By Lizzie Wilcox
The YMCA of Long Island has kicked off its “Road to Olympics” campaign, which highlights the multiple sports and activities the Y offers in an effort to encourage active lifestyles ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games. The campaign, which began last week, runs through Aug. 21 and all five Long Island branches will be participating, including the Huntington YMCA.
Tina Graziose, associate director of the Huntington YMCA, described the campaign as a “fitness-oriented challenge uniquely driven around the Olympics to build on health and wellness.”
The campaign is based on the classes and programs that the Y already offers. Members are asked to fill out an “I Am a Winner” card, where they write down their fitness goals.
“The challenge is a campaign to really build some spirit around their own fitness level and their abilities to improve their skills and coordination,” Graziose said.
The idea for the campaign was driven by the building excitement for the 2016 summer games. Graziose said that the Olympic athletes’ ambition is similar to that of members, as they challenge themselves to maintain healthy lifestyles, just as the Olympic athletes do.
Social media will also play a role in the campaign. All members are encouraged to share their fitness milestones and achievements using the hashtag #YLIolymPICS on all platforms. They will also have an Olympic torch designed with the YMCA’s logo for participants of the challenge to carry.
“We’ll share our photos on social media to engage more members to rally around our Olympians here at our Y,” Graziose said.
The YMCA will be using the swimming competition of the Olympics as an opportunity to focus on the importance of water safety and having instructional swim available.
The month-long celebration of health and wellness will end with a special raffle opportunity on Aug. 30. Members who share their successes on an Olympic Challenge Card enter for a chance to win the “Go for the Gold” gift basket, comprised of a men’s and women’s Fitbit chargeHR, a $100 Modell’s gift card and three one-hour personal training sessions.