Summer Track Series & Free Play Days
Wow, what a summer it has been for Project Play WNY! Our Track and Field Strategies Group helped launch our Developmental Summer Track Series pilot in July. The free developmental track meets for kids ages 13 and under featured sprinting, jumping and throwing events, and gave kids the opportunity to sample a new sport.
A total of four track meets were held at Niagara Falls High School Field House and All High Stadium in Buffalo. Overall, we had over 60 participants who learned to love the sport of track and field!
We also had the launch of smaller-scaled Free Play Days in various Western New York communities. The first Free Play Day was at 347 East Ferry Street in Buffalo, celebrating the grand opening of Perkins Park. Similar to our Free Play Challenge at AdPro Field House in May, the Free Play Days have sport sampling stations where kids get to learn about programming that will be going on in the area and get to have fun in the sun!
Since the first Free Play Day, various other organizations, including Niagara Police Athletic League (PAL), Buffalo PAL, Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the brand new Seneca Babcock Arlene Mychajliw Community Center, hosted Free Play Days to help connect with their communities and showcase their new facility. Since one of our goals at Project Play Western New York is to reintroduce free play, our hope is for more Free Play Days to continue to pop up around the eight counties of Western New York. These events are a great way for the kids to get out and get moving! If your organization is interested in hosting a Free Play Day, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The work of our Swimming Strategies group resulted in 51 additional lifeguard certifications within the City of Buffalo allowing city pools to be consistently open and adequately staffed. Project Play WNY was proud to support the second year of the West Side Rowing Club’s Learn to Row camp. Summer 2019 also saw the launch of two multisport camps for kids at D’Youville College and with the G.I.R.L.S Foundation at Masten Park.
Last but certainly not least was the start of our equipment share collaboration with the Buffalo Erie County Public Library, Algonquin Sports for Kids and Victory Sports. At the Isaías González-Soto Branch Library, 280 Porter Avenue, children under the age of 17 can borrow soccer or lacrosse kits and, if needed, they can play down their library card fines/fees. Additionally, Victory Sports has ball bins at several local parks. The bins are checked regularly and filled with new or gently used basketballs, footballs, soccer and volley balls.
The end of summer does not mean the end of fun for us at Project Play Western New York, and we have some great events planned for this fall. Be sure to follow us on social media and visit our website regularly to stay in the loop.