News & Events

Big thanks to Harcourt's Foundation for supporting YMCA with a grant for sports equipment

Our winter Holiday Programme wrapped up on Friday with one more day of fun, finished off with fond farewells to new and old friends alike. Thanks to all the wonderful staff and volunteers who helped make it a great two weeks. A specials "Thanks!" goes out to Harcourt's Foundation for the grant support the allowed us to buy table tennis kits for holiday programme and after school centres. The kids and staff had a blast!

The table tennis kits will be getting a daily workout at each of our after school centres around town in Term 3.




Active Family Fun 2013

This long weekend, the YMCA Tauranga is offering plenty of options to get active outdoors with the whole family. Why not by pushing yourself in the Outward Bound Mount Challenge for a run around the Mauao with a change to win prizes? See below for more information.

Or join us on Sunday for Connection Families Day at Memorial Park, in what CEO Ric Balfour says is an annual highlight for the organisation, offering an enjoyable day out for all generations. "We love hosting Connecting Families Day and this year is no exception. Being able to offer a day of good wholesome family fun is a treat, especially as we know a lot of families are struggling right now. It will be great to see kids and families enjoying some good old-fashioned games." The day's actvities include a tug of war, sherbet making, a bouncy castle, a confidence course, basketball, 'chocolate fishing', bowling skittles and lots more.

Connecting Families Day
Memorial Park Tauranga
Sunday 27 October

Outward Bound and YMCA team up to host a 3.4km Fun Run around the Mount Oct 26th, 2013

Come and join OB staff and instructor Dan Moore for a warm up session, run, and then a chance to listen to Phillipa Gray speak.

Fantastic OB course scholarships in the prize draw and goodie bags for each person registered. To register and find out more click here


Funding Announcement: ALFS Programme Receives Crucial Funding

During these tough economic times, it is important not to lose sight of the generosity of all community focused organisations and acknowledge their continued commitment to supporting the Bay of Plenty Region.

YMCA Tauranga is pleased to announce the generosity of Pub Charity and its significant donation towards the Venue Hire and Instructor Salary costs of our ALFS Programme.  In addition, the ACORN FOUNDATION have also provided support from two endowments - The Bob Sutherland fund, and the Clive & Patricia Toop fund. This support will help us grow our presence in Te Puke.

The Active Lifestyles Fitness & Socialising or ‘ALFS’ Programme is creating a significant impact on our regions adult community with a 20% growth in participant numbers at the end of 2012 and the launch of the Te Puke classes.  The purpose of YMCA Tauranga ALFS Programme is to provide and environment in which older adults are encouraged to remain physically and mentally active, thus maintaining their independence and joy for life.  Organised outings to upcoming events, such as the Calendar Girls Show at the 16th Avenue Theatre, are just a small part of what makes this programme a growing success. 

Without grants and sponsorships the YMCA Tauranga would not operate to the capacity in which it services our community.  We extend our sincere thanks to our supporters who share our commitment to assisting children, youth and families in our Bay of Plenty Region.


YMCA at the Theatre

YMCA Tauranga ALFS exercise group would like to invite all the YMCA members, families & friends to a fun evening at the 16th Ave Theatre for the show "Calendar Girls".

Need a ride? YMCA can transport you comfortably to the event lots of laughter with friends on way to show, then on arrival glass of bubbly & time to socialise.
Calendar Girls will be a dazzaling, funny, sentimental and utterly captivating show! Enjoy a light supper at interval with tea & coffee.
Contact us direct at the YMCA office (07 578 9272) to book your ticket...........don't forget to bring a friend or two!



WHEN: Thursday 8th August 2013
WHERE: 16th Avenue Theatre
TIME: Show starts 8.00pm

By Lynda Hitchfield


YMCA Education programme students give the new BBQ the “thumbs-up” sign at their recent shared lunch

Like “night and day” was the conclusion from staff and students at the YMCA in Tauranga when they saw the new BBQ donated by Bunning’s and won in a GSB competition by the Y recently. Compared to our old one, that had been serving hundreds of events of the last 7 years, the new one not only out shone it in gleaming splendour, it was bigger, better and so much more presentable. We were able to serve 50 people without staging the cooking in shifts and it took pride of place out in the seating area rather than being tucked away. This occasion was our student Recreation Day where they did team building exercises, climbed Mt Maunganui and prepared a healthy lunch together. The cooking on the old barbeque was not a popular duty but this time we had plenty of volunteers.

