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ZogSports: Fun With A Cause

ZogSports of Essex County is currently enrolling participants for its summer league.

Getting your three days of exercise while working a full-time job is tough: Everyone stares at you at the gym, the membership fees are sacrilegious and sports leagues are for people with way more experience.

ZogSports understands that team sports and getting fit can be intimidating. That's why its teams are customized to meet the needs of its teams and players.

The program has been in Essex County, particularly serving Montclair, for a few years now and also has programs in NYC, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Stamford, Connecticut.

Players can assemble a team at work or sign up as "free agents" and will be assigned a team based on skill level and age on a team with a good balance of men and women.

"We realize that certain sports can be a lot of fun, but unless you grew up playing them, you might be intimidated to play with other people. That's why we arrange people based on skill," Sean Glynn, League Coordinator for ZogSports NJ, said. "We want to encourage people to come out and have fun, and that's a way they can still play without worrying about making a mistake. They aren't playing with professional athletes, they're playing with people who are in a similar position as them."

Fun and exercise is all well and good, but ZogSports also tries to give back. At the beginning of the season, teams discuss a charity to play for and submit their request to the program. The winner and runner-up at the end of the season win money for their respective charities.

"It can be something like the Breast Cancer Foundation or something very local," Glynn said. "Also, say, if you have a sick relative, you can play to raise money for their medical bills. We've definitely seen things like that before. The kind of variety we get is pretty amazing."

ZogSports has donated to approximately 1,000 charities over the years and have contributed $2.2 million for these causes.

The end of the game isn't the end of the fun and charity either: Happy hours take place after each game so players can mingle and take a breather as well as contribute to their cause.

All proceeds from the bar go toward the teams' causes.

The New Jersey chapter plans to expand its programs with a volleyball league starting in Livingston and an outdoor basketball and touch football league in South Orange, in addition to new playing venues.

"We go to places where we see a lot of interest, so we definitely have plans to grow in the future," Glynn said.

ZogSports is currently enrolling teams and players, who must be 21 or older, for its summer league beginning in June. The program offers sports such as touch football, volleyball, kickball, dodgeball, kickball, softball and soccer.

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