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.