NORDC, NOLA Grown partner to add eSports recreation activities

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission is all about getting kids to play sports, and now they’re adding something new eSports.

New Orleans City Councilman Freddie King says he fought for funding to develop eSports labs at two NORDC facilities.

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“We’re in a day and age where video games and electronics are more popular than when you and I were growing up and going out playing two-hand touch or tackle, so you’ve got to meet the kids where they are, give them things that interest them, keep them engaged and keep them off the streets,” said King.

To facilitate the effort, NORDC is partnering with the local nonprofit NOLA Grown, where gaming is seen not just as fun and games.

Brent Delarge, CEO of NOLA Grown said, “We think of gaming as just recreation, which I’m glad that there’s that side to it but we also can find a way to give these kids opportunities and jobs, through gaming, through coding, through art, through music, through all of our exports we already have, we just show them how to do that through gaming.”

The two gaming hubs will be located at the Milne Rec Center and the Cutoff Center on the Westbank.

According to NORDC CEO Larry Barabino Jr., “These labs will possibly be open after school with controlled programming 4-5 days a week. On Saturdays also looking to have programming that’s going on but also NOLA Grown is looking to incorporate our summer camps into it.”

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