City of Green adds esports to its parks and recreation programs

GREEN – When the deadly COVID-19 pandemic rocked northeast Ohio, several cities and schools began considering virtual programs to keep young people busy while reaching out to families in a variety of ways to try to help them. protect.

The latest program to begin sweeping the country has achieved city leadership in the form of esports for anyone 8 or older.

The city’s parks and recreation division has chosen to partner with GGLeagues to provide year-round opportunities for players to develop skills that can help them throughout their lives.

Esports can be played on the computer, Xbox, PlayStation 5, or Nintendo Switch.

“The main reason we add esports to our recreational options is to provide a program for any age group from [age 8 through adult] and those who can socialize differently,” said Zack Kaufman, parks division recreation programmer. “We try to offer programs for all ages, but we have a hard time reaching them. Esports is one of the fastest growing recreational pastimes. Kaufman added.

Registration is available on Green’s website: The cost is $40 per season per player and four seasons are available – spring, summer, fall and winter, according to Greg Boehm, GGLeague’s partner success manager. The player chooses which leagues to join, and league champions earn prizes and a chance to go to national championships.

Valerie Wolford, the city’s communications manager, said there is no limit to the number of registrations. Green had six registrants in the first few days alone the program was available on the city’s website.

Kaufman said the city communicated its intentions to local green school officials before proceeding with a partnership with GGLeagues.

Asked how the program improves players’ minds and skills, manager Boehm said: “Our leagues provide an elevated experience for players by being a great place to make new friends interested in similar sports and improve skills by competing with others of the player’s age.

“This year we’ve expanded our educational content and resources and recently formed educational partnerships with groups such as The Coalition of Parents in Esports, Healthy Gamer and the *gameHERs.”

“We try to provide not only the most fun gaming experience, but also an incredibly comprehensive gaming experience for our players.

Boehm said other area communities with GGLeagues partnerships include Akron, Barberton, Bedford, Chardon, Cleveland, Hudson, Macedonia, North Ridgeville, Orange, Streetsboro, Tallmadge and Willoughby.

He added that league winners receive a GGLeagues champion t-shirt, medal and Amazon gift card.

Meredith Zaffrann, Hudson’s Community Education & Recreation Project Manager, commented, “Absolutely, we have been pleased with the program. They [GGLeagues] have been a great program to work with and they really make it easy to partner with them. We hope to turn the program into a Hudson team that could represent the community.

Zaffrann added, “We were looking at an esports lab like the University of Akron and Ohio State University, but it’s a good first step to see if there’s an appetite for it in the community.”

The HCER Project provides services to the entire community, so even private school students can sign up to participate by going to the Hudson website:, then by clicking the box to the right and clicking register here for programs.

City of Streetsboro Recreation Programmer Craig Barger said the city has just entered into the partnership and will begin playing in GGLeagues spring sports followed by summer and fall sports.

“We wanted to offer the program to young people aged 8 and over and adults who would all play in their own age group.

“The great thing is that GGLeagues offers different webinars and websites for parents on how esports benefits gamers by learning skills they can use throughout life.”

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