The YMCA have a range of programmes that the barbeque will be helping serve – literally – including our after school programmes, holiday programmes, touch rugby, football and volunteer events. The staff are now keen to use it as a fundraiser on weekends to help fund one of our staff to get to Outward Bound.

So to the GSB team and Bunning’s for the generous donation and support thanks again from all of the staff and students at YMCA Tauranga.

YMCA support Lions Walkways

Thanks to everyone for coming yesterday to show our YMCA support for the Lions Walkways event. The Lions members I talked to were very appreciative of the support. It was great to see us all wearing the Y colours along the way.

Special thanks again to:
- HOBEK for sponsoring the T-shirts and for the tent which came in handy during the day.
- to TABAK for sponsoring the registration fees.
- to Sheralee who helped keep everyone supplied with encouragement, snack bars and water.
by Ric Balfour


YMCA Tauranga Annual General Meeting on 27th May

The annual meeting will be held at one of the YMCA sponsors HOBEC this year.
Would you like to attend? please give us a call on 07 578 9272.

YMCA Annual General Meeting
525 Cameron Road, Tauranga
Monday 27th May, 5.30pm

Active Lifestyle: Fitness & Socialising off to Hamilton

We left Tauranga of 10am with a bus full of ALFS participants. I had a quiz and stories on the bus which was fun and made the journey a lot shorter and we arrived at 11.30. After a short tour of the Casino, bowling alley we had lunch at a restaurant at noon. All well fed, we walked down to the Waikato Museum to view the Wearable Arts Exhibition. Inevitably we did some shopping and met up with friends before he headed back to Tauranga. An enjoyable time had by all!

by ALFS instructor Barbara

Cooking at the Holiday Programme

Quick update of the Mount: The children made their giant cookies today.  They loved every minute of it!




Hut building at the Mount Holiday Programme

They started their first day of the holiday programme chilling out in the morning at the park climbing trees and building a hut. We came back to the centre and did our activity of baking and playing games. After all the baking had been done we packed our food and went to Omanu beach for a picnic.  Mermaid and mermen tails were created as well as sandcastles.  At the end of the day we had a cream challenge…...find your lolly!
It was a lovely relaxed and awesome first day on the holiday programme.


Sportsweek at the Mount

This week has been competition week, from word searches, to games etc.  Wednesday we had a gymnastic type competition, with somersaults,walking the beam, who could balance the longest on the beam, who could stand on their heads the longest etc. The kids really enjoyed this activity.


International week at the YMCA Mount After School Care Centre

Jack made a wonderful Italian dish, had a talk about his country and taught us an Italian game he played as a child.
The next day was England and South Africa combined.  Sophie our volunteer made Yorkshire puddings with gravy which the children really enjoyed.  She played some games that she played as a child in England.

Myself and with Tanika’s help cooked ‘boerewors’ (a South African sausage) and I made pancakes at home which in South Africa we sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  I was really happy to see the children try all these different foods and some coming back for seconds and thirds.

On Thursday we had fish and chips (kiwi) and were hoping to make Maori bread but ran out of time.
We wrapped the children’s fish and chips individually in newspaper etc. and they sat outside in the sun and really enjoyed the treat.  We had a great week!!

Carol and team

Sustainable backyard event at the YMCA

Fantastic volunteers Tania, Christine, Emma and Rebecca tackle repainting the YMCA during the Sustainable Backyards Volunteer Day. Huge thanks go out to the Enviro Hub team, to Riki from The Decorating Company, and to Dulux for the painting supplies.




ALFS members conquer the Papamoa Hills

ALFS Papamoa & Arataki members winded up Reid Road to a magnificent view across the BOP.
We then walked from Summerhill Farm carpark along the ridge, with the great view always in sight, up to the top of the Papamoa Regional Park.
The walk was fairly flat, but a good few cow paddies along the way!! For some of the members it was a first time visit to the Papamoa hills.
On return of our walk we enjoyed a cuppa after boiling up the kettle in a" Mongolian Ger"  and tucked into some wonderful baking that the ALFS members all brought along.
We visited by David Blackley, Summerhill Farm owner, who told us a tale or two about his founding of the Farm & activities.
Also, Heather White an ALFS member who grew up on the boundary of the farm also gave us a wonderful insight to the history of the hills & wider area of Papamoa.
This was really enjoyed by all & Papamoa locals enjoyed learning where there use to Papamoa Railway Station etc......
 Thanks to everyone that made it such an enjoyable trip out. We will venture up the Papamoa Hills again!!


