Popular for Families and Seniors Alike

The sports and fitness facilities at the Jewish Community Association of Austin attract mainly families and older adults.

The sports and fitness facilities at the Jewish Community Association of Austin (JCAA) attract mainly families and older adults. Although exercisers as young as 13 are allowed in the fitness center, the majority of users are working-age adults. Explains Director of Sports and Fitness Matt Cofrancesco, "Our main fitness center gets a lot of use in the mornings and evenings with the before- and after-work crowds. We also have a large senior adult population that works out in the fitness center, and many of them also take our group fitness classes." The JCAA offers the Silver Sneakers Fitness Program, which provides exercise and social activities for Medicare-eligible adults, plus 36 group exercise classes per week, including nine Senior Aerobics classes, and mind/body classes (yoga, Pilates, tai chi, karate and selfdefense seminars). In addition to the main fitness center, the JCAA swimming pool also accommodates a large number of users. The pool attracts approximately 1,000 lap swimmers each month, plus all of the programmed activities such as swim lessons, youth swim team, adult swim team, synchronized swim team, water aerobics, triathlon training classes, lifeguard certification classes and Water Safety Instructor classes. All JCAA facilities and activities are supported by a full-time staff, plus volunteer committees. The committees are made up of members with interest and/or expertise in various areas relating to health and fitness. Says Cofrancesco, "Input from these committees was used to determine initial purchases of equipment, and to help select activities and programs to offer." The same committee was consulted when it was time to upgrade/replace equipment. "We got input from members on what types of equipment they would like to have, and we tried to provide that as closely as possible, based on the available budget,"Cofrancesco says."Most of our members wanted typical cardio equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals and bikes.We supplemented that with a mix of strength machines and free weights, so we could offer as complete a workout selection as possible." For programs and classes, since the membership includes many families, input from parents was important. One outcome of this is that babysitting hours are scheduled around certain classes that parents like to take in the mornings. Profit-generating programs include the JCAA's "very successful summer sports camps," says Cofrancesco. "We typically run three, three-week sessions and one, oneweek session that include basketball, soccer, golf, gymnastics, synchronized swimming and multi-sport camps." Personal training also generates revenue. The JCAA has 10 to 12 trainers who perform more than 3,000 training sessions each year. "Our training staff currently includes a former professional basketball player, a former pro ski racer, a former major league baseball player, an eight-time Hawaii Ironman finisher and a competitive all-natural bodybuilder," Cofrancesco says. To let the community know about the facility and what it offers, the JCAA mails postcards announcing open house events about four to six times per year. It also publishes a Program Guide four times per year that is distributed throughout the local community, including schools. Says Cofrancesco of the success of the JCAA, "All areas of our facility are heavily used. Lack of space is one of our biggest concerns, as we continue to grow and add new programs and participants."

Facility Stats

Jewish Community Association of Austin Austin, Texas; 512 735-8000; www.jcaaonline.org Date fitness facility opened: January 2000 Fitness facility size: Fitness center: 3,000 square feet; group exercise studio: 1,200 square feet; free weight room: 800 square feet; gymnasium 11,000 square feet Number of members: Approximately 2,000 membership units (about 4,500 total members) Strength equipment: Cybex VR2 strength stations (eight upper body, seven lower body), one Cybex Functional Trainer FT360, one Cybex cable crossover, one Smith machine, three Olympic benches, one Preacher curl bench, one leg press, one squat rack, four adjustable benches, dumbbells up to 100 pounds Cardio equipment: Eight Cybex treadmills, three Star Trac treadmills, one True 850 Treadmill, two NuSteps, two Schwinn Airdyne cycles, four Precor elliptical trainers, two Cybex ArcTrainers, one SportsArt 8300 elliptical, two Cybex stairclimbers, one SportsArt stairclimber, two Cybex upright cycles, two Lifecycle 9500HR bikes, one Cybex Cyclone recumbent cycle, two SportsArt 5150R recumbent cycles, two Cybex 700 recumbent cycles Amenities: 25-yard, outdoor, year-round heated swimming pool (3 to 10 feet deep), and a shallow "kiddie" pool; 1-mile crushed granite jogging trail that winds through wooded landscape and includes four exercise stations; soccer and softball fields; babysitting room with a view of the swimming pool; locker rooms include a whirlpool, sauna, TV lounge, lockers, showers with soap/shampoo and swimsuit dryers; onsite massage therapist Group exercise classes: Group cycling, Energy Zone Spinning, Spin Into Yoga, Functional Training, Bootcamp, Ball and Band Core, Cardio Mix, Water Aerobics (seasonal), Flexible Strength, yoga, Senior Aerobics, Silver Sneakers I, Deep Water Conditioning, Cardio Sculpt, Just Abs, tai chi, PACE (People with Arthritis Can Exercise) Management/fitness assessment software: Raiser's Edge database management system; no fitness assessment software
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