The Boston Celtics and Sun Life Financial were in East Boston last Tuesday to unveil a newly revamped gymnasium to local youth members of the East Boston YMCA.
Celtics All-Star forward Al Horford joined Sun Life CFO Neil Haynes and Greater Boston YMCA President and CEO James Morton at the Ashley Street ‘Y’ where youth members participated in a variety of basketball and fitness drills on the newly renovated playing surface.
“It was fun to be a part of this atmosphere, and to see the expressions on these kids’ faces as they saw their new and improved facilities,” said Horford. “It’s important to have a central location that you can lean on and grow in, and I think this will be that place for a lot of these children.”
As part of the renovation project, the Celtics and Sun Life teamed up to provide the Ashley Street ‘Y’ with improved basketball hoops, a freshly sanded hardwood playing surface, a newly installed lighting system, wall graphics, and wall padding.
“We are committed to helping local youth to embrace health and fitness, so we’re thrilled to bring this new basketball court to the East Boston ‘Y’,” said Haynes, who is also a board member of the Greater Boston YMCA. “I’m pleased to announce that this YMCA will join our annual Fit to Win event with the Celtics, where kids track their fitness activities over a four-week period, and win prizes from the Celtics at the end. I can’t wait to see how they utilize this new court to participate in the program.”
Fit to Win is a four-week community-based program that will help each Eastie ‘Y’ child embrace fitness exercises and healthy lifestyle habits. Each week, with the help of a motivational and instructional video from Celtics mascot Lucky the Leprechaun, the children will learn new exercises and health-conscious habits to follow. Throughout each week the children will track their activities and will be rewarded with Celtics-themed prizes.
Youth members participated in a question-and-answer session with Horford, who stressed the importance of staying healthy, and how fitness can be fun.
A high-flying dunk show from Celtics Mascot “Lucky” the Leprechaun concluded the event.
“How many of you ever dreamed about being on the Boston Celtics?,” Morton asked the crowd of YMCA youth. “Now you can work towards that dream by practicing at this new gym, working hard, being the best you can possibly be and making your dreams come true.”