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Pop-ups take YMCA out to Pictou County community

Kids are shown playing games at one of the Y On The Move pop-up events this summer. The program will continue until the end of August.
Kids are shown playing games at one of the Y On The Move pop-up events this summer. The program will continue until the end of August.

PICTOU COUNTY – The YMCA of Pictou County has been popping up all over the place this summer – and people are encouraged to join them for fun activities.

They’re getting out into the community as part of Y On The Move, now in its second year. The program involves taking services from the Y facility to different areas, said co-ordinator Jaclyn MacLeod.

“The purpose is really to show the community the Y is here and we are community based, and to strengthen the relationship between the Y and the greater Pictou County community,” she said.

MacLeod said the community pop-ups consist of lawn games and nature activities such as planting flowers and rock painting. She said participants can paint inspirational messages on the rocks and then either take them home or leave them in public spaces for others to find. “We hope when people stumble upon a rock, it’s like a little pick-me-up.”

So far some of the places they’ve visited include Powell’s Point Provincial Park in Little Harbour, Salt Springs Provincial Park, and Caribou/Munroe’s Island Provincial Park.

Along with showcasing areas in Pictou County, Y On The Move also helps realize some of the goals of the YMCA, said Heidi Sinclair, membership services and communications manager.

She noted it’s part of the YMCA’s movement to advocate for healthy lifestyles and get people moving. “We feel it’s important to get our community active,” said Sinclair. “We’re more than a gym, a pool or a fitness centre.”

Sinclair said not all of the activities are physical, “but they all touch the bigger idea of health and the YMCA – trying to build mind, body and spirit.”

“There’s a lot of green spaces and a lot of provincial parks people may not have the opportunity to go to or realize are there,” she said.

The activities are suitable for all ages, and encourage people to try new things.

“All of our activities are free, fun and engaging and something a little different,” said MacLeod. “It’s fun to see everyone get out and participate together.”

People participating in Y On The Move activities will have the chance to take home free giveaways, including a three-day pass to the YMCA. The program continues until the end of August.

Sinclair said Y On The Move is also attending local festivals, interacting with people and providing support and engagement, already having visited the Race on the River dragon boat festival in New Glasgow and the Melmerby Triathlon. Y On The Move will also be at next week’s Seniors Festival in Trenton and helping out at cheering and water stations at Run by the Sea in River John on Thursday.

Another activity offered by Y On The Move is Wednesday Walks, a low-impact walking club that takes place weekly at the Pioneer Coal Athletic Field.

“It’s really about getting people together,” said MacLeod, noting that it’s more enjoyable and time passes more quickly when walking with someone else.

To find out where Y On The Move will be next, visit the YMCA of Pictou County Facebook page or email yonthemove@pcymca.ca.

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