Y Notes

Swim team is lifelong, family affair

  •  

    Three days a week since last September, kids have streamed through the YMCA lobby, headed toward the swimming pool for the YMCA youth swim team practice.

    The kids rush through the building to the locker room - hopefully all taking a shower - before heading out to the pool for an hour of laps, treading water and stroke perfection. O.K., maybe not perfection, but still better than most of us can ever fathom.

    The YMCA youth swim team wraps up its season this weekend with a championship swim meet in Fremont. Dozens of swimmers will make the long haul from McCook to Fremont to compete against fellow YMCA swimmers from across the state.

    And almost all will be bringing their entire family along.

    For many, being part of the YMCA swim team is a family affair and one that has been part of their lives since they could walk. For some, even before they could walk as they sat through their siblings’ practices.

    Almost all of the swimmers - and not just in McCook - seem to have a brother or sister on the team or have had a sibling who swam in the past.

    When a swim team mom pulls up in front of the Y, multiple kids pour out of the vehicle. Bathrooms at home have piles of wet towels draped over the shower stall. And personally, we buy goggles in bulk, just because someone is going to use them and they seem to grow legs and wander off.

    Swim meets are truly family events. Once a month, the families drive to a YMCA for a swim meet where the parents have the “privilege” of sitting through a day-long meet.

    But what makes swimming truly unique is that kids of all ages are competing on the same team. They are all in the same place at the same pool on the same day. Rarely are the parents split between different venues...except for the occasional high school and Y meet overlap.

    Swimming is also a lifelong sport. A sport that athletes are able to compete in from the moment they can make it across the pool until….well, until they don’t want to be seen a swimsuit any longer.

    So after the swimmers hit the water this weekend for the last time this winter, they’ll take a break for a couple months. But most will be right back at it soon after Memorial Day as the summer swim league begins.

    There will still be towels piled up in the bathrooms and goggles will be lost on a daily basis. The only difference will be that the kids will be able to ride their bikes to the pool, while mom gets a short break from carpooling.

    ***

    With winter continuing to hang out, the youth soccer season at the YMCA has been pushed back several weeks. Originally scheduled to start this Saturday, teams haven’t even had the chance to hit the fields for practice yet, much less get the fields ready for games.

    While teams are being formed, parents who are the true epitome of procrastination can still sign up their kindergartners through eighth graders. Games are planned to begin Saturday, March 23. Of course, that’s presuming we can find the fields at Barnett Park by that point.

     


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  • 07-Mar-2019

 

Three days a week since last September, kids have streamed through the YMCA lobby, headed toward the swimming pool for the YMCA youth swim team practice.

The kids rush through the building to the locker room - hopefully all taking a shower - before heading out to the pool for an hour of laps, treading water and stroke perfection. O.K., maybe not perfection, but still better than most of us can ever fathom.

The YMCA youth swim team wraps up its season this weekend with a championship swim meet in Fremont. Dozens of swimmers will make the long haul from McCook to Fremont to compete against fellow YMCA swimmers from across the state.

And almost all will be bringing their entire family along.

For many, being part of the YMCA swim team is a family affair and one that has been part of their lives since they could walk. For some, even before they could walk as they sat through their siblings’ practices.

Almost all of the swimmers - and not just in McCook - seem to have a brother or sister on the team or have had a sibling who swam in the past.

When a swim team mom pulls up in front of the Y, multiple kids pour out of the vehicle. Bathrooms at home have piles of wet towels draped over the shower stall. And personally, we buy goggles in bulk, just because someone is going to use them and they seem to grow legs and wander off.

Swim meets are truly family events. Once a month, the families drive to a YMCA for a swim meet where the parents have the “privilege” of sitting through a day-long meet.

But what makes swimming truly unique is that kids of all ages are competing on the same team. They are all in the same place at the same pool on the same day. Rarely are the parents split between different venues...except for the occasional high school and Y meet overlap.

Swimming is also a lifelong sport. A sport that athletes are able to compete in from the moment they can make it across the pool until….well, until they don’t want to be seen a swimsuit any longer.

So after the swimmers hit the water this weekend for the last time this winter, they’ll take a break for a couple months. But most will be right back at it soon after Memorial Day as the summer swim league begins.

There will still be towels piled up in the bathrooms and goggles will be lost on a daily basis. The only difference will be that the kids will be able to ride their bikes to the pool, while mom gets a short break from carpooling.

***

With winter continuing to hang out, the youth soccer season at the YMCA has been pushed back several weeks. Originally scheduled to start this Saturday, teams haven’t even had the chance to hit the fields for practice yet, much less get the fields ready for games.

While teams are being formed, parents who are the true epitome of procrastination can still sign up their kindergartners through eighth graders. Games are planned to begin Saturday, March 23. Of course, that’s presuming we can find the fields at Barnett Park by that point.

 


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Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause - blog post image

Venturing out of the comfort zone for a good cause

  •  

    Over the past week, dozens of people have ventured outside their comfort zones on two separate occasions, all on behalf of the YMCA.

    Last Wednesday, the YMCA conducted its’ annual Partners With Youth (PWY) phone-a-thon campaign, where dozens of volunteers made hundreds of calls on behalf of the YMCA’s scholarship program.

    First, thank you to everyone who made a donation or a pledge to the 2019 PWY campaign. Every dollar stays local, providing financial assistance toward youth sports fee, the Live Y’ers after-school program and memberships for both families and individuals. If you did not receive a call and would like to support this program with a donation, please contact the YMCA.

    But it was those volunteers, who were asked to call people and ask for a donation, who really pushed their boundaries.

