of Southington, Cheshire, Berlin, Kensington, and New Britain, has grown in popularity in recent years. Open registration is on-going at either the Southington or Cheshire YMCAs during normal business hours or online at www.ymcacampsloper.org. There is still room in many of the specialty camps and all of the traditional camps; registering early is encouraged so you can select the program of your choice before it fills up.

         

YMCA Camp Sloper has four, two-week sessions running July 2 - August 24. There is also a one week preview the week before the regular camp season begins, June 25 – 29. The day camp program runs Monday through Friday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM with extended camp care available if needed. YMCA Camp Sloper serves children ages 3 to 15 years old. Bus transportation is provided for residents of Southington, Cheshire, and Berlin/Kensington for campers entering kindergarten through grade 10.  The Wanderers program for preschoolers runs from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM with parents transporting their children. “We also provide financial assistance for families in need. It is just a matter of contacting the Southington or Cheshire YMCA and completing the application process” stated Hubeny. Extended payment plans can also be arranged.

 

Secure your child’s spot for a summer full of FUN – ADVENTURE – TRADITION!  Any questions can be directed to the YMCA Camp Sloper Outdoor Center at (860) 621-8194 or visit our website at www.ymcacampsloper.org

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Are We Too Preoccupied With Rare Large Injuries?

Over the past 10 years we have seen a  climb in the rate of sports’  injuries, especially ones that require surgery. 

In the U.S., approximately 30 million children participate in organized sports each year.  Just because playing sports is fun doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for injury.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 2.6 million children 0 – 19-years-old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports-related injuries. There are between 250,000 and 300,000 ACL injuries per year, and they're almost exclusively happening to athletes. (http://lbpost.com/life/health/2000004217-concussions-and-acl-injuries-a-duo-that-is-on-the-rise-in-youth-sports )

Image result for acl injury Image result for acl injury

While these numbers seem high, they actually represent 1%  of the youth athlete population that may tear their ACL.  The question arises:   Are the numbers to the point that our training programs need to strictly address the prevention of these specific injuries? 

Data from a brief case study  over the past 2 months at the Sports Performance Center illustrates a different scenario.  Out of 30 athletes, five  had some type of soft tissue injury.  These injuries either prevented them outright from doing their training program, or decreased their ability to perform at 100%.  Roughly 15% of our athletes are walking in the door with some sort of painful dysfunction.

Instead of focusing on the 1%, why not  focus on the much higher number of athletes that will develop a chronic injury that prevents them from training hard and can become a precursor to a larger injury?  Frequently, coaches and parents inquire about specific injury prevention strategies  when it might be smarter to look at the bigger picture.                                                                           

When we look at injuries, Mike Boyle said it best, “you either have a traumatic event (concussion) or overuse issues”.  These overuse issues are easily preventable or managed.  One of my athletes has intermittent left medial knee pain.  When she moves too much, the inside of her knee hurts.  Initially we screened for potential causes of pain. Nothing hurt, but she did have limitations in left ankle mobility and motor control of her right hip.  We removed a lot of the jumping and cutting that originally caused her knee pain to flare, and added in exercises that addressed her ankle and hip limitations.  As a result, in just one month, she is experiencing no pain with training, and her pain after 2hr goalie sessions has decreased to “barely noticeable”.     

 

The statistics cited by Mark Hyman in his book Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids, are sobering indeed: “Every year more than 3.5 million children under 15 require medical treatment for sports injuries, nearly half of which are the result of simple overuse.”   (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/health/25brod.html)                                                                                                                              

Here is the best part.  SMART TRAINING = TRAUMATIC INJURY PREVENTION.  The take home message here is that soft tissue/overuse injuries far exceed the number of traumatic injuries that most people are scared of.  In addition, they are huge contributors to traumatic events.  External force, a fatigued state where muscles can’t keep up with demand and poor mechanics that put a joint in a compromised position are the three main factors in acute injury.  Smart training that addresses mechanics, strength and recovery, and workload management of practices, training and games, have far greater impact on overall injury prevention than simply a few targeted exercises.

Other great resources

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/sports_injury_statistics_90,P02787/

http://www.apta.org/APTAMedia/Handouts/PT2013/youngathletes_McNeff_1.pdf

 

 

 

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Sleep Part 2

   recovery
   

We already touched on how important sleep is, and what a drastic effect it has on keeping your cognitive function optimal.  Remember our buckets?  Movement, nutrition, recovery and mindset.  These buckets do not act in isolation.  In other words, a lack of optimal attention in one bucket can affect the functioning of another bucket.  Let's look at how Mindset can affect Recovery.

