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Brick’s ‘Sports Saturdays’ Training Program for Township Youth to Begin Again This Month

Soccer ball. (Photo: BusyBrain/ Flickr)

Soccer ball. (Photo: BusyBrain/ Flickr)

Some friendly training and a chance to get into optimal physical shape is on tap for Brick Township’s youth under a township program that is being revived for another year.

The township’s “Sports Saturdays” program begins March 16, officials announced. Sponsored by the Brick Municipal Alliance Coalition (BMAC), the Sport Saturday program is geared toward township boys and girls ages 9 through 12. The program offers young athletes 90-minute training sessions designed to help them achieve their personal best physically, mentally and emotionally “in both sports and life,” an announcement said.

Sport Saturday sessions are available every Saturday from March 16 through June 15 at the Brick Civic Plaza, 270 Chambers Bridge Road. Sessions are at either 8:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. The program is free for participants. Parents can register their children for one or more sessions. There is a limit of 30 children at each session.

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Each Sport Saturday training session is 90 minutes. Sport Saturday provides enhancement of general fitness levels, sports specific training, and the importance of leadership qualities, problem solving and character development designed to help youth increase self-esteem, awareness and resiliency as substance use prevention strategies.

“This program has been an incredible asset to families throughout Brick,” said Mayor Lisa Crate. “Hundreds of children have participated over the years and each child has come away with the skills that help them both on the field and in life. It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to continue to work with BMAC to bring this program to the youth of Brick Township.”’

Trainers are provided by Mentor Academy of New Jersey and are certified physical education teachers as well as youth sports trainers.

BMAC Chair Andrea Zapcic, who also serves on the township council, said programs like athletic training are important in the effort to keep youth healthy, safe and drug-free.

“The drive towards more professionalism in youth sports has caused an increase in over-use related orthopedic injuries in children ages 12 and up, for which an opioid pain reliever may be prescribed,” Zapcic explained. “Studies show youth exposed to prescribed opioids before high school graduation have a 33 percent increased risk of using opioids recreationally in the years after graduation, including those with a previous unfavorable attitude toward drug use.”

Sport Saturday is funded through the BMAC grant provided by the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA).

Register for Sport Saturday in the Recreation Office, 270 Chambers Bridge Road, Monday through Friday, 7:30am – 4pm or online at Call 732-262-1053 for more information.

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