Pastime Athletic Club in Syracuse votes to accept women as members for first time in 122 years
Wed, 22 Jan 2014 22:31:52 GMT —
Pastime Athletic Club started in 1892 as a private club for athletes on Syracuse's north side. Women could come in to the North Salina Street building as guests but for 122 years, the workout facilities were for guys only.
"It was a place for young athletes to come and develop their skills, reach their fullest potential, have coaches, if they wanted to make the varsity team, if they wanted to make the college team," said current Pastime Athletic Club president Ted Ackerman.
Times have changed - the club had two thousand members in 1992 but membership has dropped significantly. In order to remain viable, America's third oldest men's athletic club had to make a change.
"In the past, they had their own way of doing things. Took a little while to get it caught up but now we want to include everybody," said Ackerman.
The club's board voted Tuesday night to allow women as members.
There were a couple 'no' votes but those guys are from another era. I can't blame them but we're ready to move forward," said Ackerman
Sarah Pelligrini will be one of the first women members. She's proud to be helping bring the legendary north side community gathering spot into a new era.
"It's always nice to take something old and that has been loved and taken care of for a long time and make it better - and I think that's what you're going to see here," said Pelligrini.
Right now the only way to access the fitness area is through the men's locker room. Ackerman says the club is deciding how to best update fitness area and make facilities more accommodating. Right now, first year women's memberships will be $75 instead of the $150 price for men.
The Pastime Athletic Club is a non profit and Ackerman says allowing women members will allow the club to increase scholarships awarded to local athletes.