Chesterton Tribune



Sports Director Andrew Zimmer is all about the kids in YMCA sports program

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In the year since Andrew Zimmer came to work at the Duneland YMCA as Director of Youth Sports and Aquatics, the sports program has seen steady and consistent growth.

“I’m excited to continue that progress in 2017. We offer so many amazing opportunities for youth to participate in a variety of different sports: Indoor soccer, outdoor soccer, floor hockey, gymnastics, Music in Motion, basketball, T-ball, track and field, cross country, and our list is ever-growing.” Zimmer said.

Zimmer started as a member of the YMCA before becoming an employee and initially just thought of the Y as a place to work out and stay in shape.

“But I soon realized that the Y was so much more than that. The Y is a non-profit organization committed to strengthening the communities they are a part of, and the impact the Y has on so many people is remarkable.”

The Y is also a big part of his family’s life. His wife Amber works for the Portage YMCA and their daughter attends the Duneland YMCA’s Early Learning Academy. “I feel fortunate that my daughter attends such an amazing place with loving and caring people to help her learn and grow. I don’t have to worry when she’s there and that gives me such piece of mind.” His daughter also participates in the Duneland Y gymnastics program and will soon start participating in Youth Sports. “In short, my family enjoys being a part of the YMCA on every level and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”

Zimmer has been an avid basketball player all his life. He says as a youngster his parents signed him up for every sport available. Sometimes willing and sometimes not, but he ultimately enjoyed all of them and looks back with fond memories. The sports craziness didn’t stop once he started high school, where he participated in football, tennis, track and field, cross country and basketball. Eventually he settled on basketball as his primary sport and participated in track as a way to stay active. After high school he attended Wabash College where he studied Political Science and Mathematics and, of course, he played basketball. During his time at Wabash he was a two time MVP of the basketball team, was elected to numerous all conference teams and received regional awards including an All-American designation his senior year. His college career stats are impressive. Zimmer scored 1,374 points, grabbed 596 career rebounds and blocked 118 shots. In fact, he’s one of only three Wabash players to score more than 1,000 points, grab more than 500 rebounds, and block more than 100 shots in the school’s history.

After graduation Zimmer went on to play professionally in Mexico’s top Basketball Division, the Liga Nacional de Balonceto Professional (LNBP) for one year, and then played locally for the Gary Splash Basketball Team for two years. “I’ve been given the opportunity to do so much in regards to basketball and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with others,” Zimmer said. “Personally, sports taught me how to be a team player and think about more than myself. Sports also taught me discipline and hard work, concepts which not only benefited me in school but also in life. I‘m grateful to my parents who encouraged and supported me when I was young. I can say for certain that I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for my involvement in sports.”

At the Y, there’s something special about the Youth Sports Program. It helps kids become better players and better people as well. “We encourage fair play, positive competition, and family involvement. One of the YMCA’s core beliefs is that active and connected families make for active and connected communities,” Zimmer said.

The positive influences that children learn at the Y are instrumental in helping overcome the negative factors that are ever-present in life such as bullying and peer pressure. Zimmer feels sports play a huge part in a youth’s development process that beginning in February he’ll offer basketball training sessions to individuals as well as small and medium sized groups. The goal is to develop and enhance the fitness and basketball skills of participants through specific individualized workouts.

“The Y truly is the starting point for so many to learn about becoming and staying active, and developing healthy habits that can be carried throughout one’s life,” Zimmer said. “It’s my privilege to be a part of an organization that is changing lives. The Y delivers on its’ promise, helping countless kids learn sportsmanship and athletic skills in a safe, friendly environment with lots of support and supervision.”

For more information on Youth Sports or Aquatics, email Andrew at or phone (219) 926-4204.

Register your child online at for upcoming sports segments.

Located at 215 Roosevelt St., Chesterton, the Y is open 7 days a week. For more information about Y membership and other programs or services, stop in, call or visit online at

The Duneland Y, a United Way of Porter County Partner Agency, has been serving the Duneland Communities for more than 50 years, focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.



Posted 2/3/2017






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