Y NSW celebrates 50 years serving Revesby community

The community of Revesby came together on Sunday, April 19 to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Y Bankstown City.

Acting Y NSW CEO Bridgette Godden was joined by Y NSW Board and Executive Members, Canterbury Bankstown City Councillor Linda Downey, Gymnastics NSW CEO Aaron Bloomfield, former manager David George and hundreds of valued members and their families to mark the occasion.

One of the very first suburban YMCAs in NSW, the Y Bankstown City was officially opened on February 27, 1971, however celebrations were delayed ensuring the centre could throw a party worthy of 50 years of memories and community connection.

Mrs Godden said the centre has always been a shining example of the grassroots power of the Y in empowering young Australians.

“In the past 20 years alone, more than 15,000 gymnasts and more than 11,000 families from the local community have come through the Y Bankstown City’s doors,” she said.

“In the early 1970s, parents, babies and toddlers met at the Y for playgroups and preschool. On one occasion Gough Whitlam even turned up for morning tea. Later, Bankstown City’s Outside School Hours Care was developed and the 1980s saw the start of 25 years of Blue Light Discos for the teens.

“The Y Bankstown City is a wonderful place for our community members to grow and connect and I’m immensely proud that the Y has provided this to so many.”

A moving smoking ceremony by Dunghutti Jerrinjha Elder Aunty Margret Campbell kicked off the event, followed by a gymnastics showcase featuring more than 100 gymnasts from Levels 1 through 8 and Special Olympics.

Over the years, Bankstown has been recognised for its inclusivity, winning Canterbury Bankstown Council’s Zero Barriers Award, plus Inclusive Club of the Year three years running at the Gymnastics NSW Annual Awards.

David George, who worked for the Y NSW for 28 years starting as a junior coach in 1986 and eventually managing the centre, said the Y’s impact on sport in the region was massive.

“What you see here today is nothing like it was when I started,” he said.

“In the early ’70s when I came here, this was the start of indoor soccer in this country. You can see the marks up on the wall on the corners, they were television stands, they used to televise soccer games weekly.”

Historical photographs were displayed along “memory lane” and the whole centre came alive with community stalls, a jumping castle, free gymnastics trials, a petting zoo and an art exhibition featuring the work of the Y Revesby OSHC students.

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