NE Racquet Club to expand youth sports programs

The North­east Rac­quet Club and Fit­ness Cen­ter of­fers young people op­por­tun­it­ies through its Kids Club, sum­mer camp and chil­dren’s parties. Now, ath­let­ic dir­ect­or Charlie Sgrillo wants to ex­pand the sports pro­gram for boys and girls. 

Sgrillo is look­ing for kids to join lacrosse, foot hockey and in­door soc­cer leagues.

One en­tice­ment is the cen­ter’s full-size in­door arena, which fea­tures sta­di­um seat­ing. An­oth­er at­trac­tion is the price.

“We’re try­ing to do the $99 thing to get the pro­grams to grow,” Sgrillo said. “We want to keep it real low cost and very in­ex­pens­ive for North­east Philly people. We’re try­ing to be the af­ford­able pro­gram for the city kid.”

The cen­ter is loc­ated at 9389 Krewstown Road (at Grant Av­en­ue) in Bustleton. It of­fers fit­ness equip­ment, ten­nis, rac­quet­ball, aquat­ics and group ex­er­cise classes for adults.

Young people get to en­joy a sum­mer camp, private parties and a Kids Club that of­fers swim les­sons, dance and per­form­ing arts, act­ive play and games, fit­ness and arts and crafts for those 2½ to 12. Cen­ter of­fi­cials are hop­ing Sgrillo is able to add to a sports pro­gram that already in­cludes in­door soc­cer leagues. Sgrillo, a fire­man, is hop­ing to boost the pop­ular­ity of a sport like lacrosse, which is offered loc­ally by the Lans­ing Knights and Cal­vary Ath­let­ic As­so­ci­ation.

Foot hockey is an­oth­er sport with the po­ten­tial to grow, he said. Tor­res­dale Boys Club has an out­door sum­mer league that at­tracts about 300 kids. Sgrillo is not look­ing to com­pete with ex­ist­ing leagues. In­stead, he wants to grow along with those leagues, of­fer­ing com­pet­i­tion dur­ing off hours and op­por­tun­it­ies for more tour­na­ment play.

“I’m talk­ing to every­body in the North­east about what we need and how we can make the Rac­quet Club the host,” he said. “I think it’s a good tie for the fa­cil­ity. We’re try­ing to of­fer North­east Philly what’s miss­ing.”

For more in­form­a­tion, call 215-725-3780, email ner­ or vis­it nerc­ ••

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