Enriching our community since 1858, the Yarmouth YMCA is a major center for community programs, especially for children. Renee Hanf, the current Programs and Members Services Supervisor, has seen first-hand the impact that the YMCA can have on its members.
Starting on a low-income assisted membership, Renee began working out at the YMCA, losing 120 lbs and gaining newfound confidence in herself – enough confidence to apply for the position where she’s since worked for four years! Now Renee spends her days helping other members of the community access services at the YMCA to help them improve and enjoy their own lives.
What services do you offer?
We offer a safe place where people can work out without feeling intimidated as they might feel in a larger gym. We have our fitness centre with all of its equipment: cardio machines, free-weights, and air-adjusted weight machines for beginners, just to name a few. There’s our pool, which is a huge feature here – people can take swimming lessons, or swim laps for fun. We also have our swim teams, the Whitecaps and the Junior Whitecaps.
Other than that, we have courts available for basketball, squash and badminton, as well as rooms that can be rented out for birthday parties, baby showers, meetings, etc. For birthday parties we supply a room, the kitchen, and time in the pool.
What should people know about your business?
One of the things that we try to promote that people don’t know about is our assisted memberships. So those people who are on low income or just have so many bills in comparison to their income, can apply and get a discounted rate on it. And we also go by your circumstances. For example, if you had to leave an abusive relationship and you have no money, you’re kind of living off what you can, we look into that and we try to get you in here.
What inspires you to be here every day?
The people. I love to meet new people, I love to hear their stories. We have multiple people who’ve gone from, you know, being obese, down to a healthy size. We have people that do competitions – just watching them and their motivation is inspirational to us. And then I love seeing the kids. The kids that learn how to swim and are so excited to get that certificate that says they passed!