Get to know the Bettie Allard YMCA team.
Read our articles below.
We're pleased to introduce you to Kelvin Cardoso, Aquatics Supervisor at the Bettie Allard YMCA. Kelvin has enjoyed helping people keep active in sport and improve their fitness in a variety of positions around the world, and is eager to now do the same in our brand-new pool. Get to know Kelvin a bit better below:
What personal journey and/or career path has led you to this position with the YMCA?
I was a professional soccer player in Brazil, and I am passionate about movement. I studied to obtain a degree in physiotherapy to be able to help people achieve their fitness goals and live a healthier life.
What will your duties be at the Bettie Allard YMCA's Aquatics Supervisor?
Helping my team and all the members to feel welcome and happy working, training or socializing at the Bettie Allard YMCA. My priority as a Supervisor is to guide my staff to be the best human beings they can while delivering a great experience for members and facility visitors.
What previous experience, if any, did you have with the YMCA prior to taking this role?
I worked as a swimming instructor and team lead at YMCA Brisbane in Australia. I've also spent time as a youth soccer coach in both Australia and Canada.
What do you enjoy about helping people achieve their fitness goals?
That is my goal everywhere I go. It's important to provide the best experience a member can have first and foremost, and secondly, helping them to achieve their goals and have a healthier life.
How would you describe your excitement level to begin seeing community members enjoy the the pool at the new facility come the new year?
The facility and the community are awesome and I can't wait to begin seeing swimmers join us at Bettie Allard YMCA! I love the place and I am super excited to start.
What is an interesting fact about yourself that you'd care to share?
I played soccer in Brazil against Neymar Jr., who is considered one of the best players in the world. That was a remarkable situation in my life that I am super proud of.
Special Pre-opening Offer:
Join in 2022 and you'll...
- Receive priority pick for swim lessons
- Pay no joiner fee
- Secure your 2022 rate until the end of 2023
Book a tour at the Bettie Allard YMCA and don't miss out on this special pre-opening offer. Learn more at BettieAllardYMCA.ca.
It didn’t take long for Lynne Pringle to go from being a regular participant in yoga classes offered by the YMCA to leading the sessions herself as a fitness volunteer – a role she’s now been serving for more than 15 years and encourages others to take on as well.
Lynne first became a Tong Louie Family YMCA member in 2004 and quickly “got hooked” on the yoga sessions at the Surrey facility. By 2006, she was among Tong Louie’s enthusiastic team of volunteer fitness instructors and has been teaching at least one class per week ever since.
“It’s become quite important to me. I took early retirement and having worked for years and years, I wanted to do something else,” said Lynne, a former flight attendant. “I’d always done yoga and never considered teaching it, but they had such an amazing program for training instructors.
“You don’t have to be an expert to start.”
With Bettie Allard YMCA’s doors set to open in Coquitlam in a matter of weeks, the Y is seeking individuals interested in joining us as fitness volunteers like Lynne to help members achieve their fitness goals. Past experience leading classes is great but not required, as the YMCA hosts courses to gain the necessary certifications for group fitness.
Lynne said it’s rewarding for her to hear participants in her classes detail how her sessions have helped them get into better shape.
“They share it with you, tell you that they’re feeling better, enjoy the class and want to keep coming back,” she said.
The personal satisfaction of helping others improve their wellness has kept Lynne committed to the role and she encourages participants who show interest to volunteer their time as she has. Volunteers receive an access pass to utilize facilities for their own health and fitness, but for Lynne, the greatest benefit she’s realized from becoming a yoga instructor is being part of the YMCA’s incredible community of people.
“It’s the relationships you form,” she said. “It’s the camaraderie as well between the volunteers, the staff and everyone. It’s just a nice place to go and a great social experience. Exercising is just the cherry on the top, really.”
Are you interested in becoming a Bettie Allard YMCA fitness volunteer or want to learn more? Fill out our short questionnaire to express your interest and tell us a bit about yourself!
Bianca Schiavone is our Fitness Supervisor at Bettie Allard YMCA, set to help members achieve desired results in their health and wellness once the facility’s doors are open. Although she’s new to the role, Bianca is making a return to the Y’s staff team and we’re thrilled to have her back! Read on to learn more about Bianca's extensive experience in the fitness world.
What personal journey or career path has led you to this position with the YMCA?
I was inspired to get into the fitness industry after seeing the impacts of health concerns that ran in my family such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and depression. I wanted to help my family and others feel healthy inside and out. I started as an aerobics instructor and went on to spend nine years running my own personal-training and bootcamp business, plus teaching a variety of classes at gyms as a contractor.
Prior to the pandemic, I served as Fitness Supervisor at Tong Louie Family YMCA in Surrey before taking a maternity leave and stepping away for a bit. I learned so much the years I was at Tong Louie and I cannot wait to bring all I am and know to our new facility!
What do you enjoy about helping people reach their fitness goals?
