Rarin’ to go: New staff members boost Y’s fitness instructor ranks


A four-fold boost to the Greater Marco Family YMCA’s energetic staff has come just as the busy season kicks off.

Marsha Pirie is the new group fitness instructor; Hannah Heidenreich is the aquatics director and chronic disease specialist; Lee Pinkham is the sports and wellness director, and Saurab Prabhakar takes on the role of marketing specialist adding to his current role of healthy living Specialist.

Pirie, Heidenreich and Prabhakar have strong previous ties to the Marco Y, while Pinkham – who hails from North Carolina – is a new face with new ideas.

A priority for Prabhakar in his marketing role is adding to the Y’s Internet and social media presence.

“This position is amazing because I’m always on my toes and bouncing new ideas off the team” Prabhakar said. “I’ll be working with the website, the app and social media. Now that the new building is on the way up and new staff is settling in, we’re all striving for our best.”

Lee Pinkham, Hannah Heidenreich, Saurab Prabhakar and Marsha Pirie are recent additions to the Y staff. Each of them offers fitness programs that complement the Y’s healthy living philosophy.

Prabhakar majored in marketing and statistics at UCF in Orlando, where he also worked at the campus’ recreation and wellness center, teaching classes such as Zumba and Spinning. He’s been doing the same at the Y on and off since 2014. Saurab has group-ride Monday’s at 9-9:55 a.m. and Tuesday’s at 8-8:55 a.m., Zumba every other Wednesday night at 6-6:55 p.m. and Pulse Pointe Barre Friday’s at 10:15-11 a.m.

Marsha Pirie is a long-time fitness instructor who splits time between Connecticut and here. She joined the team after taking a fusion class at the Y in August, later connecting with healthy living and membership director Deborah Passero and joining the team.

“I’ll be doing Pilates (strength-based, core training) for all levels,” Pirie said. “Pilates also teaches good breathing.”

Her classes at the moment are Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8 to 8:45 a.m.

While studying at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Hannah Heidenreich decided to major in public health.

That has manifested itself with her new job at the Y, where she conducts aqua classes in the pool, focuses on Chronic Diseases such as, Parkinson’s Disease, Arthritis, Alzheimer's Disease, Cardiac Rehab and Cancer.

Her aqua class is called H2O Cardio. Hannah stated “It’s high intensity, but in the water, so it’s great for joints and mobility. Water has 12 times more resistance than air, so movement in the water helps tone and strengthen muscles and can help improve balance and coordination for people with arthritis. The AEA recommends submerging the joints you’re working to reduce the stress caused by gravity.”

H2O Cardio classes are on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 to 10:30 am, and Wednesday from 9 to 10am. She also conducts the popular Rock Steady Boxing program for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Lee Pinkham, who graduated with a B.S. in exercise science and nutrition, also has dual roles that have the common goal – and Y mission – of healthy living.

As sports and wellness director, he is rekindling volleyball drop in leagues (Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.), and also basketball (Mondays 6:30 to 8 p.m.) $5 drop-ins for both sports.

Little Tikes sports are also part of Pinkham’s mix, with tennis in the spotlight this month.

Personal trainer as well, Pinkham says his passion in this regard is “functional fitness for all ages, and posture and corrective exercising.”

For more information on these highlighted programs, as well as the wide variety of other activities and programs for youth and adults, visit marcoymca.org. There’s also a handy app available greatermarcofamilyYMCA free at the app store.