Esports image of a controller


The West Cook YMCA is launching a new summer program, Esports, for 4th-8th graders. A competitive sport through a video game requiring the use of strategy, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills to achieve individual or team success. It’s bigger than ‘just gaming’. Esports allows youth to be engaged in a non-traditional sports program.


YMCA Esports welcomes youth to be who they are, excel at what they love, and develop the social, strategic, and problem-solving skills necessary to grow into thriving adults all in a safe, moderated, and inclusive environment. The West Cook YMCA wants you to Level up your game and join Esports at the Y this summer hosted on the Dominican University Campus.

Logos for Esports Games



>HP Omen Gaming Desktop

>Nintendo Switch



>June 24-August 16

>Play for 4 or 8 weeks



>4th-5th grades play Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 am to 11:00 am

>6th-8th grade play Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 9:00 am to 11:00 am



4th-5th grades

>$180 for 4 weeks

>$360 for 8 weeks


6th-8th grades

>$250 for 4 weeks

>$480 for 8 weeks



>In person, no virtual option

>Parmer 003, Dominican University, 7900 Division St, River Forest, IL 60305



>[email protected]



In our work with youth, teens, and families we listen and respond. The Y has been a leader in developing and implementing Youth Sports programs over the years that facilitate the learning of teamwork, health and wellness habits and self-discipline. With the addition and option of Esports, these opportunities continue, along with additional benefits:

  • Improved hand-eye coordination

  • Improved attention & visual acuity

  • Improved basic visual processing and executive function

  • Problem solving & strategy skill development

  • Boosts self-confidence and player socialization

  • 71% of parents report gaming having net positive effects for children

  • 54% of gamers say gaming helps them connect with friends

  • As of 2021, approximately 200 universities have offered some kind of varsity Esports program and have spent nearly $15 million on related scholarship programs for top-tier video gamers.

  • More than thirty U.S. colleges and universities offer scholarships for gamers

Icons for teamwork, leadership, online safety, individual growth, and equity focus


TEAMWORK: Games often involve working together on a team to complete a task, goal or objective. Players must be able to differentiate when to take the lead and when to follow for the overall good of the group.


LEADERSHIP: Teams are successful when there is a leader offering guidance and delegating tasks. Leaders can shift from minute to minute in fast-paced games, and players should be ready to take on the challenge.


ONLINE SAFETY: Games are moderated by an adult at all times in a safe and inclusive environment. All identities will be known of everyone who is playing together, eliminating the “stranger danger” that is often seen in online communities.


INDIVIDUAL GROWTH: Of course, playing on a team develops social skills, working in a group and more, but not every game will be a team cooperative. At times, players will need to rely on their own skills, which helps boost confidence. There is multitude of opportunity for youth to grow and thrive.


EQUITY FOCUS: All players can come to the table with the same set of skills and opportunity. Playing behind the screen eliminates bias and any preconceived notions players may have for or against one another. Instead, we promote a positive, inclusive environment where everyone can succeed.


Our curriculum supports students with a wide variety of roles, expands their skills, and helps them to gain real-life experience for future career aspirations within Esports, or outside of it. The class is a great chance for your child to connect with like-minded kids, with similar interests, while still following their passion, and staying on a steady path towards growth. Participants will learn strong character values in an educational environment supported by the Esports ecosystem.


The Esports ecosystem serves as a framework to better understand the workforce opportunities within Esports. This means that when we talk about engaging all students, we really mean ALL students. The program will set up kids for success when looking to join high school or collegiate Esports programs later on in their academic career.

Esports Ecosystem