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Did You Know?

May 5, 2015

IN the second part of his series looking at the history of the YMCA movement, Foyer Manager Andrew Hornsby looks at some lesser-known facts about YMCAs.

WHAT IS THE YMCA KNOWN FOR?

  • The song, recorded by Village People.
  • The spiritual development of young people, and in particular, youthwork.
  • Housing; social and supported housing in particular. The housing booms particularly occurred after both World Wars.
  • Various ways of supporting the troops in both World Wars.
  • Sport; particularly basketball, swimming and volleyball. For instance, many Olympic swimming champions were trained in YMCA pools. There are over 2000 YMCA swimming pools in the USA alone.
  • The development of health and wellbeing in young people.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Basketball was invented by a YMCA employee.
  • Volleyball was invented as an easier game to basketball by a YMCA teacher.
  • One of the YMCA’s early proponents, Henry Dunant, went on to found the Red Cross and won the first ever Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
  • The word “bodybuilding” was first coined by a physical trainer working for a YMCA.
  • The idea of having a ‘Father’s Day’ was first put forward at a regional YMCA meeting in America.