Registration for spring programs at the New Canaan YMCA begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 25. The 12-week session starts on Monday, March 18.
Registration will be available through the Y's secure online portal at www.newcanaanymca.org, as well as at the front desk.
Youth programs include an array of sports, art and music, and recreation for those in preschool through high school.
Multiple preschool art and music classes will be offered, including both for child-only and child/guardian. Sports for preschoolers include basketball, soccer, karate and lacrosse. In addition, the Y's T-ball league will take place for boys and girls 4 to 5. The T-ball season is April 27 through June 1. T-ball is a beginner instructional league designed around fun, teamwork and skill development. The early weeks will focus on instruction and practice, while gearing up for weekly Saturday games as the season gets under way. The league is looking for coaching volunteers.
The Y will be introducing a new All-American Baseball Training Academy program open to ages 4 to 10. The training academy is a fundamental recreational program that teaches kids to enjoy the game of baseball. Younger participants learn the basics of the game by developing hitting, fielding, catching, throwing and base running. Older participants focus on enhancing the basics of the game, while advancing skill development and increasing abilities in fielding, hitting, pitching, throwing, catching, outfield, base running and bunting.
Additional school-age sports programs include golf, karate, lacrosse, tennis, archery and fencing. The Girls on the Run and Girls on Track programs will return, open to ages 8 to 13. They teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games, and culminate with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event.
Another new program is the ToughKids Triathlon Training Program for ages 7 to 14. In partnership with ToughKids Triathlons, the six-week training program introduces kids to multisport training and prepares them to race in the Ridgefield ToughKids Triathlon in the summer. Kids will learn how to train for a race, become a better swimmer, biker and runner, and develop the cardio capacity to complete a full youth triathlon.
Other middle school sports programs include archery, tennis and fencing. The Red Cross Babysitting Certification course will be offered for ages 11 to 15, and a new craft class will be offered for grades five to eight. The Get Crafty program is free to members and $20 per craft for nonmembers. All participants must pay for materials. Crafts include scrapbooking, knitting, sewing and more. Each craft runs for two weeks, and participants may register for as many crafts as they like.
Youth wellness programs include the return of Zumbatomic for ages 4 to 9 and Youth Strength Training for ages 12 to 14. Upon completion of the Youth Strength Training Class, which is free for those with a family membership, participants will earn their FIT pass, granting them access to the Wellness Center.
Recreational youth programs will include the Middle School Madness program, with spring dates of March 16, April 6, May 4 and June 15, which will be just for fourth-graders. Leaders Club, for ages 14 to 18, provides teens with extensive leadership training, offering opportunities for service to the Y and the community. In addition to Leaders Club, Y Earth Service Corps will be offered to those in grades seven to 12 who are interested in developing leadership skills through environmental education and action.
A range of aquatics programs will be offered, including swim lessons for ages 6 months and older, the Caimans swim team, Aquianas synchronized swimming and Whirlwind diving.
Adult wellness services include a range of drop-in group exercise classes, including yoga, group power, spinning, group step, Pilates and Zumba. A new addition to the drop-in group exercise schedule will be Group Core, a 30-minute action-packed class designed to strengthen your core by training like an athlete through functional and integrated exercises using your body weight, weight plates, a towel and a platform. The Y also offers a range of adult water activities, including swim lessons, Aquamates and an arthritis exercise class.
For those looking for small groups and big results, the Y offers two small group training programs, as well. FIT-traxx is designed to help people of all ages, shapes and sizes melt fat, increase energy and built strength and tone. Sessions are four weeks and participants can attend one, two or three classes a week. The other small group training class offered is TRX Suspension Training. Based on training used by the Navy Seals, the TRX system is a revolutionary method of leveraged bodyweight exercise that builds power, strength, flexibility, balance and mobility, all at an intensity they choose. Free FIT-traxx and TRX demo classes will take place March 18 to 23, April 22 to 27 and May 28 to June 1.
The Y will continue to offer specialized wellness sessions, including a Healthy Balance program, which provides members with the skills to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, the Cancer Wellness Program will continue to be offered to members who are undergoing treatment or have completed treatment no more than two years ago. The Y also hosts a Live Well program for those who struggle to manage ongoing health conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, anxiety, heart disease or any other chronic health condition.
As a part of the Y's goal to provide services to everyone in the community, regardless of need or ability, the Y's Special Needs Department offers specialized programs including aquatics, music, gymnastics, yoga, social activities with peers and team sports. In addition to specialized programs, the Y strives to make accommodations so those with special needs can participate in other Y programs, providing additional support as needed based on each individual's needs. For information, contact Carolynn Kaufman at 203-966-4528, ext. 156.
Through the New Canaan YMCA's Annual Support Campaign, financial assistance and special payment arrangements are available. In 2012, the Y awarded approximately $400,000 in financial assistance. For information, contact Diana Riolo at 203-966-4528, ext. 185.
A complete listing of program offerings is available at the YMCA Front Desk or at www.newcanaanymca.org.