Evolving programming to Welcome our Newcomers

Most people with memories of hanging out at the Community Y on Gottingen would probably talk about basketball. From Panther’s games to shooting hoops after school, it has always been known for one particular sport. But our neighbourhood is changing, and the YMCA is known for continuously evolving to serve our communities best.

Soccer is the most popular game in the world, and in Canada the sport’s popularity has been growing over the years. With the help of the Halifax Wanderers, Halifax’s Canadian Premier League team, the YMCA is confident that we’ll continue to see soccer grow in popularity here in Nova Scotia. At our Community Y in the North End of Halifax, the YMCA has seen a significant change in the area’s demographic with an increase in newcomer families accessing our services on Gottingen Street. In YMCA fashion, we have evolved to meet the needs of our members and the basketball court has expanded to widely popular after-school soccer!

“In the beginning, the basketball kids weren’t so sure about soccer. Now, they’re playing and they’re all having lots of fun together!” -TL Johannesson, General Manager, Child and Youth

Carleton University underlines in an article the importance of sport in childhood development, listing the many ways it helps children grow physically, mentally, and socially.  “Growing up can be difficult, leaving many youth with the feeling of inadequacy but sport has been found to help increase self-esteem and self-confidence in children.”1 But, in order to keep kids interested in sport, there must be offerings familiar to our newcomers. The YMCA is excited to diversify our offerings and play our part in keeping kids active by offering both soccer and basketball during after-school programming.

While basketball games are still occurring at the Community Y, and always will be, the new variety of sport truly demonstrates the YMCA’s dedication to evolving and meeting the needs of our community.  For more information about the Community YMCA, visit https://ymcahfx.ca/communityymca/


  1. https://athletics.carleton.ca/2014/impact-sport-development-children/