New YMCA lacks gymnastics


Until the Westport Weston family Y undergoes phase two of their renovation, Westport gymnasts are forced to practice at the Norwalk Y.

Alexa Di Luca, Staff Writer

From Feb. 2013 to Aug. 2014, the Westport Weston family YMCA has undergone huge changes in phase one of its’ renovation. The $38.5 million new facility includes a pool, a wellness center, a cafe, a gymnasium, child watch, and incorporates 100 exercise classes per week. Despite the vast amount of improvements, Westporters say that the biggest difference is the absence of gymnastics.

According to Dan Woog’s website, 06880, the gymnastics programs have been eliminated from phase one of the renovation because there was not enough funding.

However, in three to five years the Westport Weston Family Y will undergo phase two of their renovation that expands to 102,000 square feet. This plan incorporates a childcare center and gymnastics programs, Alexei Bachuretz, Health and Wellness Director of the Westport Weston Y, said.

For the time being, Westport gymnasts have been relocated.

As stated by the Minuteman News Center, “Hundreds of local children and their families enjoyed free rein of the bright new, 6,500 sq. ft. space at 145 Main Street in Norwalk, the temporary new home of the Westport Weston Family Y’s Gymnastics Program… [They] offer classes and activities for all ages and abilities, from toddlers through high school, including competitive teams for gymnasts Level 3-8 in addition to the Showtime Exhibition Team.”

The Norwalk facility has “more access to equipment and higher ceilings [than the old Westport Y],” however the downfall is “the longer drive [with] lot’s of traffic,” Kana Higuchi ’15, a children’s gymnastic instructor, pointed out.

Andrea Mahieu ’15, a Staples gymnast and a children’s gymnastic instructor, also feels that the distance is an inconvenience.

“I used to walk to the old Y. Now you have to go out of your way to get [to the Norwalk Y],” Mahieu said.

Despite the the lack of gymnastics, many are enjoying all of the features that the new YMCA has to offer.