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New YMCA going swimmingly

Mykal Coleman, 8, and his 6-year-old sister, Nyah, listen to aquatics coordinator Kim Emison while taking a swim test at the new YMCA in Caroline County last Thursday. The pool is one of the features of the new facility. / Photos by Peter Cihelka

Mykal Coleman, 8, and his 6-year-old sister, Nyah, listen to aquatics coordinator Kim Emison while taking a swim test at the new YMCA in Caroline County last Thursday. The pool is one of the features of the new facility. / Photos by Peter Cihelka

Christine Jones said she used to be a member of the YMCA in Spotsylvania County, but when her membership lapsed, she just didn’t renew it.

When she heard a YMCA was going to open just five minutes from her home in Caroline County, she signed back up.

“I wanted to get better fit and I like to climb mountains, and it’s harder to do as I get older,” she said.

The 52-year-old said she goes to the new Caroline YMCA about three days per week and uses the elliptical trainer and treadmill, and the strength-training machines for her arms.

The area’s newest Y opened earlier this month in Ladysmith after months of construction and years of talk.

Caroline County resident Daronte Rollins works out in the gym of the new YMCA. He plans to use the facilities two or three times per week to work out.

Caroline County resident Daronte Rollins works out in the gym of the new YMCA. He plans to use the facilities two or three times per week to work out.

Executive Director Keith Marine said the branch has about 517 memberships, which means about a thousand people use the facility.

Those are all new memberships, he said, but they expect about 20 or 30 members from other YMCAs in the region to switch over to Caroline. Another 100 or so applications are being processed for potential members who signed up during promotional events before the opening.

The 41,000-square-foot facility has a child care area, a group fitness room, a cycling room, a gym with two basketball courts, a large pool for swimming, a therapy pool, locker rooms and other amenities.

Tammi Coleman sat near the swimming pool recently while two of her children, ages 6 and 8, took swimming lessons.

She said she has lived in Caroline for 12 years and lived in Ashland before that. She used to have a membership in a YMCA there, but it was not convenient.

Caroline County youths play a pickup game of basketball in the gymnasium at the recently opened YMCA in Ladysmith on Thursday.

Caroline County youths play a pickup game of basketball in the gymnasium at the recently opened YMCA in Ladysmith on Thursday.

“We’ve been waiting 12 years for a Y to come, so we’re really, really excited,” she said. “It’s the accessibility. Having to drive to Ashland or Fredericksburg to use the facility this is definitely more convenient.”

She believes the Y will be beneficial to the community. Her kids are excited about the Y too. They like the swim lessons and the brand-new building.

In the fitness room, Daronte Rollins, 17, was taking advantage of being able to go in every day during spring break from school last week. He was using a machine that had a rope to do cardio exercises.

He expects to go to the Y two or three times per week, alternating “push days” and “pull days” for workouts.

Working out is a way to beat boredom for him. “It gives me something to do in off time,” he said.

He said he thinks it will be good for Caroline County, too. “Everybody can come and work out. For the kids, they have the gym.”

Over there, a pickup basketball game was underway on a recent afternoon.

Marine said it gets busy during around 5 to 6 p.m. When the nursery is open, it’s common for parents to leave their child there and get a workout in, Marine said.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

 

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