Jessica Tribble was born in Hammond and raised in Gary Calumet Township. She and her husband moved to Portage with her three kids about two years ago and in addition to teaching cheerleading and gymnastics at the Portage YMCA, she has just taken on the role as Sports Coordinator for the Y.
Tribble has been teaching cheerleading and gymnastics for about eight months now, and is now taking on the role of creating and organizing more sports for the youth in the community. The position for Sports Coordinator is pretty new at the Portage YMCA, and Tribble has been in the position for a bit over a month now working to create opportunities for the youth in the local area to become more active.
Her usual day at the YMCA is spent running all over the place teaching classes, and working on creating new classes.
“I’m literally doing a little bit of everything all day long,” she said. “Just trying to come up with new ideas, and get everybody involved.”
As the Sports Coordinator, the thing she loves most about the job was spending time with the kids. “There are some kids that come in that won’t even speak to you, but by the end of the program they are talking and playing with other kids,” she said. “It’s better for them than playing video games all day.”
Tribble fell in love with the job from her second session of teaching cheerleading.
“There was a girl that came in, and after every single thing, every single motion that was taught, she would exclaim, “That was awesome! That was amazing!’” She ended up joining gymnastics and now t-ball also, and that was really inspiring!”
Right now, the Y has t-ball practice and in the summer, the program Sports in Motion will start for 2 and 3-year-olds. The program lets the little ones enjoy sports, while socializing and playing with the older kids. In the fall, soccer and flag football.
A new youth volley ball clinic will be one of the new sports that Tribble is adding to the YMCA. The youth sports program is currently ranging from 2-years-old to 15. She is trying to get more adults involved with the Y too.
“I got involved with the Y because all of my kids went to preschool there. The sports all started to disappear, and I was like, ‘Man I don’t have anywhere to sign my kids up really,’” she said. “There was a lady who came in saying that she wanted to go somewhere else because the Y didn’t really offer anything for the kids anymore, and I didn’t want our community to lose those people.”
Her goal is to expand programs to involve the other local YMCAs, but that would require more help from and more volunteers to coach sports and programs.
“I would never be able to do it without the help of volunteers. We always need volunteers, and they don’t need to be basketball stars to coach basketball. I will provide them with everything they need.”
While she is at work, her three kids are at the Y too. Her oldest one is in the Y sports and loves that her team is, “Always outside, even in the rain!”
The reason the Tribble chose to stay in Northwest Indiana, and raise a family is because of the love they have for the location and the people.
“Everything is close and convenient. I love my neighborhood, and my neighbors!”
If you ask anyone for help their always helpful,” whether at the store, the schools, and of course, at the Portage YMCA.