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South Boston Online
South Boston Online
  Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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Youth Programs at the B.A.C.
By Rick Winterson

     Continuing its efforts towards what it calls “the family experience”, the Boston Athletic Club (the BAC) is offering a variety of athletic and conditioning programs for the very young up through the teen years.

     The Boston Athletic Club has become the largest and most complete health club in the Boston area.  It has achieved this by meeting the needs and matching the lifestyles of busy professionals (including professional athletes), fitness enthusiasts, and families.  The award-winning facilities at the BAC have something for everyone.

     Recent offerings at the BAC emphasize programs for young people, who can be broken down into two approximate age groups: the very young up to pre-teens, and pre-teens/teenagers.  Justin Kittredge and Rich Kreis are in charge of athletic development for teenagers.  Gina Smyth is the Children’s Program Coordinator.  She is assisted by Michelle Callahan.  These youth programs are both part of the BAC’s mission of providing “the family experience” to its members.  In that sense, the letters “BAC” stand for “Building Active Children”.

     Many programs are available, from individual training to 15-pupil groups.  One example is called the “Combo Special”, a six-week program for ages 10 to 18 that emphasizes two areas – strength/conditioning and basketball skills. 

     Rich Kreis handles the strength and conditioning training, which is “full body” – core strength development, speed drill, and agility.  Rich has considerable experience to offer, including his time as the collegiate wrestling coach at Norwich.

     The basketball skill training is overseen by Justin Kittredge, who calls it “The Shooting Touch Player Development Program”.  It focuses on shooting, but it also includes passing, dribbling, and defense.  One of the tools Justin uses is a video analysis of each athlete’s shooting form.

     The programs run by Rich and Justin are open to both male and female students.  The parents of interested athletes don’t have to be BAC members for them to qualify to enroll. Basic team skills and individual development are combined, with the objective being for each class member to become an athlete having college-level abilities.

     For young children from 18 months to 12 years of age, there is also a number of programs offered.  Gina Smyth will be happy to “walk you through” all of the options that the BAC has available.

     At this time of year, the BAC’s School Vacation Programs may be of interest.  Daily activities include gymnasium games, such as obstacle courses and races.  Tennis lessons (five and up) are available, as well as arts and crafts projects.  Age appropriate water exploration drills are offered, with an emphasis on the all-important safety aspects of water fun.  Programs for the other school breaks are scheduled throughout the year.

     Family swims during the summer take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  In the winter months, these swims happen on Sunday afternoons also.  The “Gym & Swim” programs are very popular too.  Take a look at dance classes as well.

     Give Gina a phone call and ask her about she calls “one-stop shopping” for children’s athletics.  Or you can talk with Rich, Justin, or Michelle.

     The BAC can be contacted at (617)269-4300.  Log onto www.bostonathleticclub.com for complete information.

     The BAC started in 1973 as a tennis club.  It has continually expanded and renewed its facilities, so that it always appears brand new.  But at 33 years of age, it has become another one of South Boston’s famous traditions. 

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Gina Smyth, BAC Children's Program Coordinator, and Michelle Callahan from the Summer Program.