YMCA to open downtown location

The downtown Interior Health building will soon feature a YMCA fitness centre.

The location will be the third for the Okanagan Y, which already operates a location in Rutland, and at the H20 Centre in the Mission.

General Manager Karlene Sewell says IH approached them about filling the space a year ago, with the intention of partnering to also offer specialty health programs.

"We've been working with Interior Health back and forth over the past year, just trying to recognize even just the feasbility for the demand for a fitness centre in the downtown area, on top of these specialty health services that we hope to be providing there," she said.

Construction on the 7500 square foot gym will start this month, which she says is similar in scope to their other fitness locations.

"If you picture our Kelowna Family YMCA in Rutland, and the H20 Adventure & Fitness Centre in the Lower Mission, those upstairs areas that have a whole suite of cardio options and weight equipment, that's basically what it will be," she said.

"So a health and fitness centre only, no aquatic and no children's programs."

Sewell says this will result in more trainers being hired, but also more opportunities for people trying to get a foot into the business.

"We're going to be seeking volunteers to help especially with group fitness, it's a fun way for people to give back to the community, so we're going to be offering some free training for anyone who's interested in becoming a fitness instructor," she said..

"So we'll train them for free, and then would love to have them volunteering with with us."

She says once construction starts, it'll take about 12 to 16 weeks to finish.