Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A new program connecting young athletes with local college athletes kicked off Thursday in the Northland.
The Champions Building Champions program brings in college athletes and volunteers to play sports with kids from local youth serving agencies.
The program, launched by Duluth's Parks and Rec. Division and Men as Peacemakers, gives kids in lower income neighborhoods a chance to interact with positive role models.
The program also gives participants a better understanding of the community and the problems people face.
"They idolize those older kids, so just to have them there to set a positive example, and to show how hard work really pays off and if you stay dedicated to something it really can become a big part of your life," said Ava Heinrich of the city's Parks and Rec. division.
The weekly sports program is free and open to the public, for kids between seven and seventeen years old.
It will be held at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center every Thursday from 4-6PM.