RELEASE — Rural seniors and kids in the Sydenham and Seeley’s Bay areas received access to healthy programs with the YMCA of Eastern Ontario last year, thanks to a $58,100 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This grant, awarded in 2020, allowed YMCA to bring its “Mobile Y” fitness program to underserved rural communities at no cost to participants.
Based on the outcomes of this pilot, the YMCA hopes to expand this needed program in the future. This pilot project allowed YMCA to offer free cardio, strength and core training for seniors twice a week at Grace Hall in Sydenham.
YMCA also offered fitness classes for youth aged 8-15 and a teen bootcamp for grades 9-12 in Seeley’s Bay, both free of charge. Mobile Y programming helped increase physical activity and combat isolation in these communities during COVID-19.
“This was an amazing opportunity to bring Y fitness programs to underserved rural areas,” said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “Our funding along with the partnerships we have developed with the municipalities made this possible. Organizations need to work together to respond to the needs of our communities and that’s something in which we actively engage.”
The YMCA of Eastern Ontario is a charity that provides programs and services to improve health and health outcomes, develops leaders, helps build social connections and provides safe, inclusive spaces for people of all ages.
The Y is Canada’s largest provider of childcare with trademarked curricula, and offers fitness and other programs including SCUBA, Karate and Total Life Care.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non‐profit sector.
In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non‐profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID‐19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.