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Why the YMCA? / September 25, 2014

Dear Viewpoint:

As a community, we now have options for places to exercise and try to live a healthier lifestyle. I, for one, am thankful for that as the condition of our YMCA is certainly not up to par. Kudos to entrepreneurs and community leaders who have put themselves out there and given us options. Sadly though, too many people are thinking, “who needs the YMCA?” I am here to tell you we all do.

The YMCA is so much more than a place to exercise. It is the only indoor lap pool in our county and the place so many of our children learn to swim. Did you know all 9th graders and preschoolers use the YMCA pool for swim lessons? Did you know our high school swim team uses the pool? Did you know that the YMCA swim team is over 50 children large and came in 2nd place at championships last year? Did you know there are Special Olympics teams that train in our YMCA? The only pool available to seniors for low impact water aerobics is our YMCA. The only place to become a certified lifeguard is the YMCA. The YMCA is also the only place in the county you can take swim lessons year round.

How about the after school and summer programs that so many parents in our county depend on for child care since so few options exist in the area? The YMCA also provides transportation to their after school programs.

Having a YMCA is also a big positive to prospective professionals looking at moving to Halifax County. It made a big difference to us when touring the area; especially since we didn’t tour the facility at the time.

I do not know what needs to change at our local YMCA but I do know that we need it and we need it to improve to be a top notch facility instead of the broken down institution it is known as today. It is a sad state of affairs when none of the other YMCA swim teams in our region will come to South Boston for a meet. With new facilities popping up in neighboring counties, it makes ours look even worse. Things need to change at our YMCA but this cannot happen until there is support from the YMCA President, the Board of Directors and the community as a whole. We need to rally behind our YMCA to make it a place we are proud of.

Beth McCubbin, Halifax

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