YMCA encourages adults to start kidding around
WINSTED — Adults in the Winsted area who are looking for a way to shape up while having fun this winter are being offered two new programs that promise to bring participants back to their childhood days, both in mind and body.Jay Cohen, the new director of the Northwest Connecticut YMCA on Main Street, said an Adult Recess program will be exactly what it sounds like — grown-ups playing children’s games like dodgeball, foursquare and hopscotch in the facility’s gymnasium. The program runs Thursday nights, starting this week, with registration fees ranging from $35 to $70 for an eight-week program.A second program, Innertube Water Polo, will also be exactly what it sounds like, offering intermediate and accomplished swimmers a chance to play a challenging and exhausting sport with the assistance of flotation devices on Sunday afternoons in the YMCA pool. Four-person teams are sought, with a registration fee of $100 per team.All Adult Recess participants must have a YMCA membership, while the Innertube Water Polo League only requires that at least one team member have a membership.“We’re trying to reinvigorate our program lineup,” Cohen said. “These new offerings are aimed at adults who are looking for more active recreational outlets, because they might be tired of getting on machines. It’s not always fun to get on a climber or stationary bike.”A recreation specialist with experience at municipal parks in Rocky Hill and Colchester, and before that at the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University, Cohen said he wants to bring some of his university experience to the community to show people how to have fun while staying in shape.“With Adult Recess, every week we’ll introduce new playground games that people will remember from childhood — foursquare, tag dodgeball — and we’ll take suggestions. Depending on how things go, we can do multiple games each week,” he said. “And Innertube Water Polo takes the really difficult sport of water polo and makes it easy and fun.”Cohen said registration has been slow for the new events, with people still getting organized after the holidays, but many tend to register at the last minute. The concept of Adult Recess has been gaining traction and spreading by word of mouth.“We’re definitely looking forward to seeing the word spreading as we go along,” he said. “We have a rolling registration, so people can join the program at any time.”This week marks the end of the YMCA’s Try the Y Days, in which community members can spend four free days trying out the facilities and deciding if they want to join the club. Different levels of memberships are available, depending on which programs are chosen.The new winter programs are expected to run for the next eight weeks. The YMCA’s Winsted branch is located at 480 Main St. For more information, call 860-379-0708 or visit www.northwestctymca.org. Cohen’s email address is email@example.com.