I like to do at least 1-3 visualization sessions with athletes at the end of a training cycle because it is a great way to initiate the recovery process after some heavy lifts, and it also allows time to shed light on one's current state. We will lie on a bench or floor and go through some guided relaxation techniques and follow up with some visual cues to help plant a seed for success.

One thing that is readily apparent are the athletes who can shut down/sleep well and those that can't. When I first ask the athletes to check in with how their bodies feel, and go through some "contract and relax" techniques to become aware of tissues, I see who is able to focus and who has a harder time narrowing their attention. The idea of the practice is to feel what full contraction is like and then completely relax, rather than staying in a state of constant tension. This interrupts the cycle of signaling from the brain and hopefully allows for the athlete to fall into a state of low muscle neural tone. With the athletes that have a harder time slowing down, usually their hands are moving around and their facial features are twitching. This occurs even if the cue they just heard is to check in with how their legs are feeling. 

Typically they never reach a state of relaxation, and when asked if they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep the answer is usually "yes". I have only been wrong once so far out of about 40 athletes, so I wont say its 100% accurate, but its highly correlated. This type of athlete typically goes to bed around 11-1am and wakes up at 6-7am. This would seem like enough sleep if we are shooting for 6-8hr, but what is really important is that he is in bed, but not asleep because his mind is running. Or he falls asleep, but wakes up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. His mind is running systems all day/night, which even though it isn't physical stress, it definitely is mental strain. The consequence is a lower quality of sleep.  Lower quality of sleep=lower quality of recovery.

This is where your mindset bucket is having a detrimental effect on your recovery bucket. What sometimes stinks is that same mindset might make you a beast in your training, but also crushes your ability to recover from it. Everything is always a balancing act.

Here is what I usually suggest for our athletes to try at least once.

headspace

They offer a free trial that you can use as often as you like.

Till next week!

Coach Tom

 train
 
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Sleep Part 1

cat

 
 remember  
   

Over the years we have seen more information come out about sleep and its importance. When we are going to embark on a new goal: getting stronger, losing body fat, improving our 40yd time or just starting a new habit it's important that we pay attention to the major buckets that have the most impact on these outcomes.

In my opinion there are really only 4 buckets. Movement, nutrition, recovery and mindset. Sleep fills up most of your recovery bucket.

As you'll see in Chad Waterbury's post it is highly correlated to motor learning. So trying to pick up or improve an athletic movement can be hindered or enhanced based on how much sleep you are getting.

Check it out here.

Chad's article

Part 2 will be next week.

Have a great week!

Coach Tom

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Being Sick Isn't Just About Feeling Bad For A Few Days!

Less Sickness For Better Results

In this latest post by Eric Cressey, he demonstrates how being sick can really lead to big changes in one's athletic career.  A lot of times we think of it as a nuisance and something that only alters the present, but what Eric shows is it can alter the way things turn out further down the road as well. Now we aren't dealing with MLB superstars, but this can affect even a high school athlete looking to make varsity or obtain a starting position.

This past week is a perfect example of how illness can rapidly change outcomes. I had a baseball player that is supposed to train 2 days a week. With the season right around the corner, every training opportunity is critical.  He was sick on Tuesday, and then the facility was closed on Thursday due to snow.  If his only training were those 2 days and he missed both, then he just lost a full week. That may not sound like much over the course of a career but slimmed down to a 4 week prep phase before season, it turns into 25% of training is lost. Even if he had been able to come in on Thursday, would he have been at 100%? 

You can quickly see how it becomes a much larger issue than we make it out to be.

Check out Eric's article to see what his tips are for staying healthy!

less-sickness-for-better-results

"Handwashing is like a "do-it-yourself" vaccine—it involves five simple and effective steps (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry). Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It's quick, it's simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick." https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/

Till next week,

Coach Tommy

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Benny Cammuso has been selected as the Southington Community YMCA’s Person of the Year.

The Ys Person of the Year Award is presented to someone in the community who through his/her actions makes Southington a better place to live.  Benny more than qualifies for this honor and recognition.  For nearly the past 20 years, Benny has been the consummate volunteer for many groups and organizations in Southington. 

