每一位成功註冊的學生均可在整個學年享有免費會員及參與活動計劃資格 (active programming)。
*請留意新型冠狀病毒大流行疫情下有關計劃的變動。一切決定由卡加利基督教青年會 YMCA 作最終決定。
這個計劃，是 NHL 北美冰聯卡加利火焰隊基金會眾多回饋社區之一。目的，是為青年提供一個安全的環境實踐及培養獨立性與健康生活習慣，從中建立社區歸屬感。
Since 2015, the Calgary Flames Foundation and YMCA Calgary has empowered over 19,000 youth to explore their community while developing life-long skills.
“We want to provide youth from all backgrounds with unstructured opportunities to be recreational, which will, at that age, help form healthy habits,” Candice Goudie, E.D. the Calgary Flames Foundation, said.
While the program gives every grade six student in Calgary a free, one-year membership to the YMCA, it also means kids can get active, build healthy relationships and have fun.
For the YMCA Calgary, it’s been a resounding success.
“This has been one of the most important programs and collaborations in YMCA Calgary’s 118-year history,” Ken Lima-Coelho, VP of Community Engagement for the YMCA Calgary, said.
In 2015, the first year of the program, 2,466 youth took advantage of the free membership. Last year (2019), the number improved to over 5,000 students. That translates to nearly 1/3 of all grade six youth in the city.
That means 54,346 active hours of kids interacting with their community in a positive, healthy way.
Inclusive, easy and dependable
The membership offers to students from September to August, is available without any applications or other criteria. “It is literally for every grade six student who lives in Calgary,” Candice said. “It’s easy; it’s simple. We think it makes a lot of sense.”
For students that means simply going to the closest YMCA with a parent or guardian and proving they are from the city and are in grade six.
This is an inclusive program that parents can depend on to give their child new, positive life experiences.
According to the YMCA, 4 of 5 youth members wouldn’t have been able to purchase a membership.
To make sure the program remains easy to access and dependable, The Calgary Flames Foundation has dedicated $2.25 Million and pledged to support it through to 2023, guaranteeing an impressive nine-year life for the initiative.
Getting into the habit
Those hours of programming and dollars spent are just the tip of the iceberg.
From the beginning, both the YMCA and the Flames Foundation wanted to encourage positive habits and skills that would impact youth throughout their lives.
“Kids are finding a community; making good choices; setting themselves up for success, moving more and connecting,” Ken said. “They’re having healthier experiences in not only grade six, but seven, eight, and nine.”
In fact, one third of students who take advantage of the program are still members through to grade nine, according the YMCA.
Youth learn new skills, and it gives them confidence to take on new challenges; thus, they will be physically and mentally strong.
“Because they have membership, they get reduced fees on day camps and opportunities to take leadership or babysitting courses,” Ken said.
It’s these social skills combined with an active lifestyle that empowers youth and gives them a brighter future.
If you or your child want to take advantage of the program:
- Head over to the youth membership page, or simply fill out the registration form online,
- Bring it in to any Calgary YMCA location with a Grade 5 report card, school ID, or a signed letter from a teacher.