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YMCA working with Wellington Catholic School Board to provide free online physical education

The YMCA Gym Class online platform is available to every school board in Canada that wants to implement it into their school's e-learning platform.
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A screenshot of a total body workout video for ages 5-9 with Coach Mike on YMCA's YouTube channel. Supplied photo

The YMCA of Guelph is working with the Wellington Catholic District School Board to provide free online physical education resources when students are in self-isolation.

The national body launched YMCA Gym Class, an online platform enabling school boards and educators to deliver virtual physical education programming to students as part of their school’s e-learning platform. 

The organization also launched — a virtual library of resources with an aim to take care of one’s mind, body and spirit a week after they shut down — in partnership with the YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo and the YMCAs of Stratford-Perth.

“It is an interesting time for us. We have never closed our doors before like this in our history. This is unprecedented,” said CEO of YMCA, Geoff Vogt adding that the pandemic required them to step back when they’re used to stepping up and led them to open virtual doors to continue doing good for the community. 

“We actually pulled this platform together in 48 hours,” said Vogt. 

“This was a concept last Thursday and last Tuesday we released it to local Y’s across the country to get in touch with their school boards.”

The YMCA Gym Class includes various activities based on YMCA Canada’s health and fitness programs and Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines. The activities are intended to complement the physical education course curriculum across school boards in Canada for free.  

“Our board has undertaken the responsibility to move 8,000 students to distance learning, and we are grateful and excited to be able to leverage community partnerships like the one we share with the YMCA to supplement our distance learning and support plan,” said Tamara Nugent, Director of Education at the WCDSB in a press release.

“We know that physical activity is a key component to overall well-being, helping our students to be their best for learning.” 

Vogt said the YMCA is also in conversation with the Upper Grand District School Board about adopting the program into its curriculum. 

“We have certified fitness leaders who are going to be providing three classes a week that has already started and the platform will be based on the YouTube channel ThisIsY which is already up thousands and thousands and thousands of subscribers,” said Vogt. 

“I’m super grateful for the Wellington Catholic for jumping on and supporting this.”

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Anam Khan

About the Author: Anam Khan

Anam Khan is a journalist who covers numerous beats in Guelph and Wellington County that include politics, crime, features, environment and social justice
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