Happy 175th Birthday YMCA!

6 June 2019

The YMCA global movement is 175 today. Central YMCA - the UK’s leading health, fitness and education charity - is the first ever YMCA and has paved the way for thousands of YMCAs across the world. Together we reach over 65 million people. We have a lot to celebrate!

We’re hosting a number of special anniversary activities to mark this happy occasion. Our celebrations are for all ages and communities – everyone is welcome. 

‘Exercise Through the Ages’ from 12.30pm today.

For the first time, the YMCA Club will showcase its extensive range of fitness classes ‘through the ages’ in its biggest ever exercise extravaganza. We’ll travel through time from the groovy 70s - when the Club began - to the present day, with music and fitness fashion to match: 

  • 1970s YMCA warm-up (vintage gym shorts)
  • 1980s Aero-dance (Lycra, leotards, legwarmers, headbands)
  • 1990s Legs, Bums and Tums (dayglow and fluorescent)
  • 2000s HIIT Combat to Trance music (glow sticks)
  • 2010s Total Ballet Barre (tights and tutus)
  • Today Primal Patterns (Under Armour / Nike sports kit)
  • YMCA finale followed by tea and cake.

The best dressed participant will win an exclusive YMCA Club Health and Wellbeing Package worth over £150, which includes a free Personal Trainer session, health treatment and a bespoke nutrition plan.

As part of this event, we’re taking the opportunity to fundraise for our ‘YMCA Sunday Hub Club’ – an inclusive activity club for young disabled people between 14 and 25, which we run at the YMCA Club.

Disco Zumba Gold Masterclass for our older adults

Yesterday, we had a blast with our over 60s group. Around fifty members turned up in fluorescent fitness fashion for our Disco Zumba Gold Masterclass, followed by cheese and wine. YMCA Communities Programme Manager, Declan Duncan, led the troops in his lime green 70s shell suit to the sounds of Gloria Gaynor, Heatwave and Barry Manilow. A sight to behold!

YMCA Heritage Wall

In the coming weeks, the Club will showcase the YMCA Movement’s rich history in a special exhibition.

The YMCA has been helping people improve their mind, body and spirit since 1844. Follow the vision of our Christian founder, Sir George Williams, who at the age of 22, was moved to improve his colleagues’ terrible living conditions in London, to the famous YMCA triangle logo which became a sign of peace and provision for soldiers during the Second World War, through to the present day. 

We’ve grown into  – an international movement which continues to transform thousands of lives through health, wellbeing, fitness and education. 

175 years on, we’re still changing lives.

A proud partner, in a truly global movement.