Fun returns to the YMCA after a year of COVID disruptions

Published 12:00pm 14 March 2022

Fun returns to the YMCA after a year of COVID disruptions
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Kids of all ages have been returning to the YMCA at Mango Hill in leaps and bounds after a year of lockdowns and disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic.

The gymnastics centre has been “booked out” with parents and caregivers signing their children up for activities.

YMCA Mango Hill Events Coordinator Jacqui Musiello says it’s important to get the kids back into an active routine after months of staying at home on electronic devices.

“COVID has been a really difficult time for everybody, especially the children as they have missed out on so much,” Jacqui says.

“As parents we need to make sure we don’t keep our kids too isolated, which I know has been hard and scary due to COVID.

“But here at the YMCA, we are committed to keeping the kids active and healthy and providing them with an outlet other than school where they can socialise, meet new friends and stay off technology.”

With more families feeling confident following the peak of the Omicron wave, Jacqui says the centre will host an open day on March 27 for people to check out the facilities.

“There has been a lot of interest from parents in the community, so we are inviting everyone to come down and have a go,” she says.

Located on level 2 of the YMCA building on Halpine Drive, the gymnastics facility boasts a training floor area of 1028sqm and features a large in-ground gymnastics pit, a foam pit with trampoline, ninja course, as well as multiple apparatus and training areas for fun and skill development.

See all the fun in our gallery below.

Jumping over the COVID hurdles

It’s been a bumpy road for the YMCA since opening its doors just over a year ago, with delays from the grand opening to having to close its doors due to government ordered lockdowns, and then cancelling classes when COVID spread.

“We were meant to open in early 2020 but then COVID hit,” Jacqui says.

“We had people that were employed in November 2019 and due to start in 2020, but they ended up starting in January 2021.

“But this (the YMCA) was something the community desperately needed in this area, so when we were finally able to open our doors, we were instantly full.

“Then there were the government lockdowns where we had to close for weeks, which impacted us financially.

“The beginning of this year was also slow for us because parents were worried about COVID.

“We also had to cancel some activities when the instructors got sick.

“But we are back up and running and everyone is loving it.”

Giving back to the community

The YMCA is currently collecting blankets which they will donate to people in need before winter rolls around. 

“We will be helping out an organisation that helps struggling families and the homeless, so any donations are greatly appreciated,” Jacqui says.

“As a not-for-profit organisation ourselves, it’s important to give back to the community and help the kids develop and grow not just in gymnastic, but help them grow into young adults who care for others.”

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