We write to correct some inaccuracies that appeared in your story on the YWCA’s decision to engage the Sport and Health Co. to help manage the YW’s 9th Street fitness center (“It Was Fun to Swim at the YWCA,” 3/29).
Our responsibility is to make policy decisions that enable the YWCA/NCA to fulfill its mission—to empower women and girls and to eliminate racism—in a financially responsible way. As your article explained, the fitness center has been facing financial difficulties for quite some time. As a result, we explored several options and entered into contact with the Sport and Health Co. to manage the center on our behalf. We chose this option because it would allow us to keep our fitness center doors open and to offer improved quality and health and fitness programs at affordable prices.
Despite your article’s suggestion to the contrary, fitness center fees have remained unchanged ($37.50 for seniors and $50 for adults); nor do we anticipate any increase in fitness center fees at this time. And—again contrary to your story’s suggestion—the Sport and Health Co. made offers of continued employment to the entire YWCA fitness center staff; all but one accepted those offers.
Moreover, we plan to continue to offer the YW’s various and important health and fitness programs—like the seniors’ water aerobics programs and fitness programs for recovering heart-attack patients. Finally, we are dedicated to maintaining the fitness center’s wonderful diversity, which is one of our greatest strengths.
We appreciate and understand that change brings with it uncertainty. We hope and anticipate that this change will enable us to deliver our quality health and fitness services more cost-effectively.
Josephine E. Pamphile
YWCA of the National Capital Area