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YMCA to host big basketball tournament Saturday

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Forty-eight teams will be in Le Mars for the 10th annual Holiday 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament this Saturday.

"This year it is almost as big as the outdoor 3-on-3 basketball tournament," said Todd Lancaster, Le Mars YMCA executive director.

There were 42 teams for the 3-on-3 outdoor event last summer -- just six fewer than the 48 expected for the indoor event this weekend.

The total of teams from Le Mars, Sioux City, Lennox, S.D. Remsen, and Sioux Falls, S.D. registered to participate Saturday is nearly double the 26 teams participating in 2011, according to Lancaster.

Medals will be given out to the top two places in each of the four age divisions Saturday.

They include ages eight and under; 10 and under; 12 and under and 14 and under.

The basketball tournament for young people is one example of the increasing popularity of programs at the YMCA, 241 12th St. S.E., Le Mars.

"We've had 600 more people go through the YMCA in the last three months than we did a year ago," he said. "The YMCA has been busy."

YMCA attendance from August through October was 7,364 compared to 6,732 in 2011.

The doors may be open to more participants in the coming weeks, based on programs planned at the YMCA.

Co-ed dodgeball begins Jan. 17. Youth dodgeball for kindergarten through fifth grade will be Jan. 14 and a new program of youth dodgeball for sixth through eighth grade will begin Feb. 25.

Activities for young people on days when schools end classes early are planned Dec. 12, Jan. 23 and Feb. 20, Lancaster said.

AAU volleyball will be offered Jan. 2 and mini-basketball for kindergarten through seventh grade is planned to begin Jan. 12.

The YMCA will also be open additional hours during the Christmas break from school classes.

Lifeguard training will be available during Christmas vacation.

The need for facilities for new and additional programs will be met with some grant dollars.

The Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County awarded the YMCA a grant of $7,500 for a curtain to divide the gym.

"We have a private donor who is paying for the rest of that so we are in the process of putting the divider curtain in so we can have more programs going on in there," Lancaster said.

A fundraiser to refinish the gym floor will enable the YMCA to take estimates for the floor project to actual work.

The flooring will be refinished after the wintertime peak demand for the gym, he explained.

A computer program improvement planned at the YMCA will make it easier for people to register for YMCA programs and activities, Lancaster said.

"We will be able to do online registration and things of that nature," he said.

A YMCA report also shows the trend to higher participation in outdoor pool activity from May to September.

Attendance of 22,291 this year is up from 20,521 in 2011, the YMCA quarterly report stated.

"We had more than 1,700 additional people go through the gates at the pool this summer," Lancaster said. "The numbers out there were very good with this summer being very dry and hot."

Information about YMCA hours and programs is available by calling 546-6655 or on the YMCA website www.lemarsymca.org.

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