The YMCA of Greater Vancouver, including the Chilliwack location, is offering free memberships for teens this summer to encourage them to become more physically active.
The decision was made in part based on the recent report from a ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity, which stated that only 9 per cent of Canadian kids get the 60 minutes of heart-pumping activity they need each day.
The Y has created this free membership to inspire teens to get moving and embrace healthy living.
Beginning July 1 and valid until August 31, youth ages 13 to 18 can get a free membership (the Active Teen Summer Pass) which includes access to the pool, weight room and fitness classes.
“We really want to make sure that teens are more active,” Chilliwack YMCA director Karen Price explained. “And at the same time, we want to offer them a safe space which fosters belonging and connection in our community.”
Teens who register for the summer pass will have access to nearly every amenity and program that the Chilliwack Y location offers.
“They can swim, they can play sports, attend fitness classes – we offer multiple ways of being active,” Price added.
Teens will have the opportunity to build up some muscle in the strength and conditioning centre, shoot hoops with friends in the gymnasium, take a dip in the pool and much more.
Chilliwack will also be offering Active Teens floor hockey on Tuesday afternoons, basketball on Wednesday afternoons, and teen-oriented strength and conditioning classes on Fridays, Price said.
The only program not included in the Active Teens Summer Pass is swim lessons, but teens can still access lane swim, open swim and Aquafit classes.
Teens age 13 to 18 can register for the pass by visiting the Chilliwack YMCA with a parent and a piece of photo identification, beginning July 1.
Once they are registered, they will be signed up for an orientation session to learn about strength training, goal setting, how to use the various equipment and the programs and classes available to them.
Maintaining an active lifestyle through a program like this can make a huge difference not only in terms of a teen’s physical health and fitness, but also by building confidence, friendships, commitment and a lasting positive attitude toward exercise.
“There’s no reason our youth should be lagging so far behind in this area and the Y wants to do our part to help reverse these trends,” Price said. “We just want to get teens moving.”