Now in its second year, the Carlos Carnival will take place on 16th March in memory of Brazilian YMCAfit Tutor and Trainer, the late Carlos Mendonca, who worked at the YMCA Club for over 20 years. Such was his passion for ‘exercise to music’, the ‘Carlos Mendonca Exercise to Music Bursary’ was set up to give Gym Instructors the opportunity to achieve their Level 2 qualification in Group Exercise to Music. £1,000 was raised at last year’s carnival to fund this bursary.
Trisha White: “Carlos was truly loved”
Carlos was best remembered for his hi/lo aerobics, step and Brazillian Samba. Personal Trainer and YMCAfit Tutor, Trisha White – who has also worked for the YMCA Club for over 20 years - knew Carlos very well. Trisha considered him as her close friend, brother, confidant and coach. Sadly, Carlos passed away from liver cancer on 17th March 2017 and is sadly missed by all who knew him. Trisha explains why his legacy lives on…
“I first met Carlos on my first day as a receptionist - we were introduced, he made me laugh and a long friendship began! Carlos loved being with people from different backgrounds and ages – he made members smile and enjoy exercise. His classes were constantly full. He was truly loved.
The YMCA Club was his passion. He worked with the health and fitness team delivering aerobics, step or any class with music – I can remember one of his finale tracks in his step class was ‘Believe’ by Cher! He was always on duty – helping out on reception, covering the gym floor or filling in for a class if a teacher was unavailable.”
“Carlos believed in me”
“Carlos didn't stop there - he suggested I participate in an Exercise to Music course. I was very reluctant as I felt I didn't have the skills to teach it, but Carlos kept nagging me. He believed in me, which boosted my confidence. He supported and coached me during my studies to become a Personal Trainer and again throughout my next challenge when I worked towards becoming a tutor and assessor – a whole new pathway for my future! That was his gift to me. I will always remember Carlos for his laughter, cheeky jokes, energy and passion for the fitness industry. He was, and still is, an inspiration to us all.”
James Simpkin: “I wish I could say thank-you to Carlos”
YMCA Club’s Healthy Living Coordinator, James Simpkin, works with many of the YMCA Club’s older members. James has benefited from Carlos’ bursary and will soon complete his Level 2 in Group Exercise to Music. James is very grateful for the opportunity:
“If Carlos was alive today, I would like to thank him. He was renowned for Exercise to Music. To undertake this course and do a fraction of what he did to inspire people to exercise is amazing. What an inspirational figure! It’s great that someone like me can benefit from his legacy.”
Learning a new skill
“The Exercise to Music course is not easy. It takes a lot of concentration. It makes you appreciate what teachers do in these classes. They teach you aerobics, which has different aspects of muscular strength and endurance, but you’re doing it to the beat of the music. Each movement should flow into the next one. You’re trying to keep the rhythm of the class going – you’re doing choreographed exercise. It’s all planned. There’s different intensities, but you have to be in time with the music and keep everyone engaged and excited.
I’m learning a new skill which will bring me closer to the older adult members who I really enjoy working with. They have requested more exercise to music classes, so they’ll be more interaction between us, which is good. When I qualify, I’ll be able to teach these classes to both older adults and general members. This course has made me believe that I can do it and I’ve seen my progression. I’m grateful to have this opportunity from Carlos.”
About Carlos Carnival
When? Saturday 16th March from midday to 4pm
What? Carlos Carnival is a fusion of exercise to music classes ‘Brazilian style’ including old school aerobics, cardio kick, aero-dance, step, zumba, dance cardio and Brazilian Samba finale.
Where? YMCA Club Main Sports Hall
Who? All members and non-members welcome. Non-members, please email Terri Siabi if you wish to attend
Dress code? Please wear something yellow which was Carlos’ favourite colour. Our limited tee-shirts are £10 each should you wish to buy one - please email your size to Terri Siabi to avoid disappointment.
How much? All donations welcome - all money raised will go towards the next Exercise to Music Bursary in honour of Carlos.