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City Parks Foundation Offers Free Sports Programs for Kids

City Parks Foundation Offers Free Sports Programs for Kids

Kids who live in NYC can enjoy free lessons in soccer, golf and other sports


Many children are continuing to feel the effects of a stressful school year and an anxiety-ridden current events cycle. That's why outdoor play—which has been known to help alleviate stress in children—is more important than ever. City Parks Foundation (CPF) is working to provide lots of outdoor play opportunities this summer by offering fun and engaging sports programs for city kids—all for free! 

City Parks Foundation and Outdoor Play

Newly released research from the University of Exeter found that children who spend more time playing outside and engaging in adventurous play – such as climbing trees, riding bikes and other thrill-inducing activities – have lower rates of anxiety and depression. While children in NYC have access to many playgrounds, public pools and spray parks dotted throughout the city, CPF is taking outdoor play up a notch. The organization is providing free sports instruction, coaching and equipment to more than 12,000 kids around the city. 

“Our aim has always been to make sports instruction accessible to kids in New York, even before the pandemic,” Mike Silverman, director of sports at CPF, said.

Generally, CPF programs are for youth ages 6 to 17, though age ranges vary per activity. Free instruction is offered in nearly 50 locations throughout the city and in all five boroughs. 

This year, the foundation is especially excited to bring back its soccer program for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. 

“Soccer is one of the programs that thankfully we brought back citywide this year,” Silverman said. “It's as grassroots as it gets, it's co-ed, like all of our programs. It's scrimmages, we put nets out, we put goals out. We teach kids the basic skills of the game. And then, they just go out there and have fun.”

CPF also brought back its Family Adventure Race in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, on July 9, which offered lots of activities for kids and families to enjoy. 

“We had 200 participants. It was another one of those activities we're seeing this summer of smiles on everyone's face again—both parents and kids,” Silverman said. “It was terrific getting the race back up and running again. We haven't run it since 2019. We had some support from the Life Time Foundation. Without their support we couldn't have done it.”

City Parks Foundation Free Sports Programs

Here are some of the exciting kids' sports programs CPF offers throughout the city:

Tennis

Tennis instruction is available for kids in parks throughout the five boroughs. Opportunities are available for kids of all experience levels and include beginner lessons, tournaments, leagues, excellence programs and special events. 



Golf

CPF turns many baseball fields in city parks into golf courses for this youth program (talk about resourcefulness!) In addition to these make-shift golf sites, CPF also holds instruction at two golf centers designed just for kids, located in Bay Ridge and Flushing Meadows Park

Track & Field 

Kids learn the fundamentals of the sport in parks throughout the boroughs. Kids learn the basics of the sport, from sprinting techniques to long-distance racing, javelin throwing to long jump, hurdles to race walking. 

Soccer

The program uses fun exercises and drills to teach kids the basics of the game. 

What You Need to Know About Registering Your Child For City Parks Foundation Sports Programs 

How much does it cost to register for CPF sports programs?

CPF sports programs are free!

Who can register for CPF's kids' sports programs?

The programs are open to children ages 6 to 17 who live in New York City. The only other requirement is the desire to have fun!

Where are the programs located?

Programs are located in nearly 50 sites throughout the city, in all five boroughs.

How do parents register their children?

Enroll your child by visiting cityparksfoundation.org/play. Here, you'll see a menu of the programs with easy instructions on how to register for each one. (NOTE: There's no deadline for registering, but sign up soon, as the summer programs last only about six weeks.)

Does CPF offer sports instruction in the fall? 

The organization does offer fall programming, but information will be announced at a later date. Stay tuned!

For more information, visit cityparksfoundation.org or follow the organization on Facebook or Instagram

Main image courtesy City Parks Foundation. 


 

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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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