The YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg continues to expand open gym services at Lealman Exchange, located in the heart of the Lealman Community Redevelopment Area. Current open gym offerings, free of charge to the community, include basketball, pickleball, and family night. Each week, dozens of participants visit the community center to play sports, build relationships – and beat the heat. “Especially in Florida where the heat can make it unbearable to play sports outside,
and the weather can sometimes be unpredictable, it’s important that community members have a safe indoor environment for physical activity,” said Association Sports Director Eric Ventura.

According to the National Weather Service, doing physical activities outdoors when the heat index is 103°F or higher – easily reached during Florida summers – can lead to dangerous heat disorders such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The gymnasium at Lealman Exchange offers a covered, air-conditioned
space for activities.

Open gym is one of many programs the Y offers at Lealman Exchange, a 77,000-square-foot campus owned by Pinellas County. For youth, the Y runs an on-site preschool, summer camp and youth sports programs. For adults, community health programs focus on evidence-based support for specific medical conditions while SilverSneakers® classes offer physical exercise programs catered to seniors. “This is just the beginning,” Ventura said. “We’re looking forward to expanding our offerings in this community, and hope to add drop-in volleyball and pickleball leagues by next year.”

To learn more about the services offered by the YMCA at Lealman Exchange, visit:

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