The Erie Sports Center has announced a new partnership with the Minority Community Investment Coalition (MCIC) to establish a city-wide sport and cultural development program.

The idea is to increase the number of opportunities for city kids to play sports that they may not get to see otherwise and expand opportunities beyond traditional sports, like football and basketball.

The goal is to increase interest in sports that may be popular in other cities besides Erie.

“Engage them in things like volleyball, lacrosse, soccer – those sporting events that they typically don’t play – and try to give them the opportunity to learn those particular sports and see where it goes,” said Shantel Hilliard of MCIC.

The partnership will see the Erie Sports Center providing its expertise, facilities, coaches, curriculums and relationships to each of the centers in order to establish community-based starter programs in nine sports.

MCIC will be providing its expertise, facilities, community relationships and resources to provide opportunities for kids from underserved areas to move up the pathway to travel sports and onto higher opportunities, according to a release.

The program is set to run under the joint banner of “Erie Sports Center/MCIC IMPACT” and will collaborate in the following areas:

  • Sports: Soccer, Lacrosse, Volleyball, Basketball, Wrestling, Softball, Baseball, Football, Pickle Ball
  • Health: Fitness, nutrition, physicals, community training
  • Education: After School programs, summer programs, vocational training, college pathways
  • Facilities: First-class equipment, indoor facilities, outdoor facilities
  • Food – Kitchen/café facilities, training school, job placement, food service

Those sports were chosen because of their popularity in other parts of the country and the impact those sports can have here in Erie as well.

The organizations see these as key areas that will have a positive impact on the community, provide practical outcomes and create opportunities that cater to a broad segment of the community.