The sounds of hockey sticks banging on the gym floor to the rhythm of “We Will Rock You” reverberated throughout the Club. There was no mistaking what program was taking place one summer afternoon at the True Value Club.

Through a partnership with the Chicago Blackhawks, 14 of our Clubs participated in a floor hockey clinic this summer led by instructors from the Blackhawks, who also provided the equipment such as sticks, jerseys, and nets. 

"We strive to provide different opportunities for our kids and floor hockey is certainly one that expands their exposure to possible passions,” BGCC VP of Youth Development Angel Rivera said. “We are grateful to the Blackhawks for providing the expertise to get this program off the ground.” 

The partnership with the Blackhawks was just one of many unique sports opportunities Club members got to experience this summer.  

Nike teamed up with six Clubs to host girls-only basketball clinics with seasoned coaches running skills sessions and drills in BGCC’s gyms. In conjunction with the WNBA All-Star Game in Chicago, the goal was to expose more girls to basketball. 

“We’ve found that when we can provide a safe space for girls to explore and learn more about sports, their interest and engagement increases,” Rivera said. “Clinics like the Nike ones from this summer show our members we are dedicated to providing them the best experience possible to learn new things.” 

The Chill Foundation helped get members out of the Club and into the water with three weeks of paddleboarding sessions in Lake Michigan. And you can’t have a summer without baseball; BGCC teamed up with Chicago Baseball and Educational Academy for a clinic at UIC’s baseball stadium with college athletes teaching the kids basic skills. 

Additionally, our Clubs expanded water safety for all Club members. Clubs with pools opened their doors to other members without a pool at their Club so they could enjoy the joys of swimming throughout the summer. 

“One of our main missions is to ensure each child at BGCC access to pools and water safety, and we have gotten one step closer to that goal this summer,” Rivera said. 

And it wasn’t just playing sports, but also watching them, too. The Chicago Cubs, Chicago Sky and Chicago White Sox all donated tickets so Club members could visit their stadiums and watch some of the best athletes in the city. 

Thank you to everyone who helped make this summer special for our Summer Camp members! 

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