First look: Eastside Family YMCA breaks ground on new multisport outdoor complex

The Eastside Family YMCA announced it will expand its facility with a multisport outdoor complex, anticipated to be finished this summer.

The new complex, for which a groundbreaking ceremony was held on Feb. 27, will include an airnasium, a mini soccer pitch for futsal and an outdoor patio for functional training.

What an airnasium?

An outdoor sports facility, typically with an overarching roof but without walls.

Futsal, created by a YMCA in South America, is a scaled-down version of soccer, which can be played inside, and requires fewer players. The soccer pitch will be the only one of its kind in South Carolina.

“We really didn’t have a whole lot for young adults to participate in. This expansion helps us just get into this population and absolutely dominate… with soccer, basketball, volleyball,” says Cameron McDowell, executive director of the Eastside YMCA.

The expansion is the first part of a multi-phased project aiming to better serve children through the branch’s after-school program, summer camp and youth sports program, while also allowing the YMCA to offer more activities for adults.

At the Eastside branch, more than 4,500 children participate in youth sports programs and feature almost 1,200 participants in group exercise every week.

To accommodate the growing need for group exercise, the branch will offer an outdoor patio for functional training. Affectionally called “beast mode” at the branch, functional training is sometimes referred to as Crossfit, a high-intensity form of exercise.

“This is a day I’ve been dreaming of for a long time,” says Brandon Calhoun, a former chair of the board of advisors with Eastside Family YMCA.

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