YMCA Wave Runners To compete in the CARIFTA Swimming Championships

The YMCA Wave Runners of Grand Bahama has 11 out of 36 swimmers named to the Bahamas Swim Team who will compete in the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in Barbados on April 9-15, 2020.

Ms. Abayomi Brown
Ms. Katelyn Cabral (not in photo)
Mr. Nigel Forbes Jr.
Mr. Ellie Gibson
Mr. Tristan Hepburn
Mr. Asher Johnson
Mr. Marvin Johnson Jr.
Ms. Seannia Norville-Smith
Ms. Mia Patton (not in photo)
Ms. Zidane “Zizou” Salting
Ms. Zoe Williamson

Mr. Ocean Smith has also been named to the Bahamas Open Water Swim Team competing in the said championships.

Congratulations to the swimmers, coaches, their parents and families, and to the whole of Grand Bahama!

Swim strong, always!🇧🇸💪


Update: CARIFTA cancelled due to COVID19.

Hurricane Dorian

The YMCA of Grand Bahama was founded in 1970 in Freeport and has been for many years the only functioning community facility of its kind on the Grand Bahama Island. The YMCA offers a wide range of community services including afterschool programs, sports, swimming, recreation, arts and a rehabilitation center for youth offenders. YMCA programs impact 2,000 people every year.

The YMCA of Grand Bahama suffered significant damage in 2004 following two major hurricanes and closed its doors for nearly two years. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew also damaged the YMCA infrastructure, compromising children and youth safety. With the support of the international community, the YMCA rapidly helped bring a sense of security, restoration and hope by providing a safe place and a meeting point for the community during difficult times.

Hurricane Dorian
On September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian made landfall in Elbow Cay, Bahamas, after reaching Category 5, with sustained winds of 185 mph. Dorian made another landfall on Grand Bahama several hours later at the same intensity. Initial reports mention devastation on the islands’ infrastructure and at least 50 fatalities.

Dorian Impact on the YMCA of Grand Bahama
On Wednesday September 4, YMCA of the USA established contact with Ms. Karon Pinder Johnson, CEO of the YMCA of Grand Bahama. She reported that all YMCA staff are accounted for and safe. Seventy percent of the Grand Bahama island was covered in water. There is no power or running water across the island. The YMCA is flooded, 75% of the roof is damaged, all five pool pumps and three heat pumps (AC) are lost due to flooding, treadmills and elliptical machines are underwater, office furniture is wet, perimeter fencing is down and the dugouts for the soccer and baseball fields were destroyed. Fortunately, the main building is still standing.

YMCA Response
Karon and her team will meet on September 5, 2019 to start the clean-up, remove debris, gunk and roofing tiles, and discuss a plan of action. The team is assessing converting the basketball gym into a shelter for displaced families and allow community members to drop-in, shower and rest at the YMCA. They also anticipate that they will have the capacity to accept in-kind donations (canned food, water, clothes, first-aid kits, blankets, flashlights, batteries, etc.). YMCA Bahamas will not have the capacity to pay for shipping costs. The government will allow importing these types of items duty-free for 30 days.

How to Help
Financial contributions are the most effective way to help at this time. YMCA of the USA will officially launch a World Service appeal in coordination with the Latin American and Caribbean Alliance of YMCAs and the World Alliance of YMCAs as soon as a plan of action is in place. In the meantime, donations are being gratefully accepted and 100% of your support will be sent to the YMCA of Grand Bahama.

How to give:
Online: Please write YMCA Bahamas in the Comments/Special Instructions box
Mail : Please write YMCA Bahamas in the Comments/Special Instructions box
Phone: Call 312-419-8177

For additional information, please contact Renata Ferrari at [email protected] and 312-419-8137.

YMCA Day Care


The YMCA Day Care is a nurturing, fun and stimulating environment for your child to develop and grow. Certified instructors on board with many years of experience.

Limited space, call us today to secure your child’s seat.

OPEN Monday-Friday: 8:30am- 5:30pm

Ages: 1-4 Years

$40.00 per week

YMCA is proud to announce the start of its Flag Football Programme

The YMCA is proud to announce the start of its Flag Football Programme. We have been located in Freeport, Grand Bahama for over 30 years now, and majorly contributed to combating crime on the island of Grand Bahama, building and supporting sports programmes and fulfill our Christian mission operating under the mean of our 4 core values; which is caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. We also believe in partnering with other local organizations to bring forth positive change to the greater community.

Although the YMCA is still in its recovery state from the devastating hurricane of 2004, we challenge ourselves to be a beacon of light for the communities of Grand Bahama. We see how far we have come in making a positive impact in the lives of Grand Bahamians and look forward to doing even more. We are committed to the development of the Bahamian community in spirit, mind and body, and wish to move forward in promoting social justice and peace.

On March 26th, 2016 is the tentative date of start for our programme and will be ending June 11th, 2016.  This programme is geared to exposing our families as a whole to the game of Flag Football.  There will be three divisions, Youth, Women and Co-Ed.  The Youth programme will be played 5 on 5 no contact, Women programme 8 on 8 semi contact and the Co-ed programme 7 on 7 no contact.  Games will be played between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays. 

Should you require any further information feel free to contact us.

Kind Regards,

YMCA and GBPA partnership garners success in energy savings and efficiency project

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — YMCA Executive Director, Karon Pinder-Johnson praised Sir Jack Hayward and The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) for its partnership in a recent Energy Savings & Efficiency project.

Geared at assisting the community support facility, and reduce its electrical operations cost which totaled $130,000.00 in 2012, the project proved to be quite successful, Pinder-Johnson revealed.