At Bread4Life where Benny has been a devoted fixture five days each week since his retirement doing whatever it takes to provide lunches in their rented kitchen as well as lunches and dinners-to-go for the hungry. He cooks, he cleans the dining area, he washes dishes, and he delivers meals to the homebound and to those in senior housing in Southington, adding camaraderie for many who may not experience any other human interaction during the course of their day. He also helps to stock, arrange, and maintain offsite food storage space.

He is a long-standing member of the Town’s Senior Citizen Commission and a member of the Community Emergency Response Team.  He is a member and volunteer for the Calendar House Senior Center, where his talent for gardening and fixing things is well utilized.  He has long served as a volunteer for the American Red Cross at bloodmobiles at several different Southington locations.  Benny is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Free Masons, serving as the backbone of all of their community events targeted at helping others.  He is an active volunteer for the local chapter of the AARP and also volunteers regularly at the Southington Care Center, a one hundred thirty bed rehabilitation and nursing care facility. 

Benny is active in his Church, serving as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist for the past fifteen years and in addition to his services at weekly Mass, he also brings Holy Communion to the homebound.  Each year he makes it his mission to trim all the bushes and evergreens on the property of Mary Our Queen Church in town. Benny has also been an active participant in an annual local Church production of the Passion Play over the past twenty five years.

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A slice of Singapore recently landed in the United States to work at YMCA Camp Sloper this summer. Twenty-one-year-old Chloe Chee from Singapore, will spend 2 months at YMCA Camp Sloper.

Chloe made her journey to the northeast through a partnership between the Southington Community YMCA International Committee and YMCA Camp Sloper. The committee is made up of volunteers, who help facilitate housing for the international counselor, while also running other international programing during the year at the Southington Community YMCA.

In order to be a part of the program, students need their J-1 visa, which offers educational and cultural exchange. Jordan’s first stop in the United Sates was YMCA Camp Sloper. Chloe currently has a group of all girl Trail Blazers, campers who are in 8th and 9th grade. She has been guiding her group through all sorts of adventures and activities including, arts and crafts, rope course, boating, climbing tower, field games, archery, and swimming. She has also been leading a skill clinic, teaching campers how to speak Mandarin.

Camp in Singapore is very different from what she’s already experienced in just a short time at YMCA Camp Sloper. “ We have camps, but since we don’t have a long summer break, nothing can compare to this.”  Chloe also enjoys how open, friendly and energetic everyone has been.

Chloe says she has already learned a lot more about herself since starting at YMCA Camp Sloper. She has gained more confidence in her skills with working with kids.

YMCA Camp Sloper Director, Shane Altwies said “Having an international counselor helps bring cultural awareness to the camp community. Having international staff helps make the world a little smaller and teach our campers about the differences in all people. It has been a long standing tradition since the mid 1970’s at YMCA Camp Sloper and just one of the many things that makes our camp extra special.”

This summer, Chole has already visited Albany, NY, along with Mystic Seaport and plans to see more of CT and the North East while she is here.  Chole hopes that her experience at YMCA Camp Sloper will help her eventually obtain a career in International Relations.

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On Saturday June 11th, Southington YMCA and Southington Track team will be sponsoring the 2nd Annual Knights Cup Track Meet.  The Knight’s Cup is a community wide event designed to introduce youth to track and field.  Only half of the events in a normal meet are being offered to ensure a safe and timely meet.  All 10 Elementary schools and both Middle Schools will be competing against each other in order to win the Knight’s Cup – a perpetual trophy that will reside with the winning school.  The meet also has an All Comers division for any age runner.  John Myers, the Director of Southington YMCA says, ‘We are thrilled to partner with the Southington High School Track Team to bring our running and track community together for the Knights Cup. I’m confident that all participants will be invigorated and feel like winners.’  

Dan Dachelet, the Head Cross Country coach at Southington High School says, that, “This meet is a fantastic way to introduce Southington Youth to the sport of Track and Field.  Setting the meet up as a competition between schools is a great way to develop school spirit in what could be a life-long sport.” 

Held at the Southington High School track with events starting at 9 a.m., the meet will be composed of the following events; the 4x100 meter relay, 100 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 1600 meter run, the 1600 meter relay, youth shot put, turbo jav and the long jump.  Athletes may sign up for a maximum of 2 events not including relays.  Registration can be done online at www.sccymca.org/knightscup.  Use Keyword Knight to find the event.  We will run the events in the following order: Elementary School, Middle School, All Comers Division.  Registration forms were sent through the schools and can also be picked 
up at the Y 

Medals will be given out through 8th place for youth events.  Ribbons will be given out to all youth participants.  Athletes should show up at 8 a.m. to check-in.  

