All families want the best for their kids. Getting your child engaged in sports at an early age is a great way to develop the necessary social and emotional skills to support not only their success in school and life, but also build confidence and lifelong healthy habits.


Project Play Western New York is working collectively across all of our communities to help improve the access and quality of youth sports for all children. The following resources and events can help place families on a path toward the opportunities and information you need to get and keep children playing!


Free Play

At Project Play WNY, we encourage free play! Play is important not only for the social and emotional development of our children, but also in the promotion of lifelong sport participation. Project Play WNY developed the Free Play deck of cards to bring back some of the great street and backyard games of the 1970s and 1980s. Feel free to use these cards to encourage free play! LEARN MORE

Project Play Parent Checklist

Trying to figure out what youth sports program is a good fit for your child can be confusing and frustrating at times. The following checklists provide 10 simple questions that you should ask based on your child’s age and activity level with sports. Watch the video that’s most relevant for you and your child, view the checklists to assess your child’s sports experience and find resources you need to build an athlete for life. LEARN MORE

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library – Equipment Share Pilot Program

To ensure a life-long love of sport and physical activity, kids need to have the opportunity to sample a variety of sports. Sports sampling helps children discover new sports and develop sharper physical fitness skills. The Equipment Share Pilot Program allows children Western New York to checkout sporting equipment through a local library branch. LEARN MORE

Good Sports

Is your child’s school team or youth sports program in need of equipment? Good Sports is a nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of new sporting equipment, footwear and apparel to youth organizations, local teams and schools based on true need. To learn more about Good Sports criteria for equipment donations, visit their website today. LEARN MORE

How to Coach Kids

Are you a volunteer coach or interested in becoming one? Then check out this FREE, 30-minute interactive online training course for volunteer coaches for kids under age 12. Co-created by Nike and the U.S. Olympic Committee, with the support of our partners at the Aspen Institute, How to Coach Kids also offers a complete resource center with tools for coaching kids in any sport. LEARN MORE

The Healthy Sport Index

Are you a parent of a High School-Aged Child? The Healthy Sport Index provides expert data to identify the benefits and risks of participating in 10 high school sports. Developed by the Aspen Institute, in partnership with medical experts and researchers, explore this web-based resource to help you and your child choose the most appropriate sports based on both the health benefits and athletic skill development you are seeking. LEARN MORE

Coaches Training Clinics

Starting this fall, Project Play WNY will be hosting a series of coaches training sessions for WNY youth sport organizations. These sessions will be led by the Institute of Youth Sports and Dr. Dan Gould. Check back for dates, times and registration procedures.


Community Conversations

Project Play WNY hosts conversations for families, coaches and youth sport organizations on how we can all work together to ensure that kids in our regions have an opportunity to be active through a quality youth sport experience regardless of zip code. Check back for future dates and details.


Free Play Challenge

In May 2019, we restored the power of free play with a variety of games, music, giveaways and more. The Project Play Western New York Free Play Challenge, hosted by nationally recognized play enthusiast Kevin Carroll, had something for everyone, from volleyball and soccer, to relay races, nature play and a bounce house. Guests had the chance to watch as their favorite pro sports alumni duked it out in dodgeball and local celebrities showed their competitive side in a two-square tournament. Check back for future dates and details.

Questions? Concerns? Ideas?

We want to hear from you. Email us at or call us at 716-852-2857 ext. 222.