It’s the new year, which usually means resolutions. One of the most common is to lose weight or some other form of getting healthy.
Several groups around the East Valley are offering help with those goals, including the Valley of the Sun YMCAs, Tri-Scottsdale and the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy of Scottsdale.
Throughout January, the YMCA is waiving it’s joining fee of up to $100, depending on membership categories, and all members can participate in the Spirit, Mind & Body Challenge.
This is a 12-week support program that will give all members access to one-on-one fitness orientations and evaluations, a goal-setting process, seminars, classes and other tools and resources that will assist individuals and families to achieve success.
“Real families are looking for real help,” said Greg O’Brien, president and CEO of the Valley of the Sun YMCA. “Families can find advice, guidance and real assistance in implementing realistic improvements for healthier habits, better nutrition and beneficial activities that can help families be successful in their efforts to improve their quality of life.”
When all Spirit, Mind & Body Challenge participants have completed the program, each Valley YMCA will announce winners. These winners will advance to a Valley-wide competition for premium awards.
If you aren’t up to the challenge, free two-week guest passes are also available at www.valleyYMCA.org. To locate the nearest YMCA branch, call (602) 404-9622.
Tri-Scottsdale, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the sport of triathlon with a mission to promote health and wellness, is sponsoring a free women’s-only swim clinic from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 20 at Gainey Village Health Club and Spa (7477 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Scottsdale).
Jonny Tunstall, the 1996 British national champion in the 200-meter breaststroke, will be providing pointers at the clinic. Tunstall is now the associate head coach of Sun Devil Masters. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The group also sponsors get-togethers for triathletes (and potential triathletes) as well as daily training sessions geared at improving performance in all three disciplines.
The next social is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 10, at Dish (8977 Scottsdale Road).
The organization’s major event is the Tri for the Cure — a women’s-only triathlon. This year’s event will be April 20 at Arrowhead Park in Chandler with the swim taking place in a 50-meter pool.
The event will involve a swim of eight laps, nine miles biking and a run through the park that consists of two one-mile loops.
A new segment has been added — a race for kids ages 6-14.
For more information about the mixers, the daily training or Tri for the Cure, visit www.triscottsdale.org.
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy offers free hikes year-round and are kicking off the new year with eight ventures.
All will be led by experienced guides who are expert in desert subjects and begin at 8:30 a.m.
Here’s what’s on tap this month:
• Saturday — Bell Canyon. Eight miles with a 1,550-foot elevation gain. Meet at the lot at 104th Street south of McDowell Mountain Ranch Road.
• Sunday — Balanced Rock. Meet at end of Alma School Road north of Dynamite Boulevard.
• Jan. 12 — Cholla Mountain Loop. Eight miles. Meet at end of Alma School Road north of Dynamite Boulevard.
• Jan. 13 — Quartz Trail. Five miles. Meet at lot at 104th Street south of McDowell Mountain Ranch Road.
• Jan. 19 — Fire and Ice. Short interpretive hike. Meet at Lost Dog Trailhead lot at 124th Street north of Via Linda.
• Jan. 20 — Two Mountain Loop. Eight miles. Meet at end of Alma School Road north of Dynamite Boulevard.
• Jan. 26 — Amphitheater. 5.5 miles. Meet at end of Alma School Road north of Dynamite Boulevard.
• Jan. 27 — Birding Walk. Short interpretive hike. Meet at end of 128th Street north of Via Linda.
For more information on the hikes or directions to the trailheads, visit www.mcdowellsonoran.org or call (480) 998-7971.
Tempe Corona del Sol High junior Garret Dunn reached the round of 16 in Boys 16 Doubles at the USTA Winter National Championships on Saturday. Dunn, who has been playing tennis for six years, has been the No. 1 singles player for the Aztecs since his freshman year.
More than 500 players from around the United States participated in the tournament which was held at sites all around the metro Phoenix area.
The SC del Sol soccer club is again sponsoring the Presidents’ Day Tournament, an international youth event which is expected to attract 250-300 U12-U19 teams, including squads from England, Canada, New Zealand and more than 50 state championship teams from 26 U.S. states.
This year’s tournament is expected to be bigger than last year, which drew nearly 7,500 people and uses six soccer/sports complexes and 32 soccer fields all over the Valley.
SC del Sol is based in the North Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley areas and is home to more than 500 male and female players of all abilities ages 4-18.
The club has a full-time, highly qualified professional coaching staff committed to the development of every player. And all of the staff are present or former players.
SC del Sol also has been providing volunteer instruction twice weekly for the last several months. The coaches work with about 20 kids from kindergarten through third grade and about 40 kids from fourth through sixth grades.
“Skill development for the kids is critical — we call it skills, drills and thrills,” said Mark Lowe, director of coaching. “Then, we arrange 4-5 small-sided scrimmage games for the kids to apply what they just learned in the skills session. It’s a valuable time for the kids to improve and play well.”
Visit www.scdelsol.com for more details about the tournament and the instruction sessions.
The Usery Mountain Archery Club hosted the second of three NFAA Field Tournaments on Sunday at the Usery Mountain Park Field Archery Range.
A group of nearly 20 archers came in the middle of the holidays and braved the sunny, but windy day to shoot in the 28-target tournament.
The targets range in size from 12 inches to 36 inches, and from 10 yards out to 80 yards out.
The following local archers won their divisions:
• Freestyle compound bow, AA division, Mark Hanson, Mesa, 534 points
• Freestyle compound bow, senior Pat Peters, Tempe, 513 points
• Bowhunter freestyle, adult, Frank Begay, Maricopa, 510 points
• Barebow recurve, male, Dave Twigg, Mesa, 340 points
The third tourney will begin at 8 a.m. on March 30 at the Usery Mountain Park Archery Range.
Batter up: Tempe South Little League will conduct registration from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Kiwanis Recreation Center gym. There will also be a session from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 19 at Desert Cross Lutheran Church (8600 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe). Visit www.tempelittleleague.com or call (480) 598-4090 for information.
Let the games begin
Bigger than ever: The 16th Grand Canyon State Winter Games has expanded to 42 sports. The games will take place all across the state from January through April and are open to athletes of all ages and abilities. Entry books are available at all Fulton Homes, APS, Sleep America or Keller Williams locations statewide as well as online at www.gcsg.org or call (480) 517-9700.
Just for fun
Still time: Scottsdale Parks & Recreation Division still has openings for the upcoming adult coed kickball league. Registration continues through Monday or until all leagues are full. Registration will be taken in the Scottsdale Adult Sports Office at 5401 N. Hayden Road. League fee per team is $235 with play scheduled to begin Tuesday, continuing until early March. Teams play two games one night a week at Eldorado Park, 2311 N. Miller Road. Further information can be found in the Scottsdale Leisure Lifestyles Brochure or at www.scottsdaleaz.gov/econnect.