JACKSON TWP. For those wondering what they might find to do after the summer weather is done, the Paul & Carol David YMCA in Jackson Township has a full schedule of activities, events and fun planned for the fall months.
One of the newer activities is pickleBall, which seems to be building popularity around Stark County. The Jackson YMCA added the sport for members two years ago and the number of participants has steadily increased.
"Basically, pickleball is a combination ping-pong, racquetball and tennis," said Associate Executive Director Pam Leddon. "It’s played on a smaller court than a tennis court and players use a paddle much like a ping-pong paddle to hit a whiffle like ball across the net. Many of the rules of tennis apply to pickleball."
The Jackson YMCA offers pickleball every Thursday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. It encourages people who want to play to be members.
"The players take their games seriously and many have their own equipment," Leddon said. "We usually see six to 12 people each week. They can play one-on-one, but they seem to like doubles better."
She said the game became popular on the West Coast and has slowly made its way to the Midwest. While any age can play, it seems to be a slightly older group at the YMCA.
"We had a member bring the idea to us and we found space to offer game time," Leddon said. "It’s an easy game to learn and play and it doesn’t move as fast as tennis or racquetball."
In addition to pickle ball, the YMCA has plenty of new and returning programs this fall. One of the new programs is in conjunction with The First Tee of Canton.
"We are offering a youth golf program with First Tee of Canton for the first time," Leddon said. "We had eight kids on the first night. The program is for youths between seven and 12 years old."
The program will be split between the YMCA and at the course at First Tee.
One of the returning programs is the youth swim team which starts mid-September and runs through the end of January. The program is for kids ages six and up and is kids who already know how to swim.
Leddon said the YMCA already have 50 kids signed up for the youth running program that is held in collaboration with Jackson High School. Jackson varsity cross-country coach Kevin Walsh helps runs the program.
There are plenty of other programs going on including swimming lessons and after school programs for kids held in the youth-teen room. Kids and teens can enjoy video games, board games, arts and crafts or they can use one of the musical instruments in the room. Leddon said the kids and teens can come in and just hang out.
"The room has been a blessing for us. It was part of the expansion two years. We also have a team leaders program that runs throughout the year and a youth and government program that has been popular for middle school and high school students," Leddon said.
For more information about the activities, clubs, events and membership, visit the website at http://www.ymcastark.org/paul-carol-david-ymca.