BCTC-NARA, YMCA pilot program to improve fitness of jockey students

The North Lexington Family YMCA has been named the Healthy Living partner of Bluegrass Community and Technical Colleges North American Racing Academy (BCTC-NARA). Through a pilot program established for the Spring 2015 semester, the YMCA will be instrumental in aiding BCTC-NARA students who need help getting in shape for the vigorous jockey training program.

Arranged through the assistance of Jeannie Th, district executive director for the North Lexington Family YMCA, the pilot program will last through mid-May and allow NARA students free membership to the YMCA, which is located at 381 West Loudon Avenue, Lexington. The YMCA offers a full-range of gym equipment, exercise studios and other fitness amenities.

It is certainly a privilege and an exciting opportunity to be entering into this collaborative effort with BCTC-NARA. We are looking forward to working with student riders as they prepare themselves for the rigors involved with becoming trainers, exercise riders, and jockeys. To be sure, this is a real positive for our community, said Th.

This year, our Intro to Riding class will have a greater focus on rider physical fitness to go along with their riding. Students will have to pass the intro class with an A in order to go on to the next level, said Bellocq. We like to call it Winter Boot Camp.

An emphasis will be given to cross-training as part of the fitness portion of the class. Along with riding assessments, the students will have bi-weekly fitness assessments, and we hope this type of consistent training will benefit riders, said Bellocq. Stamina training will be provided as timed mile runs, swimming and spinning classes. We want to be sure our students are fit enough to ride as the horses get fitter as well, said Bellocq.

For more information about BCTC-NARA, go to: http://bluegrass.kctcs.edu/NARA

For more information about the YMCA of Central Kentucky go to: http://www.ymcacky.org