PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY SARA SHEIKH / SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
The Laurier Brantford YMCA (LBYMCA) has become a crucial landmark for the Golden Hawks and the people of Brantford.
Opened on September 14, 2018, the LBYMCA has provided a new home for students to improve their fitness, participate in sports activities, and socialize with their peers.
“The LBYMCA is an exciting new development on our campus, it is beautiful inside and out,” said Josh Karikari, a fourth-year student at Laurier Brantford. “The gym is in a convenient location in the heart of downtown and has plenty of equipment for the average gym-goer or anyone trying to start their fitness journey.”
Accessible to all students using their one card, the LBYMCA is filled with amenities and activities for people to enjoy. This includes three studios, a student lounge, a single gym, and a double gym designed for sports and competition.
With a variety of cardio equipment, weights, and cable machines available, there are many ways for people to stay active and engaged throughout their time at the fitness centre.
“The gym has a more modern feel compared to other gyms and has plenty of dedicated spaces for group sessions. The study space stands out from the rest of the fitness centres in the area, it is extremely convenient,” said Karikari.
From a student’s perspective, the LBYMCA is the ideal space to exercise and participate in sports, but also a place for casual recreation and study breaks. Since it is all available in one space, the convenience is what stands out the most, appreciated by many students of all ages.
The staff at the LBYMCA have experienced a unique period since their opening in 2018. From multiple lockdowns forcing them to close temporarily and enforcing a mask and vaccine mandate two years after their opening, employees have endured a difficult and frustrating time.
As restrictions have been lifted and things are moving in the right direction, the positive energy around the LBYMCA has to be credited to the staff working at the YMCA.
“I wanted to get involved in the community and the LBYMCA was the perfect opportunity for me to do so. Seeing the happy faces of families and students have had a positive impact on me, allowing me to enjoy the work environment and proudly represent Laurier Brantford,” said Joleen Lam, membership associate at the Laurier Brantford YMCA.
The work environment can shift from time to time and working at a YMCA is no different. Unhappy clients, families, and students are bound to appear throughout the course of a regular shift. Thankfully, since the restrictions have eased, it seems things are looking more enthusiastic and encouraging.
“Things have been a lot livelier here and I have to say it has made me happier at work and in my personal life. I think everyone is glad we are moving past the darker times so most people are coming in with a good and respectable attitude,” said Lam.
As there is an increased number of students on campus now for the winter semester, there has been an influx of people coming in and out of the LBYMCA.
While the YMCA has become busier in the last couple of months, the cleanliness and respectable environment has been maintained and kept to a reputable standard.
“I appreciate the welcoming atmosphere and how the LBYMCA is kept clean and tidy. The staff are pleasant and respectful and make the place simple and easy to navigate,” said Monique Thompson, a second-year student at Laurier Brantford.
In a crowded and energetic area with youth, infants, and families, standards can easily be disregarded over time, especially during high traffic hours at the gym.
The members of the LBYMCA have done a tremendous job in keeping the place neat while also having courteous workers willing to help anyone out.
The people of Brantford & Laurier students are thankful, grateful, and happy to know the LBYMCA is a place they can call home.
We hope to see the Laurier Brantford YMCA continue to excel now and in the future!