NYC Social is known for its adult leagues in sports such as basketball and bocce — followed by post-game drinks at the bar. But for its newest initiative, the company is turning its attention to the under-21 set.
Through its foundation Volo City Kids, the company is running free kids sports leagues throughout the country, including New York City.
The leagues are geared toward children ages 6-12 and include a shirt and a meal after play, all at no cost to families.
“The idea is anyone can play,” said Giovanni Marcantoni, CEO of Volo City Kids. “They show up, they get a shirt, they get a really good league, and they get fed after.”
Volo City piloted the concept in Marcantoni’s hometown of Baltimore in 2015. At first, the company was planning to offer paid youth leagues, but Marcantoni saw an opportunity to start a charity and remove financial barriers to youth sports for underserved areas.
“We were able to help a problem where a lot of kids weren’t able to have a quality league,” he said.
Since then, Volo City Kids has been expanding to other cities across the country, including San Francisco, Denver and Washington, D.C. It launched in NYC this summer with soccer at McCarren Park.
For the fall season, which starts in mid-October, soccer and basketball will be offered in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The soccer league, held at Achievement First Endeavor Charter School in Clinton Hill, is already full. Registration for basketball will be going live soon at volocityfoundation.org.
More sports, such as football, will be added in future seasons.
The league relies on volunteer coaches, who if they commit to a season can play on an NYC Social league for free.
“It’s almost like the TOMS shoes of social sports, is the concept we’re going for,” Marcantoni said.
Marcantoni hopes to increase the volunteer base in NYC to offer more sports to more children.
“The goal is to have every middle school kid play for free in these leagues,” he said.
Boutique studios courting kids, too
Studios are increasingly catering to kids, looking to gain devotees while they’re young. Here’s a look at three programs for tween and teen fitness fiends:
Young Recruits at Tone House
The fitness studio brings its athletic training to teens, with a new program on weekday afternoons and weekends at its Upper East Side studio that focuses on cardio and strength training, as well as injury prevention and team building for elite athletes. More info at tonehouse.com/youngrecruits
The Class Teen
Taryn Toomey launched a version of her cathartic strength- and cardio-based workout geared toward ages 12-18 this week, held Tuesday afternoons at her TriBeCa studio. More info at taryntoomey.com
The dance cardio studio AKT in Motion has been offering classes geared toward preteens (ages 9-13) since fall 2014, with 10-week sessions in the fall and spring. More info at aktinmotion.com/aktween