23 September 2014

The sun was shining and the atmosphere was buzzing at last Sunday’s Family Fun Day at YMCA Hawker. Families and residents from all over the Borough made a visit the North Kingston based YMCA, where they enjoyed lots of fun activities for children and parents alike. 

A taste of what the centre has to offer

The Fun Day is about showcasing all the services offered at the Centre, and giving people a taste of what the inclusive gym, the popular soft play and the cosy café has to offer.

The gym class taster sessions generally attracted a huge crowd, showcasing fitness classes offered at the centre, like Pilates, Boot Camp and Zumba. The most colourful showcase was probably by the beautifully dressed Bollywood dancers, whereas Zumba was a definite hit with the children.

Many families had come to YMCA Hawker to make use of the popular Pod soft play, which offered free 30 minutes sessions.

Fabio, a Berrylands resident who originally came to visit the Pod with his daughter, was pleasantly surprised when he realised this Sunday was not just a regular Sunday, but in fact a Fun Day Sunday!

We went to the Pod first, but we have also used the Bouncy Castle, rode on the scooters, coloured some insects and done the face painting. It’s great to see more of what the centre has to offer,” said a happy Fabio before rushing off to new activities with his daughter.

DJ Grandpa

The Fun Day had lots of activities for the children, including a workshop where they could design their own t-shirts.

It is so nice seeing the children getting involved and really enjoying themselves” said Derek, who was there not only as a grandfather of two, but also as the DJ and presenter. He said:

This is my fourth or fifth year presenting the Family Fun Day. I used to be a DJ, so I have done lots of fetes, fairs and activity days. This is a really enjoyable day, it’s got such a good atmosphere and we’re blessed with such lovely weather”.

Derek’s grandchild Eva was one of the many children enjoying the day, jumping in the bouncy castle, designing her own t-shirt and getting creative at the woodland arts workshop.

“I’m going to put it in my room”, she explained about the woodland wall painting she had made.

Eva comes to YMCA Hawker every week for Karate lessons, which she really enjoys. “I’m on my 3rd belt, which is orange”, she explained.

She said: “The best thing about the karate lessons is doing the sparring, because then you get to hit whatever you want as hard as you want to!”

Luna Boo…

Richard James, Chief Executive of YMCA St Paul’s Group, made a special appearance as ‘Luna Boo’, the green alien mascot of the YMCA’s Children’s work on the Fun Day.

He is in training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon taking place in the beginning of October, which he will partake in to raise funds for YMCA LSW’s community health and wellbeing projects.

As a warm up for next month’s Half Marathon, the CEO got dressed up as the green alien and raced against the children on the Fun Day, to everyone’s amusement.

It has been an enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine,” said Richard after the race.

… and Michael Jackson

A very special appearance was also made by Danny, a Hawker regular who loves dancing – and Michael Jackson.

He is my biggest icon” said Danny, who took to the stage to sing Jackson’s ‘You are not alone’ before dancing to his favourite Michael Jackson song, Billie Jean. “It’s just something about the way he sings and dances it,” said Danny.

Work placement

With such sunny weather and happy people, the Fun Day also provided many good photo opportunities. Working alongside the YMCA staff as a photographer on the day was 15 year old Fabienne, who lives in Surbiton.

I got my first camera when I was 12 and started taking pictures when I was on holidays”, said Fabienne.  “I’ve also always liked looking at artistic pictures and my interest for photography has grown over the years. I especially like taking extreme close ups and I also like a naturalistic style,” she said.

I have really enjoyed the day and if asked I would love to volunteer on future events as well!”