Harbor City students promote fitness at the YMCAHarbor City International School sophomore Mary Myers scaled the rock climbing wall at the Duluth YMCA with ease as a dozen or so classmates climbed other parts of the two-story wall and helped with the harness systems.
Harbor City International School sophomore Mary Myers scaled the rock climbing wall at the Duluth YMCA with ease as a dozen or so classmates climbed other parts of the two-story wall and helped with the harness systems.
It was Myers’ first time on the YMCA wall, but she’s already a seasoned veteran. She has experience on the walls, including those at the University of Minnesota Duluth and Vertical Endeavors in Canal Park.
“It gives you a rush,” she said about the climbing experience. “It’s not scary at all.”
Myers was on hand at the YMCA with about 100 other Harbor City students — about half the school’s population — Friday, May 10, to spend the afternoon exercising. The event was organized to demonstrate the students’ commitment to fitness leadership for their generation.
“I enjoy working out,” Myers said. “It’s very important to exercise. Having a place we can use for gym class and use whenever we want is really nice.”
Because the charter school does not have a gym in its Michigan Street location, students go to the YMCA for physical education classes. All students at the school are given free YMCA membership to the YMCA.
After putting on light blue “Y” shirts for a group picture in front of the building, the students dispersed throughout the building for activities of their choice, including rock climbing, dodgeball and yoga.
Joe Birdseye, a 10th-grader, said he had never been to the YMCA to work out before.
“It’s a really nice to be and I think I’ll use it when I have time to work out,” he said. “It’s nice that it’s only two blocks away from school.”
Although Birdseye had never been to the gym before, he said he takes fitness seriously. He acts in productions at the Duluth Playhouse and keeps in shape through workouts and choreography with fellow cast members.
“I just always try to find ways to keep fit,” he said.
YMCA Memberships are available to the Harbor City students through the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign. Through donations from community members and local businesses and organizations, the Duluth YMCA is able to provide memberships, child care and other programs free of charge.
“The Strong Kids Campaign is a fun, helpful way to say thank you to the Y,” said Kevin Peterson, chief development officer at the Duluth YMCA. “The Strong Kids Campaign eliminates financial barriers for a lot of students.”
Peterson said he was excited by the turnout of students who wanted to promote fitness.
“Here at the Y, we do a lot to promote fitness,” he said. “I’m glad that we’re able to have a relationship with Harbor City and have all the students come out here and support our annual campaign.”
Harbor City sophomore Min Delbacka has used the YMCA facilities before. Although it’s tough not having a gym at the school, she said, she’s happy to see so many students still trying to stay in shape.
“We’re really making an effort to promote fitness,” she said. “(The partnership) is a really nice benefit of going to Harbor City.”