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YMCA fun facts

Did you know...

  • The YMCA was founded on June 6, 1844 in London, England by George Williams.
  • The Y is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities.
  • Two major sports, basketball and volleyball, were born at the YMCA.
  • A YMCA instructor created the first group swimming lesson.
  • Tens of millions of people across the country learned how to swim at the YMCA.
  • The YMCA was the first to establish certification programs for lifesaving, swimming and aquatic instruction.
  • In 1992, there were more than 1,700 pools in operation and more than 25,000 lifeguards and instructors trained.
  • The YMCA pioneered and greatly expanded summer camping, night school, vocational counseling, adult education, college student services, and junior college.
  • The Ys Healthy Kids Day, emphasizes the importance of play in keeping kids healthy and happy and enhancing their developmental skills.
  • The early history of women in the YMCA is not well documented, although it is believed that the first female member of a YMCA joined in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the late 1850s.
  • YMCAs and the military have enjoyed a relationship that predates the Civil War.
  • YMCA World Service workers were forerunners of Peace Corps volunteers.
  • Camping has been a part of YMCA programming for more than a century.
  • The YMCA assisted in the formation of other major voluntary groups such as Boy Scouts, Camp Fire, and the USO.
  • The term "bodybuilding" was first used in 1881 by Robert Roberts, a member of the staff at the Boston YMCA.
  • The Y has local presence and global reach. We mobilize local communities to effect lasting, meaningful change.
  • Father's Day started at the YMCA.
  • The Y brings people together. We connect people of all ages and backgrounds to bridge the gaps in community needs.
  • YMCAs were also among the first to develop systems of certification for staff in teaching programs.
  • In 1975, Y-USA and the NBA Players Association start the Youth Basketball Association (YBA) to create programs that stress abilities and teamwork over winning at any cost.
  • The YMCA is the leading Non for Profit in North America focused on Healthy Living.
  • The Y engages more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the U.S.
  • The YMCA of Steuben County gives $50,000 in scholarships every year.
  • Provided quality and affordable child care when women began joining the workforce in droves.
  • The Y responds to world crises through fundraising, rebuilding and programs to rekindle hope in the affected communities.
  • Lasting personal and social change comes about when we all work together.