Update from our Mount Centre

Well your children certainly won’t be bored with the fantastic set up the YMCA’s Before School Care (BSC) and After School Care (ASC) Centre has at Mount Intermediate.
The BSC center is run by two dedicated and very passionate staff members Carol and Logan.  The center is very well facilitated with a range of activities and resources for the children to use such as, a swimming pool, netball courts, hall, gymnastics equipment and large sport fields where the children can play games.

The BSC programme is open from 7am until 9am and the staff drop the children off to school around 8:20am, “we don’t just drop them off, we park and ensure they get safely to their classrooms” Says Carol. The children are provided with a delicious breakfast with many yummy options available to them such as, toast, various yummy cereals, French toast and as one of the students said his favorite was runny egg! The children are lucky enough to have two class rooms to use while they spend their mornings at BSC, where children can have the option to play fun games or sit down and relax before they prepare to head off to school. Logan explained a fun and ‘special’ BSC only game, “On Monday we might say let’s spot yellow cars, on Tuesday’s we might look for numbers in number plates and Friday’s we look for police cars. The kids love it”.

The ASC center is run at the same location and starts from around 2:45pm until 6pm at night. The children are allocated quiet time or homework time and are able to choose which one they would like to do. Carol and Logan have a ‘Homework Pod’ initiative to encourage the children to complete their homework, for each homework activity they complete they get a signature in their homework pod and when they receive 8 signs they receive a present for their hard work. Each week the center has a theme in which they base activities around for example the latest one was a Ice cream and Ice cream cone theme which meant that the children did fun activities such as making ice cream cone clowns and even an ice cream fight. The best part about this center is how involved the staff are with the kids, both Carol and Logan both described the ice cream fight as being ‘great fun’. They have had other great activities such as a pirate week and a spaghetti fight. The kids get to go out and play games and sports such as soccer, touch rugby and basketball.
 Carol has been working at the Y for around 3 years and was nominated to receive the award for the YMCA’s ‘Best Supervisor’ which is a great achievement. “Carol always puts in such great effort and thinks outside the box for fun things to do with the kids” Says Logan. Logan has been working at the Y for 13 months and is really enjoying it.
 Thank you to both Carol and Logan for the effort they put in to making our Before School Care Programme and our Mount After School Care programme such a great and fun center for our kids!

YMCA is there for you during the Holidays

We are excited about our upcoming Summer Holiday Programme due to start on the 17th of December until the 1st February 2013. 
There is so much fun and exciting activities in our programme this year such as The Amazing Race, Community Give back Day, weird & wacky Olympics, Christmas crafts, Masterchef competitions, even a trip to Hamilton Zoo! At the YMCA while we take pride in the educational aspects of our programmes, they will also be a lot of fun for children.
 “Our new exciting Classic Flyers Holiday Programme is going to be an aviation themed for children aged 8-13 years” says Braden Clark. 
 The community give-back day will be on the Wednesday 30th January and will be a chance for participants to get involved with their local community and have the opportunity to do something positive within the Tauranga region.
Our DIY Programme for children aged 11-15 years is a great new programme.  Children will be set the task of planning what they would like to do over the holiday period, be given a budget to work within and then have to book.  Two days a week they will be heading out to do these activities.  The rest of the time they will be joining in some awesome trips with other programmes.

We are excited to be offering extended opening hours this summer.  All of our centres will be open from 7:30am until 6:00pm.  Our programmes are also competitively priced starting at $32 per day.
 Feel free to contact us if you require any more information regarding these programmes or pop into our Head Office on Devonport road.


Garden Ramble a great time for ALFS members

The Active Lifestyle for seniors members were treated to a wonderful garden ramble in Pyes Pa organised by Barbara Burling. Luckily the weather was beautiful and sunny so they were able to enjoy being outside in the garden with sweeping views out to Mauao.
The morning began with an energetic exercise class at welcome bay hall from instructor Lynda then the members were welcomed into Chris Braybrooks home and garden for morning tea and a garden ramble.
 “The gardens were beautiful and the home stunning” Says Lynda. Chris Braybrooks is well known for her growing of iris flowers. There was plenty of yummy home baking and beverages served in bone china cups which all made to be a very enjoyable day.
Thanks to Chris for opening up their wonderful home. Once again big thanks to Barbara for organising such a lovely morning.

DIY Teen Spring Programme

The YMCA Tauranga was proud to bring to you, our first ever, teens from 11-15 year olds, “Do It Yourself” Programme in the Spring Holidays.
A very exciting initiative for us that has been tried by some of our other Y’s across the country, and been hugely successful. We acted on Holiday Programme feedback from  parents, calling us asking about opportunities for their 14 and 15 year olds to volunteer. Unfortunately we cannot take all of them and so creating this kind of  teen holiday programme is the answer.

