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Todd Johnson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northland, watched club members working on desktop computers at the grand opening of the Esports & Gaming Lounge for teens today. Howie /

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland opened its Esports & Gaming Lounge for teens at Lincoln Park Club on Wednesday afternoon.

The Esports program is designed to engage members in competitive gaming while emphasizing healthy physical and mental practices. Centered around the concept of “Playing with Purpose,” participants will support their club team, compete in popular games like Fortnite, Rocket League, and other approved games, and learn techniques for a positive player experience.

The program aims to establish team-building and communication skills, enhance in-game abilities, and provide insights into the lesser-known side of the gaming community. Participants will gain an understanding of what goes on behind the scenes, the requirements for competitive game play, and the fundamentals of fostering a positive Esports community.

The new Esports program is made possible due to support from the Charles Schwab Foundation, Taco Bell Foundation, Pachel Foundation and a 10-member group from Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Duluth Program.

Since 1971, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland has been at the forefront of youth development in Duluth and the surrounding area. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs is to empower and inspire all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as caring, productive, responsible citizens. In 2023, the clubs served over 97,000 healthy meals and snacks, provided over 2,500 hours of tutoring and reached over 4,000 youth through memberships and community outreach programs.

Leadership Duluth members.