Recreational Programmes

Recreational Programmes

We offer several programmes intended to promote the physical and emotional well-being of Belizeans. These programs encourage physical activity and community development by uniting people with similar interests.

Swimming

The YWCA pool was built in 1989 to offer members of the community recreational and safe swimming and water safety facilities, and has been serving the community since 1993. The Pool Programme focuses on increasing the number of Belizeans who can swim, promoting water safety, providing aquatic fitness classes, and providing recreational swimming to the public.

We have provided free Learn to Swim lessons to 14 primary schools, 9 secondary schools, and children from the Children Home, thanks to the Fiona Stevenson Foundation, for the past three years. Since its inception the YWCA has certified thousands of children and adults in swimming and water safety techniques from basic swimming & floating techniques to advanced life-guarding certifications.

In addition to the community pool the YWCA is proud to also have a basketball court that has been used over the years for basketball tournaments, volleyball tournaments and many outdoor events.

Sports

The YWCA’s Sports course focuses on Basketball and Volleyball. Participants are taught the value of physical exercise as well as the fundamentals of the sport.

Karate
The Karate course gave participants a basic introduction into the art of Karate. The course also focused on self-discipline and hard-work needed in the study of Karate.

Personal Development

We have programs designed to promote the individual development of each person involved. They are broad in scope and utilize various methods, but all are intended to help people become more comfortable in their own skin and embrace their strengths.

Arts & Crafts
The Arts and Crafts course gave many young people an opportunity to have fun and express their creativity by making craft projects each afternoon.

Social Graces
For the first time we offered the Social Graces class. The Visual Poise and Social Graces Course teaches girls self-confidence and poise through the lessons in walking, etiquette, etc. The course culminates in a Graduation Fashion Show put on by the students.

Seenagers

The Belize YWCA has an active and dedicated support community for “seenagers.” They are responsible for several service-based projects, including children’s parties, Y reunions, holiday projects, and fundraisers to support the community.

However, it’s not all work for these active seniors; they also let their hair down and have fun. They participate in various activities such as storytelling, bingo, exercising, dancing, and many others. It’s also a tradition to put on an annual Christmas party for members of all ages.

Youth Group

Our youth group has had a very challenging yet successful year. It is a challenging task to recruit youths to be committed to the youth group. However, once we were able to recruit the youths, we worked hard as a team to provide the necessary resources and incentives it took for the youths to remain committed to the group.

Despite that challenge, with continued hope, renewed optimism, hard work, persistence and an indomitable spirit to succeed; the youth group pressed forward undauntedly. The youth group was well-supported and sponsored. The group was provided with a well-designed, state-of-the-art youth friendly center to conduct the weekly youth meetings in. This center certainly made the youths feel more at home, and thus stimulated them to want to participate more wholeheartedly and to remain committed to the group.

In addition to that, the youth group represented the YWCA well on quite a number of occasions. We participated fully in fund raisers, YWCA functions and activities to help the YWCA to carry out its work of targeting at risk youths and helping them to be more self-sustainable so as to be able to live a more productive and better quality of life. The youth group was able to organize youth forums and workshops, and pool together a number of youths from various strands of society and engage them in meaningful talk, while equipping them with a wealth of knowledge. They also represented the YWCA well at other youth groups and other forums, sharing views, thoughts, and ideas that are synonymous to those of the YWCA.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the youth group was certainly an active and successful one. Many youths from around the community and from various other parts of society participated in the group and spent meaningful hours at the group on Saturdays that certainly molded them in some way and contributed to their further development spiritually, scholastically, and professionally. The group was also able to target and reach out to at risk youths, and provide support and assistance they needed to help them grow and develop successfully.

Ms. Y Pageant

A highlight on the social calendar each year, the YWCA spotlights the talents, achievements and accomplishments of Belize’s senior women.

History
In 1992 the YWCA started the Helping Early Leavers Programme (H.E.L.P.), a programme to assist out-of-school young women between the ages of 13 and 18 to be productive citizens. In order to help this programme financially, the senior group under the leadership of the General Secretary Mrs. Sonia Lenares came up with the idea of the Ms. Y Pageant for women 50 years and over. President Mrs. Norma Sutherland and the Board of Directors gave full support to this initiative. This fun-loving and talented group agreed to contribute their talents to support the YWCA in helping young girls get another chance.

With a makeshift stage, the first Pageant was held in 1993 at the YWCA’s auditorium on St. Thomas Street, with Ms. Beverly Smith Lopez (now deceased) as the M.C., who did a dynamic job. Due to the great success of the Pageant, the following year it was held at the Bliss Institute, where it was held for the next two years. Channel 5 “Lauren Da Mawning” hosted by Lauren Burgess and other media houses assisted in popularizing the show, and we therefore had to move the Pageant to its current home at the Belize City Centre.

In the third year of the Pageant, Ms. Leotine Lewis coined the word “seenagers” and since then it is the buzz word for the Pageant and other senior activities both at home and abroad.
The Ms. Y Pageant has grown into one of the most prestigious and celebrated events on the social calendar each year for the YWCA. This is the biggest fundraiser and the proceeds collected go to support YWCA programmes and projects.

The main focus of the Pageant is to showcase the seenagers’ talents, celebrate their accomplishments and honour them for serving as role models for young people. This event is a true family affair.

Previous Ms. Y Queens
1993 – 1994 Ms. Antolina Davis
1994 – 1995 Ms. Winnel Grant Borg (deceased)
1995 – 1996 Ms. Leotine Lewis
1996 – 1997 Ms. Cynthia Goff (deceased)
1997 – 1998 Ms. Viola Myles (deceased)
1998 – 1999 Ms. Claire Moody
1999 – 2000 Ms. Paulita Reyes
2000 – 2001 Ms. Grace Coleman
2001 – 2002 Ms. Rosmarie Smith
2002 – 2003 Ms. Shirley Ferguson
2003 – 2004 Ms. Catalina Casimiro
2004 – 2005 Ms. Catherine Flowers
2005 – 2006 Ms. Judith Baptist
2006 – 2007 Ms. Hettiemae Moody (deceased)
2007 – 2008 Ms. Anita Henry
2008 – 2009 Ms. Joyce Flowers
2009 – 2010 Mrs. Olga Cook
2011 – 2012 Ms. Muriel Cummings