Bruce Slemin has been a member of the YMCA for over 65 years. He first joined the Y in the late 1950s. As a teenager, he joined for the youth social programs, recreation, and swimming. After completing the Star Swim and lifesaving programs, he went on to volunteer his time as a swim instructor.
As a young adult, his schooling took him away from Saint John. But when Bruce returned to the city for work, he was happy to rejoin his Y family, taking up new activities such as yoga — which wasn’t mainstream yet in the ‘70s.
“I always admired the volunteers and staff I met and interacted with,” said Bruce.
When it came time for him to retire, Bruce found himself quite shocked by the change of pace he experienced. As an entrepreneur, he had grown accustomed to having a hectic schedule and, upon speaking with a business associate, he was encouraged to find a way to reinvent himself.
“My neighbor suggested volunteering,” said Bruce. “I was familiar with the Y, so I looked into the many opportunities it had to keep me busy”.
Unsure of whether he could get involved in the fitness world, Bruce asked a fellow Y supporter, Howie Robertson, for some advice, to which Howie responded, “It’s mostly attitude.”
Bruce continues to volunteer at the YMCA of Greater Saint John. He even holds the 2019 record for volunteer time with a total of 266 hours. A very valuable member of the fitness volunteer team, he acts as a Fitness Ambassador, a Personal Trainer, completes Senior Orientations and instructs five different Group Fitness classes.
“My experience at the Y has been with people that are very accepting and very encouraging. I can’t recommend it enough.” – Bruce Slemin