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youth playing different video games inside the Metro Esports gaming lab at the Maplewood Family YMCA

Rochester, NY – The YMCA of Greater Rochester is thrilled to announce a new partnership that is bringing with it the opportunity to serve youth in our community in a new way. With the team at Metro Sports & Entertainment Group, the YMCA is proud to announce the addition of two gaming labs, with the first one opening at the Maplewood Family YMCA.

“We are excited to dive full force into the world of esports and gaming, reaching the youth we currently serve and can be serving in a way we have never before,” said Ernie Lamour, President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Rochester. “At the Y, we are all about supporting growth in mind, body, and spirit, so offering our children and teens a safe place to come and exercise their minds, and be competitive somewhere other than a court, is just the next step for us in that.”

This addition of service is more than just gaming; this programming will help children and teens to learn about the possibilities of careers within the S.T.E.A.M. field. Through egaming, youth can not only develop technical and critical thinking skills and creativity, but expand upon their social development, as well as problem solving and self-confidence.

“Digital gaming is one of the fastest growing entertainment industries nationwide, which is why I’m a proud co-sponsor of the bill to provide Digital Media Production Tax Credits to promote the growth of this industry here in Rochester," said Senator Jeremy Cooney, 56th District. These new E-gaming lounges are a key part of these efforts to create career pathways into digital gaming and I commend the YMCA’s efforts to invest in our youth and allow them to pursue their passions.”

The opportunity to partner with a like-minded organization like the Metro Group allows the YMCA of Greater Rochester to expand upon its already robust programmatic portfolio. The collaboration between the two organizations is also growing the Metro Group’s already established partnerships with YMCAs in the country, through diverse programming, exciting gaming experiences, like Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, Madden, as well as STEM initiatives, summer camps, esports leagues, and more.

"We are excited to amplify our longstanding commitment to community engagement through this dynamic collaboration with the YMCA of Greater Rochester," said Shaon Berry, CEO, Metro Sports & Entertainment Group. “By introducing a mix of esports, Minecraft, Roblox, and STEM programming, we aim to captivate and inspire individuals across the Greater Rochester area.”

The Schottland Family YMCA will be celebrating the opening their gaming lab in the Bruning Exercise Your Mind Studio in July. Both locations will feature esports leagues, camps, themed events, birthday parties, and much more. Additional details and a complete look at programming and opportunities for esports at the YMCA of Greater Rochester can be found here.



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