The article in Carroll Magazine linked below tells us about “Professor Pickleball,” Gerard (Gerry) Borowy, 83, of Sykesville, a Maryland Senior Olympics Gold Medal winner. Gerry is also a Y member, and a living embodiment of the importance of staying physically and socially active at the Y.
Gerry is the ringleader of a regular group of Pickleball players, young and old, who meet regularly for a game and some laughs at the Hill Family Y in Westminster. His daughter Cheryl Kroneberger is also a member and regular player who acknowledges that meeting her dad at the Y for the game gives her much more opportunity to be with him than her busy schedule would otherwise allow.
The Pickleball players on Gerry’s team readily admit that, in addition to being a good way to get your heart pumping, Pickleball is also an excellent excuse to be social and have fun. Says one member, “It’s an opportunity to meet people, exercise, have some camaraderie, have a good time. We get here early, have a coffee klatch. It’s fun!”
One of the primary ways we ensure a culture of continuous improvement and strategic focus at the Y is through the use of what we call “Innovation Teams.” As we see the need to develop opportunities to better serve our community or to improve organizationally, we create an Innovation Team to study the available research, do the appropriate analysis, talk to the consumer and then develop new Y programs or organizational approaches to address the matter at hand. These teams are made up of diverse groups of associates across the Y, and have been looking at ways we can improve the member and participant experience among different age groups, including “Tweens” and “Teens” as well as Seniors.
While it would be reasonable to assume that these two groups have little in common; in fact, there some interesting parallels. While specific interests vary (I mean a “Living with Arthritis” seminar probably won’t draw a huge tween crowd!), the fundamentals are very much the same: everyone wants to be social, have friends, have fun, feel safe, welcomed and be active together.
The growing rage of Pickleball is yet further proof (as if we needed more) that all this and more can and does happen every day at the Y! I applaud our Innovation Teams and ALL our associates for the special and important work you do every single day to bring people together in ways that enrich their lives, their minds, their bodies and souls. Like many other of life’s most important gifts, it can be hard to put your finger on and measure precisely, but you know it when you see it. I want you to know that I see it in YOUR work every single day and I am not only deeply appreciative of it, but I am in awe of how well you do it!
Keep up the good work and Thank You!
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland