Grand opening of Membertou YMCA drew a crowd
YMCA officially opens at Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre.
After getting a stent in his heart a year ago, Shelly Ferneyhough knew it was time to take better care of himself.
“I never drank, I never smoked in my life, but I never looked after myself either,” said the 66-yearold. “I had no other choice — it’s either that or keep going, eating everything that’s on the table.”
Ferneyhough, a Bras d’Or resident, was part of the grand opening of the YMCA branch at the Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre on Wednesday.
The fitness centre opened at the end of November, however the grand opening and ribboncutting ceremony was held in front of more than 50 people including YMCA Canada CEO Peter Dinsdale. Ferneyhough said going to the gym has been a life-changing experience.
“It’s a state-of-the-art facility that has everything you need right here — you start feeling better about yourself and you get a little more flexible,” he said. “It’s the greatest thing since slice bread.”
The YMCA of Cape Breton has three branches across the island including Membertou, Port Hawkesbury and Sydney.
The gym is the only facility of its kind in the Membertou community. The equipment was purchased by Membertou First Nation and is valued at more than $250,000.
Andre Gallant, CEO of the YMCA of Cape Breton, said the opening of the Membertou facility was fairly easy.
“Our building downtown, the Frank Rudderham Family YMCA, was far more complicated from a number of perspectives,” he said. “This was a pretty easy discussion, it didn’t take us long to come to a shared vision for a centre of community, a place to support the health and well-being of not just the population of Membertou, but the community at large.”
Gallant said he doesn’t consider the facility just a gym.
“I think of this more as a wellness centre than a gym,” he said. “The word gym can be intimidating for some people. It gives an image of free weights and bodybuilders, and certainly we can accommodate people that want to do their performance training here.
“Our staff are trained as personal trainers but for someone who has never been physically active, this is about getting healthier, about getting well, about improving sleep as well as reducing blood pressure, weight loss and all those things that help offset chronic disease.”
The Membertou branch has a total of 538 members, 329 of those are from the Membertou community.
The facility also shares 11 personal trainers with the downtown Sydney location.
Bill Corbett, who also participated in the grand opening of the facility, said he enjoys going to the gym.
“It’s better then sitting around watching television,” said Corbett. “You feel a lot better when you get out and do some exercise.” Corbett said he use to sit around watching TV throughout the day and go for naps, before he started the gym.
“After working out, I find I have more energy,” he said.
The Membertou gym is open to the community with a single YMCA membership can be used at all three Cape Breton YMCA locations.
The Membertou facility is open Monday to Friday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More than 50 people attended the grand opening of the Membertou YMCA branch on Wednesday. The event lasted about an hour with a ribbon cutting wrapping up the ceremony.
Shelly Ferneyhough works out at the YMCA branch at the Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre on Wednesday. The gym opened at the end of November, however the grand opening was held on Wednesday.