AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — An after-school sports program is coming back to the Valley.
This time, it’s focusing on mental health.

Ohio Urban Renaissance is partnering with Alta Behavioral Healthcare to bring back the Ball is Life program. It was stopped due to the pandemic.

Ohio Urban Renaissance will have the Ball is Life program at the Campus of Care gym in Austintown.

Kids ages 11 to 17 will get to play different sports like football and basketball, all with a focus on improving their mental well-being.

“That is therapeutic because of our partnership with Ohio Urban Renaissance, we’re going to blend recreational fun with therapy at the same time,” said George Summers, a licensed professional counselor.

“Recreational activities is a coping mechanism,” said Kevin Scott, executive director of Ohio Urban Renaissance. “We’re really big on mentorship. So the sports mentorship dynamic, the ball is live presents to our youth. We’re able to really help a kid deal with some of the things that they’re experiencing in their everyday life.”

Ball is Life will start Oct. 4. It will run on Wednesday evenings from 5-7 p.m. throughout the school year.

Registration is still open for kids. Those interested in registering for the program can do so here.