Your Opportunity to be a YMCA Ninja

My Y Story: Libby Shepherd

Libby Shepherd



She’s been building up her strength at the Westwood Park Y’s Ninja course since her first class in January. “She’s had a great time on the ninja course. She had a hard time at first and struggled doing many of the obstacles. Week after week, she started gaining more confidence. The first time she did monkey bars, she was so excited; it was the same with the rings,” her mom Melanie Shepherd shared. “I think it’s so much fun to watch her. It’s almost like watching American Ninja on TV, but it’s my own child! She loves Coach Andy (Andy MacEachern, Association Sports Director). He’s so patient with her,” she added. “My daughter started with dance classes at the Y when she was age 3. We saw the signs for the new Ninja course, she wanted to try. I was happy to enroll her because I love to see her getting more confidence when trying new activities. Right now she’s in an all-girl Ninja class. I absolutely love that!,” Melanie shared.

“Libby is doing great and has a great love for learning Ninja. She’s seen tremendous growth in the past few months. She’s gone from getting up to first hold on the wall and now to being very comfortable with rings and swings. Great to watch her learn and grow,” Andy said.

The Westwood Park YMCA’s in-house Ninja Obstacle Course opened in January of this year for programming and drop-in general use. “We look forwardLibby Shepherd to seeing how the course and these programs will add fun, strength and confidence building, and new leadership skills among its participants. Whether you’re looking for a challenging obstacle course, monthly program offerings, personalized coaching, camp programs, birthday parties or just plain fun, the Ninja obstacle course is welcome to all,” Andy said. “It’s ok to fall, get back up and try again. We support and cheer for everyone. It’s a supportive vibe on the Ninja course,” he said.

With classes for everyone, from 2-years-old (with parent or guardian) to adults, we invite you to join us for some jumping, climbing, swinging and balance fun. The course includes obstacles such as peg boards, warped walls, hanging ladders, spotting blocks, balance beams, rings, ropes and so much more.  Ninjas will learn all kinds of new skills; increasing strength and stamina ever week during active sessions at the Westwood Park YMCA.

Programs and drop-in open times are available to both Y Members and Community Members. Organized classes are also available:

Tiny Ninjas (with parent or guardian) is for kids ages 2 to 3. This 30-minute class is very popular and currently runs son Saturday mornings at 9am. A circle course is set up in the Ninja area with blocks and rings for jumping. Parents walk with kids in the circle, all going one way, at their own pace. It’s more of a play group.

Ninja Course

Mini Ninjas is for children ages 4 to 5. This is more of an instructor led class, starting with stretches before class, “floor is lava” activities where participants have a food hold on the ground, with jumping, balance beam work, and blocks on the floor that they have to jump to. Most of the Ninja course is used: swinging from ring to ring; climbing the warped wall running up to the second and third level, fidget spinners they can swing from.

Y Ninjas has two groups for youth ages 6 to 9 and from 10 to 12. Activities are similar to Mini Ninjas, but with added difficulty. Participants do the Flying Squirrel with two handles above their head, and swing from one handle to another through the course. They also use ropes on the warped wall.

Teen Ninjas is for youth ages 13 to 16. We expect to begin Adult Ninja Classes in November.

“Our open times are very popular with kids and adults. For our Ninja course program participants, their class fees include open training time. We have an on-duty staff person who oversees the participants, but it’s not a class per-se,” Andy said.

For more information about Ninja classes and open times, visit or contact Andy MacEachern at or by calling 603-402-2258.


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