Exploring the latest addition to the Wilmington Family YMCA, the Temple Baptist Activity Center

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WILMINGTON — Apart from the “Pop, pop, pop” sounds of balls and occasional cheers coming from the gym where Pickleball is being played, the first thing you’ll noticed about the new YMCA location at Temple Baptist Activity Center is how peaceful it is. But, not for much longer; in the coming weeks the activity center will be transformed into a new YMCA branch, where members will be able to choose from a variety of workout and group exercise options.

Located at 709 George Anderson Drive, just off S 17th, the building may seem off-the-beaten track to some, but it faces the new Pointe at Barclay development where a movie theater, shops and offices are currently under construction. With additional housing being built in the surrounding area, this site has the potential to become a hive of activity.

The YMCA’s Temple Baptist Activity Center (Courtesy: Carole Wirszylac).

The front doors of the single-story, brick building open into a spacious foyer which, this day, was illuminated by the sun pouring in through one of the many windows. Upon arrival, you may be greeted by the new operations manager of the facility, Jane Klippel, who has enthusiastically said she hopes the foyer will soon be filled with comfy chairs and tables so that people can hang out and socialize in-between activities. She wants everyone to feel a part of the community and says the social aspect reminds us it can be fun to exercise.

Currently in the foyer, a number of posters adorned with passages from the bible hang from the ceiling, evidence of the partnership with Temple Baptist Church. Fortunately, because this is an organization that puts Christian principles into practice through its programs, so it is a good fit for the YMCA.

Gym facility at Temple Baptist Activity Center. (Courtesy: Carole Wirszylac)

The new satellite campus is part of a long-range plan to accommodate the expanding population in our city and to meet the current and future needs of a number of sports and fitness programs. The Halo Hoops basketball program is one sport already entrenched in the Temple Baptist Activity Center with practices and games taking place in the gym during designated times.

The other popular sport currently in full swing is Pickleball. Players eager to keep on top of their game after the Wilmington Athletic Club closed, can now join the Y and play at the Temple Baptist Activity Center gym.

Three Pickleball courts are available Monday through Friday from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. For those of you who are not familiar with Pickleball, beginners are invited to take lessons on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. According to Jane, you can pretty much learn the basics in half an hour! Of course, then you have to go practice if you really want to master the game. As Jane says, “It’s like a club within a club.”

Elsewhere in the building, the light-colored walls are like a blank canvas for the many wonderful activities the Y has planned. Five new group exercise classes have already started taking place including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Restorative Yoga, Pilates Core, Faithfully Fit, and Senior Combo. Most of these well-attended classes were previously offered at the WAC, and are now continuing to be offered at the new Y branch.

The mature audience will be pleased to know that the Senior Combo class on Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. incorporates elements of the Silver Sneakers program. And, for those of you who love to play pick-up basketball, the gym is available weekdays between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (not Wednesdays) and 5 p.m. through 6 p.m.

Cardio machines in the new facility (photo courtesy of Carole Wirszylac).

But, this new YMCA branch is more than just a gym; it houses a number of activity rooms. One is already equipped with 12 cardio machines; and another will soon become a weight room with 6 strength machines, dumbbells, weight bars and benches.

The Y’s ever-popular Afterschool program has already been taking place in activity room No. 3, which also doubles as a chapel for the church on the weekends. Additionally, a separate room will be used as a drop-in child watch program for members to take advantage of on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.

One of the activity rooms is occupied by physical therapist, Tyler Whiteside of Momentum PT and Wellness, who has relocated his office from the WAC to the new YMCA branch… and he comes highly recommended!

Where else can you get all that and more in Wilmington? There is even a picnic shelter, softball and soccer fields outside for Y programming to take full advantage of. Registration for Spring Soccer Leagues is already open for the new YMCA branch at Temple Baptist Activity Center while plans for lacrosse, flag football and a kids triathlon club are underway for this coming summer.

For the growing number of people in this neighborhood it will be very beneficial to be a part of the Y because membership grants you access to all the YMCA’s facilities, both in Wilmington and elsewhere in North Carolina. The transformation of this new branch is only the beginning of what is to come for the YMCA in our community. Stay tuned for updates on progress at the new branch, and feel free to stop by and take a look around between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the week and talk to Jane yourself.

Although they are still in the process of moving in, classes and programs are already taking place! Members are encouraged to take advantage of the group exercise classes, pickleball and open gym time at our newest branch, as long as you can excuse the mess! Click Here to View Schedule. For anyone interested in joining the Y, they ask that you visit the Express Y Membership Desk for assistance. They are currently offering a membership special through the month of January and waiving all joining fees! For more information visit the Wilmington Family YMCA’s website wilmingtonfamilyymca.org

Original article published 1/4/17 https://www.wilmingtonfamilyymca.org/news/2017/01/04/ymca-news/exploring-the-latest-addition-to-our-ymca/

-Content provided by Carole Wirszylac, courtesy of the Wilmington Family YMCA

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