In an age when there’s divisiveness in so many corners of the globe, there’s one place where inclusion has always been the driving force: The YMCA.
The Y is a nonprofit committed to helping everyone thrive at each stage of life, regardless of physical ability, age, ethnicity, financial circumstances, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation — and the Outer Banks Family YMCA takes great pride in that fact.
“We aim to be inclusive and affordable. We are a great place to go on a rainy day and we are definitely a family oriented gym,” says Samantha Haynie, membership coordinator at the OBX YMCA. “Our aim is to make people feel at ease and to know they are among friends and have a support system not just with other members but also with our staff.”
The Y, which is at 3000 S. Croatan Hwy. in Nags Head, boasts a full-sized basketball court that is the home to many adult sports, such as pickle ball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. It also has two racquetball courts, three pools (two outdoor and one indoor pool), and a wellness center that offers cardio, strength and weight equipment. There’s even childcare on site for the members to utilize while they are taking classes.
“We are especially proud of the variety of group exercise classes we offer; we have everything from Tai Chi to TRX. There is a class for all levels and comforts,” she says. “We offer classes for active aging adults, such as Chair Exercise and a Stretch; Bend and Move; and a variety of water aerobics classes. We even have Kid’s Yoga and Hip-Hop. There is truly something for everyone.”
The Y also sponsors programming that’s open to the community-at-large, not just members, such as Healthy Kid’s Day and Traveling, the latter a year-round program sponsored by the OBX YMCA that offers free group exercise classes at a public location. “We aim to have these several times a year and are always looking for new venues and classes that the community wants us to exhibit.”
The Y offers daily passes and 10-day passes that are for individual or families, “so while on vacation we can accommodate those that do not want to miss their gym days or just might want to relax by the pool,” says Haynie, who has been with the OBX Y since 2013. “During the summer — Memorial Day through Labor Day — we also offer a Parent’s Night Out on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 10 p.m., so families can have a date night or relax while on vacation.”
There are three basic memberships available: individual membership; adult plus one membership; and a family membership.
“There also are scholarship-based memberships available to help those in the community that need to pay a lower rate due to the seasonal influx of finances that most Outer Banks residents know all too well,” she says. “These scholarships come from the generous donations of members throughout the association that believe such as we do, finances should not hinder someone’s desire for a healthier lifestyle.”