Photos Andy Calvert
Harbin Clinic and the Rome YMCA announced their new Team Up for Health initiative at Grizzard Park on Monday morning. In an extension of a long-term sponsorship, Harbin Clinic will sponsor the YMCA team-based soccer and basketball programs. These programs serve children from preschool to high school, and the two organizations hope to use this partnership to improve the health and well-being of youth in the Rome community.
“One of the promises the Y makes to this community is that every child should be able to play a sport,” Scott McCreless, executive director of the YMCA, said. “Any sport that a child wants to play, if we offer it, we want that child to be able to play regardless of their ability to pay. This partnership between Harbin and the Y ensures that.”
Staff members from both Harbin and the YMCA attended the announcement at the park, as did campers from the YMCA’s youth academy soccer camp, which kicked off on Monday. McCreless spoke about the partnership, followed by Kenna Stock, Chief Executive Officer of Harbin Clinic.
Harbin has sponsored the YMCA basketball programs for the past 10 years, and Stock expressed her excitement about expanding the partnership. She hopes that the collaboration between these organizations will help to address healthcare disparities in the community.
“We are committing to work collaboratively in support of a shared mission for a healthier community,” Stock said. “We are so excited that the Y’s values line up so well with ours. A shared vision is where it all starts.”
According to a press release from Harbin Clinic, there are numerous physical and mental health benefits to youth sports, including lower obesity rates and improved cardiovascular function, as well as an improvement in overall well-being.
Lucas Levesque, director of coaching for the YMCA’s Arsenal Rome Soccer, also spoke about his appreciation for the community and his excitement about the collaboration.
“For both organizations to keep giving back is fantastic,” Levesque said. “This is going to be a great opportunity for us.”
At the close of the announcement, a few of the soccer campers assisted Levesque in unveiling the new Arsenal jerseys, which will feature the Harbin Clinic name and logo.
“The young people that we see out here on this field are what it’s all about,” Stock said. “They are the future of our community.”