The City of Hartford partnered with Active City and is encouraging families to sign up for the free spring sports program.
"We’ve been through an incredibly difficult year. It’s been hard on everybody, but especially on our young people" said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. "So this is an important chance to get kids back together, but also get kids active again...Enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the sunshine, reconnect with friends, but also coaches built new friendships."
The program is available for Hartford residents ages 5 through 14 and offers free soccer, baseball, basketball, football, and track and field running until early June, but Bronin said it’s more than just about sports, but rather healing and moving forward.
There are a multitude of practices throughout the week on Saturdays and also Tuesdays and Thursdays for some sports. Families are already taking advantage of the opportunity. "More than 900 kids have signed up and have participated, but we still got a few hundred spots left," Bronin said.
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NBC Connecticut spoke with two fathers who have children on the field and they said after a year like the one we’ve all been through, this is exactly what the kids need. "I’m so happy for this program" said Jay McGill. "The kids being outdoors, it’s just so exciting that they can at least hang out with their friends and play sports."
Hartford native Joao Rodriguez grew up participating in the spring program as a child and is now bringing his two daughters. "They are giving back and that’s priceless, he really just can’t put a price on it" said Rodriguez. "That environment is important to them, mentally to be stabled and to be around kids, communicating with them, interacting with them and sharing things with them, experiences it’s all important to the kids this is really awesome."
To learn more or to sign up for the program, click here.