, 2023-01-05 06:38:21,
A recently renewed program is bringing the Monroe Family YMCA to kids all over the county.
Y on the Fly Mobile Sports is run by the Y’s Jay Heinzerling and is a van filled with sports equipment and games that visits county locations, both outdoors and indoors.
Its next stop is Friday.
Y on the Fly will be at the “Día de Reyes” (Three Kings Day) event from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Monroe City Church, located at the Mall of Monroe, 2121 N. Monroe St., Unit 420.
“Día de Reyes” is a cultural holiday celebrated in the Latino community. The Monroe County Library System’s bookmobile also will be present. The public is welcome.
Heinzerling is bringing items for kids of all ages. The activities are free.
“I normally bring games that work for younger kids. I bring a big parachute; the kids like to play with that. I bring a bean bag toss game; it’s something that little kids can do. For older kids, I bring an indoor soccer ball with a portable net. We’ll play a little soccer inside the building,” Heinzerling said.
The items in the Y on the Fly van represent a variety of traditional sports, such as baseball, basketball, football, soccer, volleyball and hockey, but also some newer sports.
“It also introduces coming-of-age sports and games, such as disc golf, relays, jump rope, dodgeball, obstacle courses, lacrosse, etc.,” Amanda Schmitz, social responsibility and community outreach director for the Y, said.
Dodgeball and kickball, Heinzerling said, are the most popular.
“Wiffle Ball also has been big. Little kids love the parachute,” he said. “I really want to encourage people to come out. Let (kids) try as many sports as possible.”
The goal is to get kids moving.
“We’re trying to get out there a little more and get the kids active. It’s good for the kids. With COVID and technology, they don’t play (as much). We’re trying to get them back into youth sports at the Y or anywhere in the city,” Heinzerling said.
Heinzerling was a coach in the Monroe First Downers junior football league for 20 years. He’s also coached his own children’s teams. Last winter, when the Y entered a partnership with the city of Monroe, he was hired to oversee the youth ball program. He still coaches in the program, but in August he also took over Y on the Fly.
Now, he travels the county making various stops. While most stops vary from week to week, there are a couple standing visits, like 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Ellis Library & Reference Center. In the summer, he…
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