Two decades in community
It’s been two decades since Jenny Ellis wore a lycra leotard to her aerobics class.
Tomorrow the group fitness instructor will be wearing her 90s fitness attire again as part of the Mt Albert Community and Leisure Centre’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
Ellis was one of the first fitness instructors to run aerobics classes at the YMCA-managed centre.
‘‘I have two clients who have been with me for 18 years and still come to my classes,’’ the Titirangi resident said.
Centre manager Jill Gibson had also been involved with the centre for more than two decades.
She started off volunteering at the centre when her daughter began attending gymnastic classes.
‘‘My son ended up being a pain in the class,’’ Gibson said.
‘‘He got a bit grumpy and so I got him out while we were doing our floor work and he ended up crawling all over me.’’
The situation inspired Gibson to start a creche at the centre which she lead for seven years, before taking on a paid position in reception.
Over the years she moved up the ranks, becoming community manager and then later accepting the role of centre manager.
Gibson said she watched the centre increasingly become a hub for the community.
‘‘It’s so easy for people to walk through the door because we are community facility,’’ she said.
‘‘Although the fitness club is there, it’s not threatening so people can go have a look at it when they are ready.’’
Many children who started at creche have come back and either worked or volunteered for the YMCA, Gibson said.
‘‘The only thing that keeps me in my role over all these years is really knowing I’m making a difference for people and families,’’ she said.
Gibson said the centre saw huge growth during the past two decades with membership increasing from 275 to more than 1150.
The Mt Albert YMCA’s anniversary event will feature a 90s themed aerobic class.
There will also be a community bakeoff, table tennis challenge, bouncy castle and much more.
The event will be held on December 10 from 10am to 2pm at 773 New North Rd.
Phone 09 846 0788 for details.
Group fitness instructor Jenny Ellis, manager Jill Gibson and instructor Ngairene Gray have all worked at Mt Albert’s YMCA for 20 years.