    For many volunteers, asking for money is harder than speaking in front of room full of people. Asking for donations is more uncomfortable than walking around in a swimsuit in public. Asking for a pledge is tougher than getting through Martha Chmiel’s weight-lifting class at the Y - no small task.

    The situation was eased a bit, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Shelly Sehnert, who opened up the bakery for the evening, which is a wonderful home-base to make the calls. Asking for money is always made easier with pizza and drinks and friends nearby.

    Another group of people also tested new waters this weekend…literally.

    On Sunday, 22 people participated in the YMCA’s Indoor Sprint Triathlon with proceeds going toward the Partners with Youth scholarship program. Of those nearly two dozen triathletes, half had never competed in a triathlon. Most likely, they had never done swimming, biking and running all on the same day ever before. And one person, a YMCA member, admitted that he had never even been in the YMCA pool...ever.

    Leading up to the triathlon, questions from participants were all over the board. “Can I wear floaties?” - If you aren’t too embarrassed to look like a four-year-old, knock yourself out.

    “I’m in my 60s. Am I too old?” - There was no age limit. In fact, our triathletes ranged in age from 12 to 65, showing there is no age limit when it comes to being active.

    “Do I have time to shave my legs between the swim and the bike?” - I think they were joking. But when we had to tell one triathlete to rinse the shampoo from her hair so we could start the bike portion, I’m not sure.

    Thank you again to who donated to the Partners with Youth campaign this year, who volunteered to ask for donations or who decided trying not to drown for 10 minutes in a triathlon was a great way to make a donation.

    ***

    In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a bit of snow here and there on the ground. And if the weather forecasts are even a wee bit accurate, there is likely going to be more winter weather on the way this weekend...and next weekend...perhaps coming to an end by the Fourth of July.

    And while I personally love the snow, it does inhibit the start of soccer season at the YMCA. Even you can get past the cold and the wind, it is difficult to hold a soccer game in the snow when you can’t see the out-of-bound lines. Not impossible, but very difficult.

    So there will be a delay to the YMCA’s soccer season. If you have already signed up your child, don’t start to worry yet if you haven’t received a call from a coach. And if you still haven’t signed up your child, whether in kindergarten or eighth grade, there is still time to get your child registered and not have to face the wrath of a 7-year-old who wanted to play soccer but can’t.

    And the Y will be contacting coaches and players soon with an updated plan for the soccer season, as soon as snow isn’t in the forecast every day...so possibly April.

     


     Text

  • 01-Mar-2019

 

Over the past week, dozens of people have ventured outside their comfort zones on two separate occasions, all on behalf of the YMCA.

Last Wednesday, the YMCA conducted its’ annual Partners With Youth (PWY) phone-a-thon campaign, where dozens of volunteers made hundreds of calls on behalf of the YMCA’s scholarship program.

First, thank you to everyone who made a donation or a pledge to the 2019 PWY campaign. Every dollar stays local, providing financial assistance toward youth sports fee, the Live Y’ers after-school program and memberships for both families and individuals. If you did not receive a call and would like to support this program with a donation, please contact the YMCA.

But it was those volunteers, who were asked to call people and ask for a donation, who really pushed their boundaries.

For many volunteers, asking for money is harder than speaking in front of room full of people. Asking for donations is more uncomfortable than walking around in a swimsuit in public. Asking for a pledge is tougher than getting through Martha Chmiel’s weight-lifting class at the Y - no small task.

The situation was eased a bit, thanks to the generosity of Matt and Shelly Sehnert, who opened up the bakery for the evening, which is a wonderful home-base to make the calls. Asking for money is always made easier with pizza and drinks and friends nearby.

Another group of people also tested new waters this weekend…literally.

On Sunday, 22 people participated in the YMCA’s Indoor Sprint Triathlon with proceeds going toward the Partners with Youth scholarship program. Of those nearly two dozen triathletes, half had never competed in a triathlon. Most likely, they had never done swimming, biking and running all on the same day ever before. And one person, a YMCA member, admitted that he had never even been in the YMCA pool...ever.

Leading up to the triathlon, questions from participants were all over the board. “Can I wear floaties?” - If you aren’t too embarrassed to look like a four-year-old, knock yourself out.

“I’m in my 60s. Am I too old?” - There was no age limit. In fact, our triathletes ranged in age from 12 to 65, showing there is no age limit when it comes to being active.

“Do I have time to shave my legs between the swim and the bike?” - I think they were joking. But when we had to tell one triathlete to rinse the shampoo from her hair so we could start the bike portion, I’m not sure.

Thank you again to who donated to the Partners with Youth campaign this year, who volunteered to ask for donations or who decided trying not to drown for 10 minutes in a triathlon was a great way to make a donation.

***

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a bit of snow here and there on the ground. And if the weather forecasts are even a wee bit accurate, there is likely going to be more winter weather on the way this weekend...and next weekend...perhaps coming to an end by the Fourth of July.

And while I personally love the snow, it does inhibit the start of soccer season at the YMCA. Even you can get past the cold and the wind, it is difficult to hold a soccer game in the snow when you can’t see the out-of-bound lines. Not impossible, but very difficult.

So there will be a delay to the YMCA’s soccer season. If you have already signed up your child, don’t start to worry yet if you haven’t received a call from a coach. And if you still haven’t signed up your child, whether in kindergarten or eighth grade, there is still time to get your child registered and not have to face the wrath of a 7-year-old who wanted to play soccer but can’t.

And the Y will be contacting coaches and players soon with an updated plan for the soccer season, as soon as snow isn’t in the forecast every day...so possibly April.

 


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