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Area YMCA launches Esports program

WAFF's Jasmyn Cornell reporting
Published: Feb. 19, 2022 at 4:08 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Listen up gamers! The Heart of the Valley YMCA is launching Esports on Saturday for kids and families in Madison County.

Esports Coordinator Hunter Johnson says they are excited to set these leagues up for local kids. According to the YMCA, the Esports program offers several benefits and promotes teamwork, leadership, and online safety.

“Esports are a really great program for us because not only do they develop social, strategic, and problem-solving skills but it’s a safe, moderated, and inclusive environment that the Y offers,” said Jennifer Dykes, the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Heart of the Valley YMCA.

The first game being offered is Rocket League. Released in 2015, Rocket League is a vehicular soccer video game. Starting Saturday, children ages eight through 12 can get in on the fun.

As the program grows, Madden, Fortnite, NBA2K, and other games will be added. The YMCA says they will also expand the program to include middle and high school students.

“Gaming is not going anywhere. The only thing that we can do at this point is promote healthy gaming habits to children and everyone at large,” said Johnson.

According to the YMCA, you don’t have to be a member to sign up. Right now, all players must play in the comfort of their own home and supply their own equipment.

The YMCA says it is looking for sponsors for this project and hoping to have a physical space for the gamers soon.

Those who are interested can visit YMCAhuntsville.org to register for the program.

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