Suiting up at the new Silverdale YMCA

Executive Director Geoff Ball shows off the new YMCA. - Kristin Okinaka/staff photo
Executive Director Geoff Ball shows off the new YMCA.
— image credit: Kristin Okinaka/staff photo

The Kitsap Tri Babes, always training for their next triathlon, need a place where they can run, swim and cycle, so the group of local female athletes get their fix at the YMCA.

And starting June 1, the Tri Babes, a group of female triathletes based out of Seabeck, are preparing to join the new Haselwood Family YMCA in Silverdale en masse to ensure they have a place to train for cycling, running and swimming no matter the weather.

And for those who train for games and races, the new facility will provide a destination for those preparing themselves to compete.

“It’s a visible face for athletics in the community,” said Lisa Ballou, founder of the Tri Babes. “It’s set up intelligently so people can really use it to their advantage.”

The YMCA is a popular destination for athletes, particularly those who don’t have regular access to weight rooms, such as high school and college athletes. The state of the art facility will also play host to a number of sports leagues, offering amateur athletes the chance to compete.

Geoff Ball, executive director for the Haselwood YMCA, said last week that the athletic programs appeal to a wide audience.

“The ‘Y’s’ niche is more generalist than extreme athletics,” Ball said. “It’s about making people feel good about their health and extending their lives.”

The Tri Babes currently use the Bremerton Family YMCA, but Ballou said that members of the group will also use the Silverdale location, which provides athletes with choices in the water, on the concrete or hardwood.

However, Ballou said she will continue to host her swim workshops at the Bremerton location, but the group plans to sign up for corporate memberships with the Haselwood YMCA.

“They cater to the type of athletics you want to get done, and you can also cross-train,” she said.

Endurance athlete Matt Wise has been a member of the Bremerton YMCA since 2000, and said Tuesday that the location is a spot for athletes to hone their talents. He added that he might not be willing to make the trip north to Silverdale.

“The Y is an integral part of my training,” said Wise, a triathlete who competed in an Ironman triathlon in Kentucky last August. “I count on this place a lot to help me get my training done, especially with the bad weather.”

Wise has competed in triathlons for seven years, having also finished half Ironman meets in Victoria, British Columbia. This year, he plans to attend a half Ironman event in Portland, Ore. and complete an Olympic distance run in Lake Stevens.

To prepare for the stretch of meets, Wise swims, runs, lifts weights and rides his bike, all at the Bremerton YMCA.

“It’s a full-service place for athletes,” Wise said. “Everything is in one place, and it’s really accessible for me since I live here anyway.”

The new Haselwood location will also include Fit for Fun and sports skills clinics for children. Kids ages 7 to 13 can also take a Sports Mix class, which entails a selection of traditional athletics and playground games.

The Bremerton YMCA includes baseball, basketball and softball intramural leagues for youths, adults and seniors. For the new Silverdale location, more programs will evolve as program directors begin work in June, Ball said.

Additional sports at the new facility include pickleball, racquetball, squash, running club, volleyball, wallyball, dodgeball, handball, badminton and the indoor climbing wall.

The full-size court can hold one full-court basketball game, three pickleball or two volleyball games at a time. Basketball will be played every day at noon with two half-court games held at a time.

Ballou said the new space at the YMCA suits athletes of any sport, which could benefit the community like its Bremerton counterpart.

“The ‘Y’ has developed the space to accommodate fitness exercises, and the architecture of the facility is large so it helps bring the community together,” she added. “If that theory plays out at the new ‘Y,’ that’s fabulous.”


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