The focus of the programme is on formatting for teenagers and allows them to be in charge of what THEY would like to do. It’s all about giving them a choice of activities that they can then plan and budget for as well as work with their peers to create an adventure filled holiday programme for themselves. Staff will supervise  to ensure that they use the YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, which incidentally are four of the many developmental assets that these teens will achieve within this programme.

And is was excellent!, what an amazing week fulled with laughter, fun, enjoyment and freedom to not only chose your own activities but to be yourself. Highlights of the week while listening to our intro to Laser Tag ,assisting our HQ programme staff with providing  games and activities for the younger 5-8 years, donating baking to the food bank for the Salvation Army and sausages on the barbecue at one of our local parks, that's just to name a few.  Amazing week with amazing teens.  Enjoyed by all.

YMCA's World Challenge is on  Saturday 13th october!

The YMCA Tauranga have jumped on board this great idea that YMCA’s will all be taking part in around the globe....

Imagine a global celebration with 5 million people…
The aim of the YMCA World Challenge is to tell the YMCA story by mobilising 5 million people on the same day. The event has two major supporters: International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and UNESCO. FIBA have said “We are always in favour of any movement that brings together youths from around the world –putting aside/overcoming barriers such as race, sex, religion – and doing so through basketball no doubt makes it a fun and enjoyable experience.”
YMCA Tauranga will be holding smaller scale events leading up to the main event with a basketball theme to get people prepped for the big day. We are going to be a part of the Tauranga Waterfront opening as well as the Arataki Community Day with Basketball challenges and workshops for everyone to have a go at.
The World Challenge itself consists of getting as many people of the community to come and have fun shooting basketball hoops and we will attempt to reach the largest number of people shooting basketballs in one day, worldwide!
The YMCA Tauranga event will be held in the 6-court arena at Baypark with many activities to cater for all ages; basketball test matches, workshops and shoot-outs and indoor bowls with lots of  prize giving’s and raffle draws...Lots of fun for all the family.
We would like to say a big thanks to Total Education – EDSports for their donation of basketballs,  these will go a long way and very much needed for our event.
You will want to put this one in your calendar as it’s going to be a day to remember, hope to see you there!


YMCA Smooth Movers Art Deco fundraiser

The Tauranga smooth movers group had a very successful fundraiser on the 16th of August with donations reaching an amazing $500 for Waipuna Hospice.
Twenty of the members from the Bethlehem and Matua groups attended so was an excellent turn out! The theme was Art Deco – flappers and there were some amazing costumes! “One lady had her grandmothers frock on with black beads and was just beautiful”, Says Jackie who held the fundraiser at her home.
Everyone paid $20 to attend and had wine, finger food and fantastic music. “It was really a lot of fun” Says Jackie. Thoose who weren’t able to attend still donated money towards the fundraiser. Jackie thought it would be a nice way to get together and fundraise for an important charity.

YMCA’s fantastic veggie gardens!

Two YMCA staff members Steve and Marjorie have been helping children from the OSCAR afterschool care programme in Welcome Bay learn about the fun of creating, maintaining and harvesting their own produce.
Steve started the veggie gardens around the YMCA as a way to help the children learn about gardening. “It’s a good way to help get kids to eat vegetables” Says Steve, “It also helps them learn to be patient as we don’t plant one week and then harvest them the next”. Each week Steve will bring several of the children over to work on the gardens, “Each time the kid’s come to have a look at the garden’s they are so excited to see how the vegetables have grown”.  They have a large range of vegetables and some fruit growing in the garden from broccoli, cauliflower, broad beans, silver beet and celery but of course, the favourite is strawberries.
Steve started buying things for the garden with the idea to start a community garden in Welcome Bay. Instead they began creating gardens full of delicious vegetables around the YMCA’s main office. “I saw a few raised garden beds and thought this will be a good spot for the gardens” Says Steve. The best part for the kids is seeing the vegetables growing and when it comes time to harvest the vegetable gardens, “The kids love finding vegetables, like a big cucumber”. It’s an important part that the children are involved in every step of the growing process. They plant the seeds, put fertilizer on the garden, maintain the gardens and then harvest the vegetables and fruit. One year they had tomato vines as tall as the roof and the children loved picking these and eating them.
Steve says that he has had a few of the parents approach him to say that they are now starting their own veggie gardens at home now, as the children love being involved.  When the vegetables are all ready Steve divides them up between the children so they all have some to take home. 
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