This fall, the Delaware Community Center YMCA is introducing new recreational programs targeted toward the generation that remembers cassette tapes.
“If you can think back to when you were in high school, to when you had a cassette player…you could push the pause button on the cassette player,” said Paul Weber, district vice president / director of city recreation services.
He said that many adults, as they went to school, got married and had children, have “pressed pause” with their physical activity as well.
In response, the YMCA is introducing a new concept called “Press Play.”
The series invites adults in their 40s or older — YMCA patrons and non-members alike — to join a bootcamp that helps get them back in shape. The 12-week training sessions would end in time for the participants, if they choose, to sign up for the regular season of the corresponding sport.
For example, adults who might be weary of signing up for the softball league in the spring, could join a Press Play softball camp in the winter, Weber said.
“The program is designed to be very, very low cost,” Weber said. “The idea is that we want to drive people in, get them in shape and hopefully get them signed up for the programs.”
The series will also include basketball boot camps and other sports to be announced, Weber said.
A secondary aim of Press Play is to direct more activity to the city’s recreational facilities at Mingo.
Weber acknowledged that this series would address some of the concerns that members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board had about a decline in adult softball participation.
The YMCA is expecting 20 to 40 people to sign up for each boot camp, Weber said, which could help spur enthusiasm as well as awareness of the existing adult league.
The adult-focused programing fits in with the YMCA’s mission to promote health of an entire community.
“If the adults start to get healthier and work on their lifestyle, then they’re going to get their kids more active too,” Weber said. “A lot of the focus is on the kids, but it’s the adults who have to take care of them. It’s the adults who buy the food. It’s the adults who kinda set what their lifestyle is going to be.”
“So if we can get the adults into a healthy lifestyle, it’s going to affect the children,” he said.
With this in mind, the YMCA is instigating a collection of other adult-focused programs, including ones that promote health in the workplace.
The YMCA’s wellness group has scheduled a corporate luncheon on Aug. 1 to invite businesses to discuss employee fitness and wellness at the workplace. Weber said that one outcome might be corporate league play where employees from one company compete against employees from another.
Also, in collaboration with the Delaware County Health Department and the city, the YMCA plans to instigate a city-wide program for residents to track their physical activity.
Through this online program, people of all ages could post their goals and log their progress.
Weber said that “affinity groups” could form as people identify their preferred activities, and the community entities could keep these groups up to date on future events or educational clinics related to that sport.
For more information, continue to check the YMCA’s website at ymcacolumbus.org/delaware.