PE coaches will be able to choose a single relay to represent their school.  As well, students are free to come up with their own relays.  Meet staff will organize relays on the day of the meet for anyone who wants to be on a relay.  

The meet is a team competition with each event being scored and points being awarded to your school.  There is an elementary and middle school division.  Last year’s winners were Derynoski and Kennedy. 

On Tuesday June 7th from 6- 7 p.m. all field events will be taught by SHS athletes.  Weather date for the Knights Cup event is Sunday June 12th at 5p.m.

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Please join us in making February at our Y, HEPA Awareness Month!

Our Y is expanding its longtime commitment to children and youth by adopting a set of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards that will be disseminated through early childhood, afterschool programs, camp and the culture of the Y as a whole. The standards we are adopting will build a healthier future for our children by providing environments rich in healthy opportunities for eating and physical activity. These standards, when implemented fully throughout the Y, will be the basis for which the Y’s commitment to being one of the largest and healthiest providers of early childhood education and afterschool programming in the nation is recognized. Throughout 2016, we will be taking steps to make our Y healthier!

Specifically we will:

·      Have each department take a HEPA self assessment of their area

·      Identify HEPA Champions in each department/program area

·      HEPA Champions will lead the HEPA Task Force for designated departments; meeting quarterly to discuss plans and implementation

·      Market our HEPA initiative to the community as a competitive advantage

·      Increase family engagement by having:

o   2 annual events and/or program enhancements that are HEPA Driven

o   HEPA tips, recipes, activities

·      Develop a Staff Training Plan for nutrition and physical activities

·      Start conversations with Community Leaders on our HEPA plans

·      Update all job descriptions to include some HEPA language and responsibilities 

·      HEPA wording and descriptions to be added to Parent Handbooks and newsletters

 

Every Tuesday, keep an eye out on social media for our HEPA Tips and Tricks!

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A new YMCA Signature Wellness program, Enhance Fitness was launched at the Cheshire Community YMCA in May 2015.  Our Y is one of only 65 YMCAs in the US offering the program.  Enhance Fitness has been nationally recognized by the Centers for Disease Control, the U S Department of Health and Human Services, the U S Administration on Aging and the National Council on Aging.  With a generous grant from the Connecticut Community Foundation, we were able to purchase equipment and train staff to deliver this senior fitness/arthritis management program. 

Participants meet three times per week for an hour of exercise focusing on reducing arthritis symptoms while improving endurance, stamina, muscle strength, flexibility and balance.  After the first sixteen week session, participants were reassessed and all showed improvement in one or more areas tested.  For more information on Enhance Fitness, contact Donna Paxton@dpaxton@sccymca.org.

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The Cheshire Community YMCA Penguin Plunge started with an idea from the Southington Community YMCA’s Polar Plunge - People jumping into freezing water to raise funds for our Annual Campaign.  Based on the success Southington has had, we wanted to have a similar event here in Cheshire. We started with a cute penguin as our mascot and the idea of jumping into Mixville pond in February.

The weather in early 2015 started out cold and then the snow started to fall with a vengeance.  Mixville Park looked like a winter wonderland. Our brave penguins where determined to jump in to the frigid water, but we were in the middle of the coldest month ever recorded in Connecticut and the ice was getting thicker and thicker.

The day had come when we need to make the decision to either cancel the fundraiser event or come up with a plan B. During the summer of 2014, there was a great fundraiser idea going around:   the Ice Bucket Challenge. Our group decided to meet up a Mixville Park and take on our very own bucket challenge.

All of our volunteers, staff and community leaders came out for a fun-filled but ice cold morning. Everyone came with their best costumes. We had men with blond wigs and tutus. Our camp director wore her shorts and camp T-shirt, and our Branch Director came out with her shorts, tank top and angels wings. Buckets where filled with ice cold water and snow, and everyone lined up. It started like a domino effect. Not even the snow and cold could stop people away from donating their time for a great cause.

With the help of our volunteers and staff, the YMCA was able to raise over $9,000.00 for our Annual Campaign.  For information about this year’s Bucket Challenge, contact Monica Napolitano at mnapolitano@sccymca.org.

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