- Go! Northfield-Dundas
- Submit Content
Updated: 40 min 32 sec ago
Interview with Scott Sannes, Principal of Sibley Elementary and President of the Northfield Basketball Association
Do you have a personal Y story?
I do! I grew up in Byron, Minnesota, and we were eight miles away from the Rochester YMCA where my basketball friends and I would go to play pick-up basketball. It was a great outlet for us – not only to hone our craft, but also to spend time making good choices.
We were looking for some more competitive games and it provided us with some leadership skills along the way. We came up with our rules, refereeing system, who and how we were going to call fouls … it really helped us grow and appreciate not only the fact that we were working on our game, but everybody was working on their game.
The YMCA in Northfield is going to provide that opportunity for kids — to basically be proactive. Right now there aren’t gyms that are open for kids to go to. If a young guy or gal wants to play basketball, they are either doing it outside or it is organized by adults. So this is a great opportunity for kids to get back to displaying some leadership tendencies.
I remember meeting Darrel Thompson at the Rochester YMCA (who ended up being a terrific running back for the Golden Gophers and Green Bay Packers) and playing pick-up basketball with him in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade and some summer leagues and watching him prosper in football. That whole YMCA experience is one where we meet a lot of people we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Why the Y in Northfield?
Northfield’s a community that is really hungry for this kind of programing. It provides so many family value opportunities — for parents to teach kids about exercise, work ethic, and how to get along with others. I think it’s going to fill a pretty significant void in this community in so many ways.
Who’s it for?
It starts with the baby and toddler classes and serves up to our senior citizen populations. (While the colleges have similar facilities, those are primarily for the tuition-paying students and the employees of those entities.) I think the YMCA is for anybody in the community who wants to access the programs and facilities that are available.
Maybe it’s the family that goes to the Y and takes a break and they work out together. I just see that as something that has been missing. The healthy lifestyle here is being physically fit, but I think the other part of that is the mental health that comes along with exercise and families working together – when you think of making those connections and letting them know you’re there for them, it’s so significant. That’s why I chose to get into what I did with basketball because then I could give that individual attention to each of my children while on a team. I’ve coached for 14 years and it has been a blast.
What purpose will it serve?
If I were to look at this from a Northfield Basketball Association perspective, one of our biggest challenges is gym space. If we could lease from the YMCA, that would help us provide more opportunities.
I really see us working in conjunction with the Y. We as an association haven’t started our travel program before the 4th grade because we don’t have facilities for practices; being able to offer this sport to younger kids would be a great thing.
How can the Y help our youth?
I think the Y is just one more reminder to our students and our children in the community that we are promoting a fit mentality. Exercise is vitally important to making sure we are healthy – our mind, body and soul.
We have made a concerted effort in the school district to provide PE programming four days a week to all of our students and recess opportunities everyday, so they can be active.
The unfortunate part about basketball is that you play only five kids at a time and 15 kids make a team. There are a lot of boys and girls vying for those spots on the team, and there are cuts along the way. Fortunately, today those kids can still take part in the sport through the Y’s intermural basketball program.
I have a son who’s a senior and he’s a varsity player. The best part of his week is watching his buddies play intermural basketball. They call them the “six man crew.” They come to every home basketball game and they have a blast and support the team. Then on Monday nights, all the varsity players go to their games at the Y and watch them play. There’s some positive reciprocation there.
How can the Y help our schools?
I think that whole partnership piece is significant. It goes back to the number of opportunities that we provide for fitness in a day. I think we all have, as community folks, to make sure we’re providing opportunities for kids. The associations in town are geared toward competitive teams and the Y can start providing more skill based in-house programs, like they are known for across the country.
Having a daughter who has worked at the Y for six summers, I’m always impressed by what she has done with groups and the different type of day trips they provide for kids. In conjunction with the schools, we’re developing well-rounded children and providing opportunities kids wouldn’t necessarily have.
Why did your family contribute to the Y Capital Campaign?
It’s one of the situations where I just think it’s the right thing to do when a start-up is coming into the community. When I see the 600 kids walking around this building, it’s really heartwarming to think that will be there for them.
If everyone gives a little bit, it really does come to fruition and the walls will go up, as we soon will see.
– Submitted by the Northfield Area YMCA
Rotarian, Virginia Kaczmarek, presents an update on the project of building a YMCA to fellow Northfield Rotarians.
Presentation: Thursday November 7, 2013
Northfield News Guest Columnist, Virginia Kaczmarek (YMCA Executive Director) offers views on the achievements, success and all that’s yet needed to build a new YMCA.
Friday November 8, 2013
Great photos from the Northfield YMCA’s Groundbreaking Event, November 5, 2013