In the mornings, Kathleen Whippler —YMCA of Regina’s senior director of funds development, marketing, and communications—greets a group of ladies on their way to an arthritis exercise class. They’ve told her how the class helps keep aches at bay for the rest of the day. In the afternoon, she sees parents drop their kids off at the Y’s special-needs program. They’ve told her that before the program, there was nowhere for their kids to go, let alone a place they were excited about. Experiences like these keep Whippler passionate about her work at YMCA of Regina. “You can see the difference you make—what I do affects the lives of other people.”
These programs reflect YMCA of Regina’s overarching mission to build healthy communities. As bustling community hubs, both locations tout dozens of programs and amenities, such as four-lane pools, cardio machines, free weights, and more than 65 weekly exercise classes. Furthermore, the centres strive to make fitness a key part of any lifestyle; personal trainers lead private sessions, fitness classes include yoga and Zumba, and the Northwest centre invites guests to scale a climbing wall.
Although physical fitness is a critical part of overall wellness, the Y’s services extend far beyond the workout room. The centres host an alternative suspension program that strives to transform school suspensions into positive, transformative experiences, and the Community Café provides youth with job training. Whippler says services like these help form tight-knit communities. “It’s just a place to belong,” she says.