Think you know the YMCA? Think again

Think you know the YMCA? Think again…

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the phrase ‘YMCA’?

Chance are it will be a cowboy, native American, soldier, construction worker, American cop and biker doing a dodgy dance.

But there’s more to the YMCA than a 70s pop song, as you’ll discover at Lakeside.

We’re part of the worldwide YMCA movement, which revolves around building strong communities. Each centre, however, has its own focus and at Lakeside our work focuses on empowering young people to take more responsibility and learn to become leaders at all levels.

5 facts you might not know about the YMCA:

  1. YMCA was founded in 1844 in London, making it one of the oldest and largest youth movements in the world.
  2. YMCA operates in more than 120 countries covering 6 continents worldwide, reaching 58 million people.
  3. Basketball was invented in 1891 by the YMCA – yes really! Read more here
  4. Volleyball was invented by a YMCA teacher in 1895 as a ‘less-demanding alternative’ to basketball – it didn’t quite work out that way, when you consider today’s extremely athletic volleyball stars.
  5. The term ‘bodybuilding’ was coined by a YMCA employee.

So where does Lakeside fit in?

We’re part of YMCA Fylde Coast, which in turn is part of the worldwide YMCA movement.

Fylde Coast reaches out to the community through four key programmes – young people, housing, outdoor education and physical activity.

At Lakeside, we deliver the outdoor education programme, providing training and learning opportunities for schools, youth groups, apprentices and corporate organisations. We’re an educational charity, which means that any surplus income is put back into the Centre to continually improve our facilities and programmes.

We’ve been operating for more than 60 years, during which time we’ve helped more than a million young people towards a better future.

Lakeside today

Today we’re one of the largest outdoor activity centres in Europe, delivering high quality outdoor learning for young people.

We have some of the most highly trained instructors in the industry. We’re accredited by British Canoeing for the quality of our canoeing training and we’re an official training centre for the Royal Yachting Association. In other words, at Lakeside we train the yachting instructors.

The quality of our training and development courses are widely recognised. Multi-national organisations send their graduates to us each year because of the long term benefits our professional development programmes offer.

See for yourself

As you can see there’s more to Lakeside YMCA than a pretty waterfront location – although you’ll find that hard to beat too. Why not take another look at what we can offer you and your employees? For more information call 01539 539000 or email

Download our professional development brochure to learn about all our programmes