YMCA of Greater Brandywine Piloting Esports Program for Youth and Teens

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WEST CHESTER, PA — The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) is launching a new Esports program for students in middle and high school in collaboration with the National YMCA Esports program, providing a virtual sports experience for youth and teens that promotes leadership and personal growth.

The new eight-week program is currently registering youth and teens in 5th – 12th grade. The program begins on April 5, 2021.

As a part of the program, participants will practice virtually with teammates from across the region in three game selections, Rocket League, NBA 2K21 or Super Smash Bros. Teams will meet two times a week with one hour for practice and one hour for play.

Each practice will be led by a trained coach who will support participants in a wide variety of areas, including positive competition, team-building activities and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

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Jim Paro, Senior Vice President at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, is spearheading the Esports pilot. “Esports is one of the fastest growing trends for youth engagement and this program is an excellent means to teach young people teamwork, sportsmanship and online safety. We’re thrilled to be piloting the program and look forward to expanding it in the coming months.”

YGBW’s Seventh-Grade Initiative
The YMCA is committed to serving teens, especially because as kids face adolescence, they are more likely to begin distancing themselves from formal organizations, friends and family and to experiment with unhealthy behaviors.

COVID has added an additional layer of complication for these formative years. To help support teens, YGBW offers a complimentary YMCA membership for seventh-grade students providing them with a safe space where they can make friends, discover their passions and cultivate a healthy lifestyle. Learn more at ymcagbw.org/7th-grade-initiative.

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Any youth with a YGBW membership, including those who are enrolled through our seventh-grade initiative, are eligible for discounted pricing when they enroll in our esports program.

Esports is a growing national program with more than 125 higher education institutions developing varsity collegiate Esports programs over the last five years.

For more information, or to register, visit ymcagbw.org/esports.

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