Stevens Supports Lifetime Health Opportunities

Sports and physical activity have played a big part in Lynnette Stevens’ life.
The retired educator grew up in Iowa, where women’s sports were already in full swing. She competed in every sport she could in high school and then went onto play more sports at a small college. As women’s college sports were just getting started in the early 1970s after the Title IX ruling, she was among the first women to play volleyball, softball, basketball and track at the college level.

When she began her teaching career, she went onto coach high school and junior high sports. She started the girls’ basketball program in Benkelman in 1975 and later coached in Gothenburg and Schuyler. She even led a youth track club in Gothenburg when her children were young.

Today, Lynnette still competes in running races and believes in the long-term health effects of staying active, and that’s just one of the reasons she’s excited to be one of the first members of the new YMCA at Gothenburg Health.

“I just really feel that a healthy lifestyle will prolong life and prolong quality of life,” Lynnette said. “If people my age don’t have an exercise routine, their quality of life is not as good as it could be.”

Lynnette exercised at the hospital’s wellness center before it became the Y, and now that it’s a Y, she continues to make exercising there a part of her routine.

At the Y, she exercises on the treadmill, elliptical and rowing machines and lifts free weights. She also enjoys taking classes, such as REFIT©.

Lynnette said exercise is a top priority in her day.

“Some people say, ‘I don’t have time to exercise or run,’” Lynnette said. “My day is started with, ‘When am I going to get my workout in?’ If it’s not a lifestyle, you are not going to stick with it.”

She and her husband, Robin, also donated to the YMCA project not only for themselves but also for the future of the community.

With added gym space, the Y will provide more opportunities for local sports teams and youth to learn and practice skills and build the endurance and strength needed to play sports.

She’s also excited about the potential to add new youth sports programs, such as soccer.

“I really think that’s going to have a benefit for the town as the Y progresses, and they get more of those programs in,” Lynnette said.

She and her husband enjoy watching their four grandchildren, including two in Gothenburg and two in Kearney, compete in and enjoy sports of all kinds. Her daughter, Hallie Ganz, works at the Kearney Family YMCA as the group exercise coordinator.

Lynnette also sees the Y as a great place to bring families together and as a tool to retain residents or grow the town as it provides another positive community amenity.

“It gives the town a little bit of edge and the opportunity to have a brand new facility in town that anyone from baby on up will be using,” she said.

She also enjoys the fact that her Y membership locally allows her to exercise at any YMCA around the state or country.

“That’s exciting,” she said. “You are can use the Y facility anywhere.”

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