Hobart youth program participation growing

2013-05-19T20:07:00Z 2013-05-19T20:57:12Z Hobart youth program participation growingDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Hobart is tipping its cap to the new Community Athletic Program.

The CAP program, begun April 9, is a trial outreach program hosted by the Hobart Police Department to give community youths a safe place to go, hang out and get some exercise.

Police Chief Rick Zormier initiated the program, which operates at the gym in the Police, Court and Community Center.

A secondary purpose of the program is to provide positive interaction between the community and its police officers and other city employees, Zormier said.

The open gym days are from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school.

The program is open to sixth- through 12th-grade students who live in Hobart.

The number of participants has continued to grow from an initial 15 to up to 45 on some nights, Zormier said.

"It's been well-received by the schools," Zormier said.

And it received a $400 boost from the Knights of Columbus last week. The money will be used to buy sports equipment for CAP, Zormier said.

He plans to extend the program once school lets out the first week in June with open sessions from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesday.

"We may expand it by a day if there is a need to," Zormier said.

The main gymnasium is being used primarily for basketball. The rear gymnasium will be available to groups for a variety of sports, including dodgeball, indoor soccer and floor hockey.

The lobby has tables for youths to do homework, socialize and congregate safely, Zormier said.

Outdoor activities can be added when the city acquires the Brickie Bowl football stadium and track.

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