LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges 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 is safe and promotes leadership and personal growth.

The Y is looking for players who are willing and able to participate in an 8-week program beginning on April 5, as well as volunteer coaches.

Throughout the program, participants will practice with teammates from across the Metro Y as well as compete against other YMCA Esports teams. Currently, the games selections are Rocket League, NBA 2K or Smash Bros. Each age group will play two nights a week for an hour each time.

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 While in the program, participants and coaches will adhere to the North America Scholastic Esports Federation curriculum and will engage in weekly game practice sessions. Games are vetted, supervised, and monitored by staff and only registered Y users are able to participate. 

Jason Kelly, senior director of Youth Sports and Wellness at the South Mountain YMCA is spearheading the Esports launch at the Metro YMCAs. “Esports is one of the fastest growing trends for youth engagement, and this program is another way we can empower young people while teaching valuable skills like teamwork, sportsmanship, and online safety,” Kelly said. “I’m excited the Y is able to offer a safe platform for kids to connect with one another in our communities.”

For more information and to register, visit metroymcas.org/esports.

ABOUT THE Y

Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.