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Local

Kishwaukee YMCA hosts open house

YMCA held open house to show people new equipment and available programs

Hakeem Fleming, who coaches the children enrolled in the Jr. NBA program at Kishwaukee YMCA, encourages Kassandra Harris, 6, to bend with her knees and follow through on her shots.
Hakeem Fleming, who coaches the children enrolled in the Jr. NBA program at Kishwaukee YMCA, encourages Kassandra Harris, 6, to bend with her knees and follow through on her shots.

SYCAMORE – On days like Saturday, people need a place to escape the weather, Mark Spiegelhoff said.

It's why Spiegelhoff, CEO for the Kishwaukee YMCA, offered an open house for area residents to show what the facility has available for those who want to get up and be productive, instead of sitting at home.

"We want to provide people with a great way to stay active during the doldrums of winter," he said.

Spiegelhoff gave a preview of what the staff would show during the open house.

One of the areas included the wellness center, which has 41 new machines, including treadmills, ellipticals, seated bikes, upright bikes and stair steppers. The wellness center has other endurance building machines too, as well as strength machines and free weights.

Another couple areas included the sports center – which has a new ventilation system, new flooring and LED lighting – and the recreational pool.

"That's a big draw for a lot of families," Spiegelhoff said of the recreational pool.

The open house started at 10 a.m. While YMCA members were active inside the building, no one had yet shown up to the open house.

However, between 10 a.m. and about 11:30 a.m., some had and by the account of Dionne Horne, human resources director for the Kishwaukee YMCA, they were impressed.

She said the tour didn't have just one element that impressed them. It depended on where they were in life.

"We have a lot of different things for a lot of different demographics," she said.

Horne said the adults were more interested in things like the wellness center, working with personal trainers and group exercise classes, like spinning class. She said families were more interested in the programs for kids, such as the Kidszone, a play area where parents can drop off their children while they work out, and the sports programs like Jr. NBA.

Sean Farrell, whose son Liam, 9, attends the weekly Jr. NBA Camp at the Kishwaukee YMCA, said the sports coordinator for the facility, Fred Harris, does a great job with the children.

"We love the program," Farrell said. "Liam's had great coaches."

Harris' daughter, Kassandra, 6, looked like she was enjoying her time on the court. She was making baskets and was enthusiastic about it as her father and her drill's coach, Hakeem Fleming encouraged her and the other children to bend their knees and follow through on their short-range shots aimed at the hoop, which was set at six feet. The older children who were practicing nearby, used a hoop set at 8.5 feet.

Harris said he tries to get other parents to volunteer coach alongside him and that the players – between 4 years old and 10 – love to hone their basketball skills.

He said he's glad to see their love of playing the game, and what happens when they advance their abilities, which raises their confidence.

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