“The YMCA has always grappled with its electrical bill. In fact, at one point the organization acquired arrears totaling approximately $50,000.00.

“Immediately, the Board of the YMCA met to discuss a plan of action regarding ways in which the facility could be outfitted that would generate energy savings and efficiency.

“Following consultation with electricity experts, it was decided that replacing all 270 plus incandescent light bulbs in the YMCA to LED (energy efficient) light bulbs would be beneficial in meeting the challenge of reducing the electrical bill.

“GBPA greatly assisted the YMCA in this effort, providing us the opportunity to do just that in a timely manner. Merchantec Limited & A/C Services were hired to complete the Energy Savings & Efficiency project which took them just over two months once the needed materials arrived on island.

“Additionally, energy savings apparatuses were installed between our breaker system, swimming pool pumps and concession stand areas, which allow for power stability, eliminating power fluctuation (spikes and dips) and ultimately, saving money on the electricity bill,” said Pinder-Johnson.

“GBPA, Sir Jack and corporate Grand Bahama, have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the YMCA continues to serve the public, especially our youth and we truly appreciate their assistance.”

Pinder-Johnson also revealed that plans are underway to further reduce electrical costs by way of solar energy, especially where the air conditioning units are concerned.

“It has been suggested that solar powered timers be placed on our air conditioning units at the YMCA. This would ensure that power turns on and shuts off at appropriate intervals, rather than constantly running, to further facilitate energy efficiency. We are doing what we can to ensure this is also done in a timely fashion.

“Again the YMCA cannot thank GBPA enough for assisting us in this venture. Personally, I recall when I became a part of the YMCA family in 1986, GBPA and Sir Jack Hayward’s names were synonymous with this facility as two of our biggest supporters. Actually, it is because of them that the doors of the YMCA did not permanently close following the hurricanes of 2004.

“So we thank GBPA’s Donation Committee for its support in facilitating this Energy Savings & Efficiency project and look forward to their continued partnership in the future,” Pinder-Johnson added.

As the YMCA continues to play a vital role in building the community of Grand Bahama, Dr. Smith revealed GBPA’s elation to assist in the project stating, “We are indeed pleased to facilitate the Energy Savings & Efficiency project here at the YMCA.

“We recognize that the YMCA, through its programmes particularly sports, continues to help build our communities and the youth of Grand Bahama island.

“Hence, GBPA is pleased to lend support to the YMCA as it continues to foster positive development within the Grand Bahama community.”

For further information about the YMCA programmes and activities telephone 352-7074/5 or visit

ROM/YMCA Haiti Relief Family Fun Day a success

(Freeport News article by Barbara Walkin) KARON PINDER-JOHNSON, YMCA executive director and Kenny Jr., were are the gate receiving can goods as entrance fee, for Reach Out Ministry and the YMCA Family Fun Day in aid of Haiti Relief.

(Sports photos by ANDREW COAKLEY)

Saturday was a busy day for athletes competing the first Reach Out Ministry (ROM)/YMCA Family Fun Day fundraiser for Haiti relief effort.

Organizers of the event were excited over the participation and the community support, said Dudley Seide, president on ROM. “We had a good turn-out and I want to thank the Grand Bahama community for showing their support, but I want to especially thank the pastors for coming out and putting on an exciting game.”

The feature game of the event was between the Bahamian and Haitian pastors. There was much bragging going on at the announcement of the Saturday’s event.

Bishop Joseph Hall Sr., said that the game would be “one that the Grand Bahama community would not want to miss.” Hall also predicted that the Bahamian pastors would win this first meeting between the men of the cloth from different nations.

His predication turned out to be right on par. The Bahamian pastors defeated their opponents 41-34, with Bishop Sobig Kemp, former president of the Grand Bahama Christian Council named as the MVP of the game.

Kemp scored 10 “solid” points in the win. At the other end, Nelson Vilburn had 15 points for the Haitian pastors.

In other games on the court Hudson Estate defeated Central Zion 28-22; Kross Town won over the YMCA 28-25; the Ghetto Cutter defeated Central Zion 24-12 and the Ghetto Cutters back on the court won over Youth In Action 31-27.

The game between ROM All Stars and Tabernacle Boys went into double overtime before Tabernacle Boys took the 37-34 win.

Then the Haitian-Bahamian All Stars took the one-point win (60-59) over the Bahamian All Stars.

Basketball was not the only event at the Family Fun Day. Athletes also competed in track and field, powerlifting, ladies soccer and volleyball.

In track and field Cardwell Cooper and Chico Thompson claimed victory in the U13 100m, 200m and Sr. Male 100m respectively.

In powerlifting David Vilburn won in the senior boys division with a 400lbs lift.

On the field, in ladies soccer action, Mary’s All Stars took on Freeport High. The All Stars came out on top in this one 2-1. In volleyball action the Youth In Action (A) won over Youth In Action (B).

There was also a senior men’s game (no results up to press time) and former YMCA executive director Terry Goldsmith and his boxer, also conducted exhibition bouts.

It was a time of unity, said Seide. “Where people from every nation came together to assist in the relief effort for Haiti,” Seide added.

“And again I want to thank everyone that came out, competed and made donations to this wonderful effort,” Seide added.

Of course Seide is looking for a rematch between the Haitian and Bahamian pastors.

YMCA Soccer Wrap-up, Saturday, February 28th

The YMCA 2008/09Soccer League, which began on November 29th is coming to an end this Saturday, February 28th with the Champsionship Games. Awards for winning teams will be given directly after each set of games.

Coaches and players are asked to be at the field on November 28th prior 10am. The League runs Saturdays from 10 am to 1pm.

Call the YMCA at 352-7074 for more information.