Led by aquatic additions, the Plant City Family YMCA is diving in to 2020 with its members in mind.
The Plant City Family YMCA has long wanted to make its aquatics branch as strong as possible. That’s still a goal for 2020 under new executive director Paul Conley, and members of the Plant City Y are already seeing changes in action.
To achieve one of Conley’s goals — year-round member engagement with the heated outdoor pool — aquatics will need a new look. It’s getting that in almost all areas.
“We’re really trying to make it a whole atmosphere around the family experience and senior experience,” Conley said.
Cosmetically, the pool area is getting a makeover. The Y started installing new slides this month, is replacing all of the patio area furniture and has upgraded the pool steps for easier access for seniors, children and users with disabilities.
As far as programming goes, Conley has two big plans for the pool. First, there’s the Lap League installed in Plant City and at all other YMCAs in the Tampa Metropolitan network in December 2019. Members who sign up are challenged to log 100 miles in the 25-meter short course pool. One mile in the pool is covered by a little more than 60 laps, so it’s a long-haul challenge with legitimate fitness benefits.
“We’re all kind of in it together,” Conley said. “I think with being the only outdoor pool in Plant City, we have an awesome opportunity to get people active through non-contact activity. It’s a heck of a workout.”
Conley said the Y is looking to refine its youth programs from the ground up, hoping to build a strong feeder system to eventually build up the competitive team.
“We want to develop those kids into part of our competitive swim team,” he said. “That’s lost a bit of its luster the past few years and we’re looking to really improve that through quality coaching and getting kids active through swimming at an early age. That’s how you build their confidence up.”
The Y is also planning to expand its water exercise classes and try for more afternoon offerings.
These tasks will be made easier when the Y fills its open position for a full-time aquatics director. Conley plans to have the position filled no later than March.
Beyond the pool, there aren’t many big plans for new upcoming events or programs in 2020 at this time.
“We’re always adding group exercise classes,” Conley said. “We’re always adding youth sports. But we’re really focused on doing the things we do well. We’ve added a lot in the past, so this year it’s important that we focus on delivering the highest quality.”
The Plant City Y did, however, finish upgrading all of its strength and cardio equipment and is going to renovate the men’s and women’s locker rooms for a more “modern” look.
Anyone interested in becoming a member at the Plant City Family YMCA should consider joining in January, as one-time join fees have been waived for the entire month. Prices range from $37 per month for teenagers to $85 per month for families. Visit tampaymca.org/joininjan/membership-2018/ to view all membership plans and get more information.