I love seeing their smiles, knowing that I’ve made their day brighter and brought them that much closer to their goals, whether they be physical or mental. It is all about their health and happiness for me.
How would you describe your excitement level for the Bettie Allard YMCA to begin welcoming members of the community through its doors?
When I started my previous role with the YMCA six years ago, it was with the hope of being part of the Coquitlam location when it opened, so this has been a long time coming! The YMCA has remained a big part of my life over the last several years, even when I wasn’t working at the Y. I love what the Y is about and everything it does to support our community.
What role do you hope the facility will serve in the community?
Having worked in Coquitlam for the last few years, I feel the Bettie Allard YMCA will play a big role in the Tri-Cities because it is a huge community with needs that the Y can help to address.
We will provide programs and opportunities for families and seniors to thrive in our community. I know families and seniors struggle to find space in classes for themselves and their children, but now they will have much more available to them through our Y. I never had the chance as a child to grow up near a YMCA, but now my children will get this chance. That’s exciting!
Much like the YMCA itself, Bettie Allard was committed and passionate about youth, education, physical activity and building healthy communities, making her a tremendous fit as the namesake for our centre of community in Coquitlam.
Bettie was the late mother of YMCA supporter Peter A. Allard, whose transformational donation to the What Really Matters Now capital campaign helped make this state-of-the-art facility possible.
Bettie was born in Edmonton in 1915. She was very active in sports as a young woman and enjoyed outdoor adventures with her canoe and many friends. Bettie was decades ahead of her time with her concern for a sustainable environment. She dedicated many hours each week to volunteer work throughout her life including the Brock House, Vancouver Planetarium and Vancouver Aquarium.
Bettie raised Peter and his three siblings as a single mother in Vancouver in the 1950s. As her children grew older, she chose to further her education by attending the University of British Columbia, graduating with a major in Librarianship. She spent many years teaching at Rosser and Confederation Park elementary schools, not far from where the YMCA that bears her name is located.
Bettie greatly enjoyed her later years prior to her 2004 passing and was happiest doing what she loved most; cooking, traveling, volunteering and spending time with her family, friends and grandchildren.
The naming of this centre of community is a historic first for YMCAs in Canada, as it will be the first facility of its kind in the country to be named solely after a woman.
Sadly, Peter passed away earlier this year, and though he unfortunately never had the chance to see the building named for his mother at its completion, he expressed his excitement for her to be memorialized in such a manner when Bettie was introduced as the facility’s namesake in 2021.
"Our family is honoured by this recognition and I am particularly pleased that my mother’s name will be associated with a centre that will act as a social hub, bringing people together and helping them reach their potential,” he said. “The Y’s sustainable charity model will enable the Bettie Allard YMCA to consistently deliver vital services to the community for current and future generations.”
We are thrilled to introduce you to Vlade Golubovic, Centre Manager for the Bettie Allard YMCA! Vlade officially joined our team last month and describes his excitement level as “off the charts” to soon begin welcoming visitors to the facility.
Get to know Vlade a bit better by reading our recent Q&A with him below.
What personal journey led you to this role with the YMCA?
I moved to Canada when I was 14 with my family from the former Yugoslavia. I finished school in 2004, and as I was a part-time scuba instructor while attending university, I decided that before I got a “real job” I would get some experience diving in the Caribbean. That led to a series of jobs in that region over 16 years that kept me learning and engaged – dive instructor, leading tours, driving parasail boats, managing watersports operations and more.
I returned to Canada in 2020 looking to get into the fitness industry and most recently had been managing a gym here in Coquitlam. I honestly thought that was my dream job, but culturally, it wasn’t what I wanted. Then this job came up. It’s only been a month, but I’m already pinching myself because it’s with an organization that aligns to my values and what’s near and dear to my heart.
Why are the YMCA’s values so important to you?
It’s because the YMCA is there to help people, treat them with respect and, in essence, build them up. The Y is more than just “gym and swim” -- it’s about community. I come from a place where people are very close together, where family and community are very important. I feel like people are getting so detached now with technology creating these invisible barriers between us. But when I first arrived here as an immigrant at 14, the weight room at my community centre was the first place I made friends.
The YMCA is such a beautiful place for people to come thinking, “I’m just going to work on my squats,” but leave with a whole new group of friends, with a new interest, increased self-confidence and an expanded idea of who they can be.
What role do you hope this YMCA facility will serve in the Tri-Cities?
I hope it helps to bring people out of isolation and be a place where the community comes together. You can go and work out at many other gyms, but the energy at the Y is just different than it is anywhere else. The difference I hope to show people is that fitness -- as important as it is -- is one aspect of being a whole and complete person. Making connections with others, involvement in the community and trying to not just better yourself but others in the interactions you have with people on a daily basis is what I’m trying to make the hallmark of our facility.
Interested in joining our Bettie Allard YMCA staff team? Click the button below: